Tag Archive | tech support

Two and a half weeks in

New Computer was delivered on the 12th, and by this week I’ve finally got enough transferred/installed to do most of my work on it.

Old Computer never actually got a real name (Windows called it ERIN-PC by default, 9 years later and I didn’t change it), so it seemed like a good opportunity to name both of them together.

…the bigger, sturdier, older solid-black computer is Gideon, and the skinnier, more-powerful, younger solid-black computer that’s been busily absorbing Gideon’s settings/data is Harrow.

(Apparently not enough people in my internet circles have read the Gideon the Ninth series, but (a) you should do that, it’s great and (b) this is very funny on multiple levels that you will appreciate after reading.)

Had a brief scare with Paint Shop Pro not functioning — it installed, and seemed like it was running, but once I started trying to work on comics it became clear that a bunch of the tools weren’t working. Like…the brush. And the eraser. And the text creator.

Did a general uninstall/reinstall. It didn’t help. Did an uninstall, then a Google-assisted hunt through the registry to find all the places where Jasc would’ve put keys and delete them, then a reboot, then a reinstall. That worked!

Comparative screenshots:

(Gideon’s screen is physically larger, but Harrow’s is more pixel-dense, so it comes out to the same width and a tiny bit taller.)

There’s some minor display differences — e.g. the narrower bezels around the frame of each open file — and function differences — you can see the disappearing “expand/contract” button next to the “close” button on the Layer and Tool Options menus. (Haven’t actually used that for years, so no big loss…) And there are changes in “this window/option won’t be active unless the mouse cursor is Right Here” that are gonna take some getting used to.

But it works! I can brush and/or erase things again! The only remaining hangup was that it wasn’t registering “drag a file into the program window means open it” — and that comes back when it’s run on compatibility settings for Windows 7.

Really wish I could find the details of the specific coders who put together this release of Paint Shop Pro. You folks wrote a program so clear and solid that a machine from 20 years in the future, multiple generations of operating systems later, still understands how to pick it up and get it running. That deserves a shoutout by name.

Other little updates:

  • Having to switch every device between 1 USB port is annoying as expected — definitely gonna get some new converters — but in the meantime, it’s manageable
  • The power cord is USB-C, which means it can plug into any of the 4 existing ports; turns out it was easy to make my Executive Assistant lose interest, I just had to move it away from His Side
  • Forgot that World Community Grid doesn’t install with default limits; the poor fans on this machine went nuts a few times before I tracked down the problem and told it that no, it is not allowed to use 99% of the CPU when it has the chance
  • Used to be stuck in a 7-day trial window to give different filetypes more aesthetically-pleasing icons, but this time I did it with the freeware FileTypesManager
  • I have switched to making art over here, and ohhhh yeah, Harrow is noticeably faster
  • Photoshop opens in seconds, instead of minutes. Batch actions now get whipped through in the blink of an eye. PSP only took a couple seconds to save a file anyway, but now it’s half a second.
  • I am so looking forward to the most resource-intensive task in Harrow’s immediate future: Exporting A 192-Page PDF From InDesign

Seaweed, marshmallows, phantom hands, and other science tidbits

How a mistakenly-hired seaweed scientist helped win WWII. (Bletchley Park tried to recruit a cryptogramist…well, a cryptogamist is a biologist who studies seaweed, mosses, and ferns.)

According to my mother, my missing pectoral muscle was noticed almost immediately by the doctor who delivered me. There was no diagnosis of any cause for the defect, and I’m not sure if she even asked. It was just missing, and I accepted that absence as a simple fact for most of my childhood.”

“RN’s case is interesting because the hand that was amputated only had three fingers to begin with. One would expect that her phantom limb would be a replica of the hand she lost. But that’s not what happened. RN reported feeling five fingers on her phantom hand. They weren’t five normal fingers—her thumb and index finger felt shorter than the rest—but there were definitely five.

“While students of all categories suffered from class-induced jet lag, the study found that night owls were especially vulnerable, many appearing so chronically jet-lagged that they were unable to perform optimally at any time of day.”

“Ultimately, the new study finds limited support for the idea that being able to delay gratification leads to better outcomes. Instead, it suggests that the capacity to hold out for a second marshmallow is shaped in large part by a child’s social and economic background—and, in turn, that that background, not the ability to delay gratification, is what’s behind kids’ long-term success.”

And the laptop Negroponte was pitching in 2005 simply didn’t exist. [One Laptop Per Child]’s prototype was little more than a mockup. It hadn’t signed a manufacturer, let alone priced out a sub-$100 product. Groundbreaking technologies like the crank and mesh networking system were still mostly theoretical.”

“Portugal decriminalised the use of all drugs in 2001. Weed, cocaine, heroin, you name it — Portugal decided to treat possession and use of small quantities of these drugs as a public health issue, not a criminal one. The drugs were still illegal, of course. But now getting caught with them meant a small fine and maybe a referral to a treatment program — not jail time and a criminal record.

Yahoo email is…fixed, maybe?

Update: I started getting emails again, though some of them are heavily delayed — as of the morning of February 4, I’m still just-getting some things that were sent in the evening of February 1, and there are at least a few still to come.

Tech support said “The engineers let me know that they’ve fixed the issue and everything should be working now.” I kinda suspect this is BS and they have no idea what happened.

But new emails appear to be showing up in realtime. Which is good, because some of the sites where I switched to a Gmail address are still happily sending things to Yahoo.

So, yeah. Go ahead and send things to whichever address you have on record, I guess. They’ll both work, probably.

My Yahoo email just…flat-out stopped working.

I haven’t been getting emails since early afternoon, judging by the comments on Leif & Thorn that didn’t make it through.

Figured it out when I tried to send one, and got the error message “Some information below is incorrect. Please double check each field.” In a reply to an email chain where previous replies, same subject and address and everything, had gone through just fine.

Oh, and googling the error gets a ton of abandoned forum posts with long chains of un-addressed users pleading for help to the empty void.

So I’ve spent the better part of the past two hours updating my email with every account I can think of. That includes Leif & Thorn, But I’m A Cat Person, Shine, AO3, ff.net, Lulu, Dreamwidth, Deviantart, Twitter, IFTTT, Tagpacker, Patreon, Project Wonderful, Siteground, 8tracks, this very WordPress account, the NYTimes daily digest, my book club, and my French Word Of The Day. (Still gotta tackle Facebook, TVTropes, ComicRocket, and Neopets…)

The new email is also sailorptah, just on gmail. It’s been around as a backup for a while now. Looks like it’s about to take center stage in a hurry.

So, yeah. If you need to reach me by email for any reason, this would be the time to update your address book.

(Update: Fixed, probably.)

I created a Photobucket account on November 29, 2006.

Over the course of more than 10 years, I uploaded almost 6,000 images.

A month ago, Photobucket broke them all and demanded I pay $400 to fix it.

Wish I’d taken a screenshot of my Account stats page before I started deleting, but here’s what it looks like as of right now:

And I’m about to hit “delete” and make it go away entirely.

It took a bunch of exhausting busywork to get to this point, but I gotta say, now that I’m here, it feels pretty good.