Wherever the Road Leads

I Hate Computers Vol. Forty-Eleven

“I Didn’t Know That”.

Finally, I have my desktop computer up and running again. It was acting up in the spring after bouncing this delicate electronic device a thousand miles north in the bed of a truck. I thought it was my anti-virus software creating a conflict. Eventually I got it up and running.

It was seriously acting up after being bounced in the bed of a truck closer to two thousand miles southbound, via Baton Rouge to order the new camper. A normal person would have realized that it was the graphics card, purchased a new one, swapped it out and Bob’s your uncle. Not me. I know how this Heinz 57 computer is a dog’s breakfast of bits and pieces added, upgraded, fixed and left alone.

Click here to skip the computer gobbledy-gook and get to the bottom line.

It has four hard drives. No computer needs four hard drives. But they were leftovers or one in particular, a failed project. For some reason, I wanted to build a new computer. I have always used Asus motherboards. However a (much younger… they all are…) guy at work suggested that I use a motherboard and processor combo that was on sale at a local computer shop. I said that I didn’t like that brand of motherboard… I don’t trust it to work well. He told me that he had built many computers for friends using that combination.

Against my better judgement, I bought the combo and built a computer. Within weeks, the motherboard had conked out. The hard drive from that computer is now in my current desktop as a storage drive. I think it has Windows XP loaded on it but the computer doesn’t boot to that hard drive first, so the operating system doesn’t get used.

When I started messing with Adobe After Effects and making the little movies, I wanted a faster processor and, figuring I was going to be putting a much heavier load on the processor, I opted for water cooling instead of the traditional fan. I researched and decided upon a processor that would do a very good job but wouldn’t break the bank. Then I discovered that my current motherboard wouldn’t work with the new processor. I didn’t know that.

I bought a new – Asus – motherboard and began ‘The Surreptitious Upgrade” with I blogged about some time back. How difficult can it be to slide a new motherboard and processor under (four) existing hard drives and a Windows 8 Operating System? Well, very hard. I didn’t know that. When I swapped everything out and fired up the computer, I got a message that said, “This isn’t going to work like you think it is. Click here to change it so that it will.” I should have known better. I clicked, letting Bill Gates do my thinking for me. It took me two days and another trip to the computer store to undo what a single click had done.

The water cooling worked efficiently enough but I needed hearing protection when I put a load on the processor. Water cooling is loud. I didn’t know that. I considered switching it back to the fan cooling system, except I had lost a support bracket on the motherboard that I had taken off to install the water cooled system. I tried talking to the kids at the computer store to explain what I needed. They just looked at me with a blank stare like I was trying to explain to them why they had acne.

I found what I needed online. For about $14. It’s a small plastic part and I have been around enough plastic extrusion and plastic molding plants to know that these pieces should be $14 per hundred, not per each. I was able to buy them out of China, minimum order quantity six, $8 for the lot, delivered.

I have been doing a lot of recording off YouTube videos. That was a challenge. The first sound card I had didn’t have a “Line In” feature. You need “Line In” to be able to record off the internet… sort of what you hear is what you get. I didn’t know that. I had to order an upgraded sound card, making sure that it had that feature.

Turns out that it was my video card that had gone bad. It shouldn’t have as I believe it was over $300 Canadian… plus an “Enviromental Fee” (I didn’t know that)… plus 13% sales tax on both the product and the fee. Canadian Crooks. I should be eligible for my Environmental fee and sales tax back as the video card has been disposed of in the U.S. I never considered the video card being bad so it was the last thing I researched when I couldn’t get my computer up and running. I saw a thumbs down review on that same card and the reviewer described the same symptoms that I was having.

 

The bottom line:

I ordered a new video card, installed it and I’m back in business.

Between exploring on YouTube and the internet radio station that I listen to, I had to exclaim, “I didn’t know that” many times when I discovered that a particular tune had been composed by Burt Bacharach. I knew that most of Dionne Warwick’s hits were Burt Bacharach compositions:

Do You Know the Way to San Jose

Walk On By

I Say a Little Prayer

I’ll Never Fall In Love Again

Anyone Who Ever Had a Heart

Don’t Make Me Over

That’s What Friends Are For

However, I didn’t know that he had written:

Close To You (The Carpenters)

Magic Moments (Perry Como)

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head (B.J. Thomas)

What’s New Pussycat (Tom Jones)

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Gene Pitney)

Blue on Blue (Bobby Vinton)

You’ll Never Get to Heaven If You Break My Heart (The Stylistics)

Casino Royale (Herb Alpert)

Wishin’ and Hopin’ (Dusty Springfield)

Baby It’s You (The Shirelles and also Smith)

I discovered on Amazon, a used copy of a Burt Bacharach’s Greatest Hits CD. Sold. It took a while as it came from a vendor in Britain. I didn’t know that. Eagerly, I put it in the CD player in the truck. Great tunes. It worked just fine. For most people.

The CD was manufactured in 2001 when things weren’t as advanced as they are now. That is, the CD doesn’t include the ‘metadata’… as in song title, artist’s name, length and perhaps even a CD cover. All that shows up in the dash display is, “Track 9”. I didn’t know that. This will never do. Yes, I can listen and I know that it’s the Theme From Arthur by Christopher Cross. But I want to be able to see that on my display screen, not “Track 12”.

 

Click here to skip the computer part.

I took the CD out of the truck and loaded it into the now-working desktop computer. I had a plan, however I couldn’t move the tunes off the CD onto the computer. I discovered the CD Audio files are a somewhat antiquated technology and it’s not as simple as moving a file from one storage device to another. I didn’t know that. A little research solved the problem. A program called “Audiograbber”. It ‘grabs’ the audio files, converts them to a .wav format and copies them to your computer. Then converts each file into an mp3 format which is much more usable.

Once the file (song) is in mp3 format, I can use a program called “mp3 Tag” to enter all the metadata manually. There are twenty-five tunes on each of two CDs. It took me a while. Burt done wrote some songs over the years. After that was done, I copied all the tunes onto the USB stick that holds all my ever-growing number of tunes.


The bottom line 2:

Now when I hear Gene McDaniels singing, “Tower of Strength” I know it’s true because my dashboard display says it it.

Aren’t computers wonderful?

 

Not a huge success for Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach, but one of my favorites…

 

 

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Comments

  1. Jan  December 6, 2017

    And that is why we use Apple! 😂

    reply

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