A Couple of Changes
Last Saturday was Bali Blends' last day at Megamall. The waiters told me that the mall's new renovation effort threatened to ruin the al fresco set-up, prompting the owners to close shop. I don't know if that was a solid enough reason but, whatever the case, my heart sank at the idea that my most recent haunt would be shipping out. They're relocating to Alabang, and the staff asked for my number so they could text an invite to the opening. (But Alabang's way too far...we'll see.)
I took the day off last Monday to attend to a couple of financial concerns and take things easy. Work last week was a tad heavy so a break was in order. While going around the Sta. Lucia Mall, I decided to work on a pending project--installing a new sound card to the old computer and getting new speakers.
One store had a bunch of sound cards sealed in individual plastic packets and stuffed in a carton box like they were pirated DVDs. Another store had them in individual boxes, labeled Bestek. (I resisted the thought of possibly stuffing my computer with marinated beef strips.) Both stores were selling the cards as P500 a pop. Naturally, I went for the boxed version, even if the cards all looked alike. I also got new Genius speakers for about P900, I can't remember.
When I got home, I opened up the CPU casing and saw four empty PCI slots waiting to be filled. Note that I've never installed a sound card in my life, but I know a wee bit about the process and got around through visual clues.
At first, my efforts proved futile. I got the card in place, but failed to get as much as a whisper from the speakers. I called my dear brother in the UAE for advice, and he instructed me to try other slots. And I did, only to realize that I had failed to push the card firmly enough into the slot the first time. Anyway, after one failed attempt, I finally had sound. Magaleng, magaleng, so the commercial goes.
But the modem ceased to work. Hmph.
So it was back to disconnecting the cables and trying new things... still nada. "Cannot find modem" a message flashed. I contacted UAE brother again, and this time he suggested that I clean out the slot with a toothbrush. I've had the computer for over three years, so the slots should be filled with dust. I rushed to the bathroom and grabbed my old toothbrush, which was scheduled to be replaced anyway, and carefully cleaned out the slots. From the beginning of the whole process, I was drenching in sweat, so I had an old shirt nearby. Wouldn't want any liquids dripping on the technology.
I got my happy ending as a fledgling computer technician, thanks in part to my bro. The computer is up and running again for the family to use. I plan to replace the monitor soon; it's been acting a bit weird lately. Then I'll get some of those kiddie educational software from Powerbooks so the niece and nephews will have some brain food to chew on when they're sick of Cartoon Network.
It's time for me to get a new system. I've been pondering on whether I should get a laptop or a desktop, PC or Mac, and that debate continues to this day. But it seems that the old school is winning--the PC desktop is still the more cost-efficient solution. Right now, I don't think I'll be making a major change as far as that's concerned. (But getting a PDA seems inviting...hmmm...)