15/01/2012

[Misc.] A Hair-pulling Experience

Once more, no Eve Online entry. I really really want to get on with that one but once more a small headache has cropped up preventing me from getting on with it.
This time however it's a technical issue, and follows on from my entry about the new video card and power pack.

For one reason or another(while building up the port of Borealis on my MC server) I got a BSOD. Power spike, power surge, killed motherboard. Motherboard and CPU were the last components I had to upgrade on my computer other than the case and hard drive, an original part of the package which included a 115W pack. I'd switched to 350W - more than triple the power of the original.
After testing every single component one by one and utilising a process of trial and error, this is how I've narrowed it down to the motherboard being at fault. No POST card needed if you have plenty of spares to hand.

Now as you might imagine, replacing a motherboard isn't an easy job. Sure, it might be if you have half an idea about how to plug computers together - as I'm slowly getting towards - but more often than not you also need a CPU that will fit in it. As mine was approaching the wrong side of 5 years old it meant that it was more than likely I'd need to get a new CPU too. However some research told me I already had a Intel quad core as standard so the motherboard wasn't as old as originally suspected. Still, if there was ever an excuse to get a better processor then a blown motherboard is it.

I am slightly poor at the moment. I want to pay for my two cats to get microchipped, our fence in the back garden was ripped apart after the last major gales in the UK last week, there's the small matter of finding money for a music festival in June, and I want to [can't discuss that one here in case someone I know IRL spoils it for someone else!] - so quite the shopping list. The blown 'board couldn't have come at a worse time financially.

Que some emo-style moaning on Facebook; I'm resorting to stealing laptops to get around my lack of computer. It amazes me just how much I took that beast for granted! The flexibility of a laptop has gotten me through the last week well enough though, and Mirtai's been kind enough to lend me her gaming laptop. Handles stuff quite nicely, but could do with a better graphics card... XD
So imagine my surprise when my girlfriend's sister contacts me via my rather emo status telling me she has a spare computer to hand. Further prompting revealed it to be a much more powerful beast of a computer than I'd imagined; who the hell has a spare gaming computer!! Quite shocked by this and not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, I quickly accepted. I asked what she wanted for it, and she said free to a good home. At this point I logged out of Facebook for the day and went to work, quite happy with the way it was working out. And I'd most certainly have to buy her a great big present as a thank you for saving me a couple of hundred quid!

About 9 hours later I got in from work to find that Mirtai's other sister's fiance has hijacked the deal by offering to buy it, as the other sister needs it for college work. I'm a bit annoyed as -childish as it might sound - I was first to complain about a broken computer, and I thought I had a deal in place... But they have 4 kids and can't afford to fix their computer at the drop of a hat plus Mirtai's sister needs it for college work so I let it slide. For the greater good of the college work, as opposed to my gaming needs.
Until it turns out he might be trying to get the computer just out of sheer greed. Nobody really knows what's wrong with it and any attempt to ask him gets the subject changed quite quickly, leading to suspicions that there's actually fuck all wrong with his rig. And why would it need a new CPU fan when it was working fine?
This suspicion was aroused even further when he got back in touch with the computer's original owner and said "I can't get it working, is it okay if I throw it away?" I can still break it down and use the motherboard, and if all it needs is a new heatsink/fan combo on the processor then it's still a usable computer.

He was rather quick to get the computer off her hands and now is being a douche about giving it back. I strongly suspect he's trying to fuck me off, and if that's the case it's working. I am really really fucked off that he's being so selfish, and I am really really fucked off that he's throwing money away on expensive computers instead of providing for his 4 children.
I honestly don't give a flying fuck if he reads this, in fact I hope he does and then I might hear both sides of the story. But all I'm seeing right now is a selfish spoilt mother fucker who only looks out for himself and wanted the big shiny for himself. Prick.

So, plan B - which was the original plan in the first place before the prospect of a free gaming platform was an option... contact my friend Mike2156. He's a RL friend who runs a computer shop of some sort and if I can give him some custom then I will. I've asked him to look around for a motherboard/CPU combo deal in ATX form, so fingers crossed before long he'll find something suitable for my needs :)
In the meantime I steal Mirtai's laptop when she's not staying at mine(she has a spare at home, bloody laptop whore) and my mum's laptop when Mirtai is here.
I think the best part of the laptop is that for the first time, I can set myself up so I can have a chat to Mirtai without her talking to the back of my head :D

Edit: Mirtai's mum had a spare computer I could have as a short-term solution(she's under the impression it might not be up to my standards) so I went over, to be presented with an old machine... floppy and CD drives were visible. However I noticed the DVD R/RW drive underneath the CD drive, and that it was a different colour to the rest of the computer. That's not standard fit I think, so I whip the back of the case off to reveal a very sexy set of innards. 450W power pack which had been in there for some time, so no worries of killing this motherboard which looked to also be ATX. A good soundcard in a PCI slot, and a Nvidia 6000 series graphics card looking like the only weak part of a very solid package. So gratefully I have accepted this, and later on this afternoon I'll be looking at making it work, which sadly it doesn't right now. I'll be making a weird hybrid of that one and my broken setup, and see whether I can get it working or not.

Thank you to Mirtai's lovely family for all the help you've given me this last week, it's much appreciated :D
Thank you to Mirtai for putting up with my rants and for letting me steal your lovely new laptop :P
Thank you to Mirtai's other sister's fiance, you useless good for nothing cunt.

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