Anyway, my weekend? Was okay. Nothing special. I think I probably write that every time I recap my weekend. Friday night, as stated, Ellen and I got together. She took pity on me and my car and bought me an expensive pizza. This makes me uncomfortable, and I need to find a way to pay her back. Not soon, though. I'd pretty much budgeted the next month around Mitsuwa, bills, and Chirstmas presents. Working my insurance deductible into that equation doesn't leave me completely broke, but all of those harmonica jokes may seem less funny in a month. Does anybody (besides my sister) really know what I'm referencing when I tell people that they're getting a harmonica for Christmas? Probably not.
On Saturday I was hoping perhaps to get together with ribsinbacon, but he turned out to be busy. Sean and I cleaned the house and threw away a lot of Nate's tupperware. I felt bad tossing it, but some of that stuff had been in the fridge since our last major house cleaning (March?). As it turned out, having the day off was a good thing, because it gave me time to (sort of) sort out a problem that had just developed on my PC. I've put the boring, detailed explanation under the cut, but I'll summarize it like this: ATI is t3h suxx0rz!!11!1!!!11one1.
On Saturday morning PC started rebooting for no apparent reason every half hour or so. After filing a crash report with Microsoft, I was given the explanation that my video drivers are "poorly written," which is causing serious problems.
My video card drivers have not changed since early 2003, and have never given me a problem. I haven't accepted any updates to Windows recently either, so why this should start now is beyond me. I've researched the issue online, and it looks like this is a fairly common occurrence with this particular ATI card and does not have a fix. At least, there's no fix as far as I can tell. I've changed enough stuff on my PC that Windows Update no longer recognizes it as a Microsoft operating system. I can't access most of their online troubleshooting system because (apparently) I'm not running Internet Explorer. I am running Internet Explorer (and not the newest version, either), but I attempted to download and install the most recent IE anyway. This is the error message I get:
Everybody else seems to have dealt with it either by severely decreasing their video performance (which I don't want to do) or by simply upgrading their hardware. I refuse to do this unless the card has developed a physical problem, which I doubt very much. Besides, after several hours of trial-and-error troubleshooting (without any help from MS or ATI, thank you very much), I've gotten things more or less under control. There's only one program which causes an unexpected reboot now: Bittorrent.
I have two Bittorrent clients installed. The reboot now happens only when one or both of them is open. If I were using Bittorrent to violate copyright laws and download pornography, I'd probably shrug my shoulders and find something more constructive to do with my free time. I'm not doing those things, though. I rarely use Bittorrent, and I've been using it during the last few days to download flac files of concerts performed by bands who encourage recording and sharing of their performances and also '80s-vintage Camper Van Beethoven demos which are not available elsewhere. I would like to use Bittorrent. My video card is causing my PC to crash whenever Bittorrent is running? This strikes me as complete and utter nonsense. The popular, knee-jerk reaction is to blame Microsoft, but I took a good look at ATI's support site, and I think I wanna pin this one on them. Depending on which part of the site I'm looking at, my video card is either supported by Windows XP, the best ATI card to use with Windows XP, partially incompatible with XP, or completely incompatible. They also go as far as to recommend Microsoft's drivers over ATI's drivers. Great.
Anyway, I looked at some stuff this morning at work which Microsoft wouldn't let me see on my own PC. If nothing else, I may soon just back up my important personal stuff, wipe my C: drive and reinstall XP.
Sunday was spent (in order) drinking coffee, talking to my mom about my car, doing about ten minutes of physical labor, watching Young Frankenstein with my dad, talking to my sister, drinking more coffee, doing a load of laundry and troubleshooting my PC.
Tonight Offbeat practices with mics. Our performance is Thursday and it's been a few years since I've held a microphone for an actual-genuine performance (Taco and Falco at The Kid don't count), but I think I still remember how they work. We'll see. Finally (no new paragraph because I don't feel like hitting Enter again), I had hot and sour soup for lunch today. This is the fortune I got:
How come I never get fortunes like this when I need them?!