Wednesday, February 22, 2006


My PC is now in recovery. Yes, Ms. Dell Dimension 3000 crashed and burned a week ago Monday, on February 13th, to be exact.

I was naturally devastated by this latest display of incompetence. First she crashed in December. I forgave her because she is relatively new to this job. She not only has to satisfy my high demands, but also looks after my daughter and mother. The poor thing was obviously stressed out and decided to crap out completely one day.

In a state of panic, I contacted her creators and they advised me on a quick and easy fix. I followed the instructions without question and before I knew it I had formatted her hard drive. That was supposed to fix her up like brand new. It appeared to work. Everything that she had been carrying around in her memory had been wiped clean. And although it was extremely upsetting to me, she appeared to be ok with it and was working like a charm.

That is until Monday Feb 13th. I’m not sure what it was that didn’t agree with her, but she somehow completely lost it. When I turned her on that evening, her windows XP was missing and the only thing that she would give me was a terse statement on a black screen. I knew it was bad. I couldn’t prompt her to display any other colour but black and white, no matter how many times I pressed her on and off switch.

I made another call to her creators at Dell. This time I was very frustrated. I kind of feel sorry for poor Sanjeev. He probably wished that he had passed that call for the next one. Actually, I wasn’t too hard on him. I know it’s not his fault that his creation is a little weaker than normal. The most frustrating thing is when they try to blame it on a virus or spy ware. Maybe it is one of those things; however, subsequent scans did not produce the culprit.

I told him that she was giving me warnings about two weeks prior. She was complaining about some driver. I couldn’t figure out what she was yakking about because as far as I knew, I hadn’t installed any new drivers. The driver roll back utility was fruitless to me. I felt that if I just left well enough alone, soon they would learn to get along with each other.

This is not the case. When a computer complains, you better pay attention. It seems that they will only try to tell you so many times and then if you haven’t done whatever it is that they want you to, then they just disappear. They pack up all their toys and go away.

I told Sanjeev, that this time I was not going to format her. I wanted to attempt the repair but to do that I needed the operating disc. That was something that they neglected to send to me when I purchased her brand new in September. Sanjeev had a reasonable explanation for this. They burn an image of the disc on the hard drive and provide you with an option to automatically format, therefore there is no need to send out the operating discs when they ship out the newer computers.

“But don’t you lose all of your saved documents when you format?”

“Yes you do, Shelly. Shelly, may I ask you a question, if I may?

“Yes, sure. What would you like to know?”

“Shelly, do you not make back up copies of your documents? Do you burn them on a cd or dvd?”

“No, I haven’t.”

“Ohhhhh, I see Shelly. Ok, I’ll tell you what I am going to do for you then. I will send you out the discs for your computer. When you get them, I want you to call back and we will walk you through the next steps. If this does not work, then I am afraid you will have to format your drive and you will lose all of your documents.”

Sanjeev promised me that I would have the necessary discs within two days, three tops. I decided that waiting a few days was better than losing all of the MP3’s that I had spent hours ripping from my cd collection since my mishap in December. I made a promise to Della that when she was all fixed, I’d take the time that was needed to back her up.

It turns out that even though I still did not have the discs on Friday, it wasn’t Sanjeev’s fault. Purolator had decided not to deliver to my address on Thurs, claiming that my name was not in the directory and that I did not give them my buzzer code. My name is in the directory and I did give Sanjeev my buzzer code. How it did not end up in the delivery instructions is a mystery along with why Purolator decided to wait until an hour before closing on Saturday to contact me and advise that my package was at there store a couple of blocks away.

The long and the short of it is that I did get the discs, Dell did help me repair Della and she was working just tickety boo until tonight. Tonight she crapped out momentarily with a Blue Stop Error. I recognized it as one of the ones I had received before the black screen of death so I called her creators again.

The happy technician walked me through a reboot with the last known good configuration and then had me shut down and restart once more for good measure. After ensuring that I was able to get to the desktop and some applications he released the call.

He really didn’t seem interested in Della’s unstable history, although he did offer to speak to his manager when I wouldn’t shut up about it. I declined and opted to record a history of her performance myself and then I am going to decide if I should speak to a manager or wait for the next fainting attack.

She’s had a good going over with spybot search and destroy as well as McAfee and neither has produced any reason for this last incident.

Keep your fingers and toes crossed. I do not want to be sans computer again!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Hit With The Love Bug

We are in the middle of my least favourite month/season. Knowing how much I hate the dreary days of February and March, I did something different this year. I went out of my way to try to plan different things for most of February. I am busy most weekends.

This was one of the weekends that I didn’t have anything planned but two last minute opportunities have helped it pass quickly.

I went to a friend’s for dinner on Friday night, came home very late and slept in Saturday. Saturday afternoon I went to a “Stampin” party. It’s a party like Tupperware but they sell stamp products to make cards, scrapbooks, gift wrap etc. The host and hostess are co-workers from another office and it was great fun to get together with some people that I haven’t seen for a long time.

The best part of the afternoon though was meeting their daughters, Esme (short for Esmeralda) and Duchess. I spent the entire time being entertained by Esme, the smaller of the two black pugs, who showered me with licks all over my neck, face and hands before falling asleep with her small head on my knee.

I couldn’t stop smiling and laughing. Maybe I don’t need a mate after all.