Well… I became aware of a contest

I’m so tired.  I didn’t sleep well last night.  Then I got up too early.  At least my chores are done.  I’m covered in mosquito bites from running on the bike trails.  They follow the river for the most part, so that probably doesn’t help.  Tomorrow is August, which means the carpet cleaner is here, cleaning the units of recently vacated apartments.  It’s so loud and annoying.  I could drown it out with headphones or earplugs, but for now I’m just trying to ignore it.  I’m going to play WoW soon, and I usually wear headphones for that.

I thoroughly broke my gaming desktop the other day, (software issues).  I got so frustrated trying to troubleshoot the problem that I came extremely close to buying Windows 10 Pro, and starting over.  It was in my Amazon cart, but the “will take a few extra days to process” note during checkout made me pause.  I thought about ending my boycott of Newegg.com, and even went there and browsed parts for a new build for a bit.  But then I remembered how much I hate getting used, broken, returned shit that they habitually resell as new.  I loved Newegg for 7 years before the boycott.  Fuckers.  Twice, I got a video card that was clearly opened, installed, broken, removed, reboxed, returned, and then sold to me as new for full retail price.  On top of that, when I complained, and tried to get RMA’s for them, (both were broken due to physical damage), they tried to feed me some bullshit about their no returns policy.

So I went to my state Attorney General, and the BBB, and reported them.  I was very thorough, and that same day, they got back to me, willing to refund me for the broken shit they sold me.  They still acted like they were put out, and bending their rules to accommodate me, so I’ve boycotted them ever since.  It wasn’t easy.  I bought all my computer components there prior to these incidents.  Fortunately, there’s Amazon, where I do 90% of my shopping, both personal and for work.  I’m quite loyal to the brands and stores that work out well for me.  Amazon sets the standard for what I expect from e-tailers in general.  If an e-tailer can’t get it to me in a few days with minimal or no shipping fees, I’m not buying it there.  There have been instances where what I wanted wasn’t sold by Amazon or it’s 3rd party sellers, but it’s rare.

It’s been a decade or so since I started shopping there, and they’ve never fucked me over.  Not once.  Not as a buyer or a sometimes-seller.  That’s incredible.  I suspected I might have a virus on my computer for a bit, but that wasn’t the problem.  I ended up shutting it off and walking away until the next day, at which time I fixed it within the first five minutes of powering it up.  It was an easy fix, and now it’s running smoothly again.  Whew!

The sense of panic and despair I feel when one of my computers breaks is unreasonable.  I have 2 desktops and 3 laptops.  And several Raspberry Pi’s.  I’m completely obsessed with computers, and have been since I was 8.  I’m excited by technology advances to the degree of giddiness.  There was only one time in my adult life when I broke my computer, and didn’t have a backup.  Apparently, that traumatized me, because having 5 computers now is actually an improvement.  I used to have 8, but sold 1 and gave 2 away to family members.  At least I’m able to give them away easily.  I sincerely want everyone on this planet to have a decent computer.  Probably because I assume everyone likes them as much as I do hahaha.

I want to upgrade my PC’s every time a new CPU or video card is released.  I refrain most of the time.  I’m still rocking a Broadwell.  DDR4 RAM and Samsung 850 Pro NVMe M.2 SSD drives are appealing, though.  And the new Nvidia cards.  I thought about the AMD RX480 for a bit.  Then I remembered how AMD frustrates the crap out of me with their apparent allergy to writing good drivers.  Catalyst can suck it, too.  I like the Nvidia software that optimizes my settings for specific video games with 1 click.  Overclocking is easy, too.  I break my computers a lot.  I’d like to think it’s because I use them so much, but it’s because I’m curious.  I disassemble every ready-built computer I buy within minutes of ownership.  I also annihilate crapware by reinstalling the OS, assuming I was able to assemble it again successfully.

These days, I’m pretty good with the hardware thanks to trial and error.  When I think back to some of the mistakes I’ve made, I chuckle.  Like the time I installed my first motherboard without offset screws, and shorted it out.  I didn’t know what those screws were for, and this was before there were a million youtube videos to walk you through every step.  I know.  RTFM.  I do read the manual sometimes, now.  But breaking shit is a good way to learn how to fix shit.  Only my Apple computers and my Alienware laptop are under warranty.  The warranty was part of the package deal at Dell, or I wouldn’t have it.  I’ve used it before when my AMD video card died, though.  I love Dell.  I love that it’s privately owned now.  Before they bought Alienware, I was big on IBM, before it became Lenovo.  Now, I wouldn’t use a Lenovo computer if it was free.  I call them Malware Machines, because with every Lenovo machine you buy, you get free malware.  It can be uninstalled, but it shouldn’t be there in the first place.  I boycott them on principle.

I broke my second Mac mini.  I installed an SSD, and broke the connector to the motherboard.  I didn’t have a soldering iron at that time, and was so frustrated that I deliberately demolished it, starting with throwing it off my balcony.  My frustration tolerance is usually pretty high, but not that time.  I used a hammer and wire cutters after removing the CPU, RAM, and hard drive.  It was scrap when I finished with it, and I felt a little better.  I know I could have popped my new SSD into an external case and used that to boot from, but the whole appeal of the Mac mini is that it’s so tiny and clean lined.  Apple’s trend of making their machines less and less upgradeable is a huge turnoff to me.  Naturally, they’d prefer for us to buy a new machine rather than upgrade.  I develop for them, or I’d kick them to the curb for selling such good looking, overpriced, underpowered machines.  Sigh.