Broken ComputersThere is an old saying that cobblers children have no shoes. That holds true for just about any profession, including Information Technology. I have a lot of computers in my office, but they don’t all work properly, yet my client’s computers all work like a charm. This saying came to the forefront of my mind yesterday as I hacked my way through the computer disfunction in my office.

For starters, my wife needed to print something out and lo and behold something was screwed up on her machine and Office needed the CD in order to launch Word. I don’t know where my CD is at the moment, so she was screwed. While she was waiting for me to print what she needed, she made the comment that she often stays late at work because she hates using her computer at home. I can’t think of anything more awful for a computer geek to hear than that. Granted her PC was made from extra parts I had lying around and doesn’t even sport a cover. It’s just raw metal and wires, but still…

As I wrote about a few posts back, I’ve decided to save up for an eMac for Holly. I actually own a Mac already. A few years ago I bought an original Bondi Blue iMac off of eBay. It’s the first iMac that was released and it’s very slow, but I was successful in getting OS X installed when it was first released. While I waited for the last few items to print out, I played around with the iMac to see how the address book and e-mail worked. From my little 10 minute overview, I think this dog will hunt, so this weekend I think I’m going to try and migrate Holly to the iMac.

Don’t think that I’m immune from PC problems either. I use VNC all the time when I’m in my office. VNC allows me to log into workstations and servers all over the US and fix problems. However, for some odd reason, if I run VNC on my main workstation it crashes. I’ve tried everything to fix it, but the darn thing will crash my system every time., so I usually have my laptop right next to my main workstation. VNC runs perfectly on the laptop. That being said, my laptop has been crashing a lot lately. Nothing consistent, just a lot of weird stuff. I find it’s good to reinstall Windows about once a year just to clean the “lint” out. I find that things run faster and smoother after a scorched earth install (aka wipe out the drive and start fresh).

While I was working on the new backend for the Palm OS User Council website, I decided it was time to blow out the drive on the laptop and install a fresh copy of Windows XP Professional. The whole process took about 3 hours. The bulk of that time was spent waiting while I installed patches and updates from Windows Update. That’s why I’m always working on something else while doing a fresh install. 🙂

After installing a suite of security products including: AVG Anti-Virus, Spybot and Zone Alarm, I was secured and ready to go. After installing a few key applications, I was done! Now if I could only find my Office XP Professional CD. 😛