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I had intended to blog today...

... but, I wanted to install a new FireWire card in my PC for digital video capturing, a task that I took on first thing in case I had trouble (opening my computer scares me). The camera worked fine, but then I noticed that my Internet connection had disappeared. However, I figured that I'd see if installing a network (to get Internet on an old computer) would fix the problem.

But first, we had to go out and pick up a couple household items and last-minute gifts. We saw Santa going into BJs. He must have been on his way back to the North Pole from some gala because he had on his hat and spectacles but was wearing a business suit. He seemed quite jolly beneath his beard. Last stop, for us: Puddingstones, a collectors' shop with dolls and candles and such, to pick up a little something for my mother-in-law. As it turns out, today was their final day before the owners retire. The store was bare, and even the shelves were for sale. Among the used furniture was a gorgeous old wooden piece with a cabinet at the bottom (perfect for a computer), removable shelves (to accommodate a monitor), and a pull-out tray (for a keyboard and mouse). And super cheap! Voila: an errand unexpectedly completed!

Amazingly, the thing was so tall that we had to bungy it in because, even with the back seats entirely removed and the passenger seat as far up as it would go, the tail of the Aztec would not close. We got home without problem... then it was the house's turn to take revenge on us for all of our stomping. I measured the ceiling in the office upstairs and found that my new computer desk would not fit in the computer room. My wife suggested that I hook up the other computer in the living room, which would be great if I were at all inclined to wire a house in which I don't intend to live for years into the future. Resigned to putting off the marriage of the computer with the furniture meant for it, we decided to put the shelves in the living room until we moved.

But you can't get there from here, which is to say that the old chunk of wood was about a millimeter too big in every direction to fit through the narrow hall and low doorway. So, outside we went, and back in through a different door.

Back to the computers. The network still wouldn't work, and I wondered if the FireWire card wasn't conflicting with the ethernet card. The computer tech support guy didn't know and couldn't help; the FireWire company was closed. Finally, the cable Internet tech support guy suggested that I uninstall my firewall. That worked.

The fun didn't end there, but I won't go into details (you're welcome). Suffice to say that I am now reinstalling the old computer's software from scratch. Good thing I learned a hard lesson long ago, which I pass on to you now: as you install software and resolve all of the little problems that pop up to eat your days, keep a log and save all of the patches, drivers, and programs that you download while doing it.

Posted by Justin Katz @ 12:18 AM EST