Sunday, March 26, 2006

Time Change!

Psyche! Europe changes to daylight savings time a week earlier than in the US this year, so we will be *8* hours ahead of our Central Time Zone homies for a week.

If you are planning to take your child to see "Eight Below", be forewarned


that there is one scary scene where a seal jumps out of (or maybe from behind?) a whale carcass. Hannah went to go see this movie (titled "Antarctica" here in Germany) with a friend and her family, then spent the night with them, and the next morning she was still horribly worked up about how that scene had almost given her a heart attack. So it's your typical, good, clean Disney fun.

I don't think we woke up in a particularly bad mood this morning, but by the time John and Hannah left at about 1 to go swimming with friends, we were on the verge of a three-way, Homer-esque choke-athon. We have been watching DVDs on our laptop since we didn't want to buy a DVD player when we weren't planning on living here permanently. But recently the DVD drive has been crapping out on us, sometimes working, but often not. I had checked out a Swedish Astrid Lindgren video (Ronja Rövardotter) at the library bus, and John wanted to watch it this morning. But this was one of the crappy mornings, and he was in a *foul* mood after screwing around with the computer, trying to make it work. So after they left, I got to work with my superhuman problem-solving skills.

Oh, yeah. We've also been having the problem that sometimes the computer will shut itself off with no warning. This usually happens when Hannah is playing a game online. Arthur's ice cream game has had this effect several times.

Yesterday I had already run the system check and defragmented the hard drive, so that wasn't it. This afternoon I ran the full virus-check, but it shut down halfway through. Now, I had already seen the suggestion in an online forum that this shut-down problem is often due to overheating, so I opened the window to let in some brisk, cool springtime air. Started the computer back up, the virus check ran all the way through with no problems. So then I shut everything back down and got out the vacuum cleaner. That was the solution offered on the online source. There was a *lot* more dust and gunk than you *ever* want to see come out of your computer, trust me. I couldn't get the section over the fans open because I didn't have a special screwdriver (a 6-pointed star instead of a Philips-head like the others, pff), but I was able to get the fuzz out by sticking my teeny, tiniest crochet hook through the holes over the fans and pulling the dust bunnies (which were pretty nasty and menacing) out. Sewing nerds will win out over techno nerds every time!

So then I pulled out the DVD drive, vacuumed a little more, and started 'er up. And it decided to play along, letting me put in movie and actually playing it. While it was still working, I wanted to start backing things up, because it had been a while. But the damn CD burning function didn't seem to be working. So I put in a DVD that seemed to be for troubleshooting DVD/CD problems, but in reality it reinstalled some DVD movie-playing software. Urgh.

FINALLY, I figured out that the CD I was putting in wasn't ready for burning (I don't know computer terminology), but I found a simple check-box to enable CD writing, and ka-zaam! We are backed up!

John says I am the best computer sucker he knows. ha ha, I forgot how to laugh. But we have both noticed a *huge* drop in the amount of time the fans are spinning, to the point that I have feared the computer turning itself off several times when it is just the fans switching off. Hell, right now, I have *5* Explorer windows open, including the dreaded Arthur game, and the fan just switched off as I am typing. Before that, it was running on the lowest setting. So go me!

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