Jessica's computer has, for some time, been doing a rather annoying thing: occasionally, for no apparent reason and with no specific association that I could pin down, gone BSoD. Usually, it's been connected to a graphics issue. One specific thing that would cause problems was full-screening a video clip. In the end, the thing is getting old, so her Mom found and bought her a new one. needless to say, much anticipation was had on J's part, so when it arrived yesterday, there was much rejoicing.
Now, her old machine has 2 hard-drives, and since there was a lot of stuff to back up (music, images, couple movies, etc.), it was deemed easier to simply back up to the 2nd drive and move it to the new computer. This caused the first fun moment when we discovered that the old drive was a parallel ATA, and the new computer was strictly SATA (for the non-tech savvy people, the connections were not compatible). OK, well, this frustrated us, no surprise, but hey, this isn't the end of the world, right? I headed out to find an adapter. Never tell a computer geek something won't connect. It'll connect, all right, just need the right dongles.
I could have gone to bigger stores, and maybe found what I needed after wandering aisles full of the maladjusted for half an hour or more, but I'm a fan of shopping locally and supporting the small biz-guy when I can. Besides, I like the more personal service given by a store owner who knows his product, as opposed to some green-around-the-gills kid who is schlepping for a salary and doesn't know his ass from Azathoth. Just a mile from the house is a little hole-in-the-wall place, "Rainbow Computers", and I figured it was a good place to start looking.
Here, I met Helmut. His last name is lost to me now, Steinberg or something, but he was German and slight and needed to wash his hair and trim his moustache. Still, through his accent, he seemed nice enough, and I explained what I needed. OK, so he was a touch abrupt, but that's sort of cliché German, so I worked with it. First he told me he didn't have an adapter for that, then proceeded to take one off the wall behind the register. Maybe I misheard him. $23 and change he wanted, which seemed high, but what the Hell, it was for Jessica and it would make her life better. I paid, and he was complaining about phone calls and being overworked and whatnot, and politely I listened. Somehow, this got into a discussion about solar panels (I guess he sells and installs those, too) and something like 20 minutes later I finally managed to get out of there. Guy talked my ears off, but he wasn't bad, just seemed frustrated and someone was listening. Hey, my good deed for the day, right?
So, home I come. Now, during all of this, Jessica is understandably frustrated with things not going smoothly. I can understand this, since I go into flip-out mode when I have a computer issue. I assure her that I'm on it, and she heads out for smokes and a bottle of wine while I work. I go to install the old drive into the new machine and discover that I have a new issue: no available power connector! *grumblegrumbleforthelovvafuckwhatnextgr
Re-install the drive, power up...excuse me, what do you mean by "NTLDR is not present, cannot boot"?!? Wrong answer, sir. Several minutes of swapping drive cables and whatnot not later, and nothing. Unplug the old 2nd drive again...success. What?!? Whatever. Shut down, re-install 2nd drive, power up, clear. I don't even care why, I'm there now. Oddly, it now wants to hang funny, which I thought was the fault of the external, but now that I see the main drive is SATA, I don't care. Remove the external, and start to transfer everything to the SATA...and got this going just as Jessica came home. Good, she didn't have to witness my massive cluster-fuck. Off I go to return the adapter.
Helmut was not amused. I let him know I ended up not needing it. I didn't feel like going into a ton of detail, so I merely told him that I didn't have a power connector for the drive, to which he argued that this was impossible. Wait, what? This guy wasn't there, and wants to tell me what's possible and what was not? I reconfirmed that I didn't have what I needed, and I ended up using a friend's external for the data swap. He then started to accuse me of just using the thing, getting my data, and then bringing it back and screwing him out of a sale. OK, I'd been nice, polite, and friendly up to this point, but this was it. I got in his face, tall and menacing, and warned him in so many words not to start shit with me. If I'd used the thing, I'd have kept it, I'm not an asshole, and I didn't think much of his attitude. He backed off, sulkily, and refunded my money, tore up the receipt invoice, and said he'd even "not charge me a restocking fee", as if I'd have let him gouge me for any money just to swing his arm to the left and hang it back on the peg. I can see now why his shop is small, dirty, cramped, and basically shitty: because HE'S that way, and class shows. I left, and I shall not return. I still prefer local shops, though: small biz owners like that deserve the biz they get.
Home again, and wait for the back-up transfer to finish. Eventually done, I swap it BACK to the new machine AGAIN and start to transfer things to the main drive (have to unplug the CD-drive for this, but that's no biggie). Around about this time, I notice that it's 4pm, and I haven't eaten anything since the small cup of Greek yogurt I had for breakfast. Well, no wonder my stomach is growling...I was going to do tuna melts for dinner, but she's starving and so am I and we're both craving "naughty food".
Side note here: for the last month or so, she and I have been dieting, carefully tracking our calories and eating right. Sure, we have the occasional 'free day', but we've been very good about it. We're both doing great, losing weight, feeling good about it; hell, as of this morning, I'm down 11 pounds, baby. I am a happy, happy guy.
Anyway, I ran out to grab Wendy's (went for smaller, less-greasy options, but still...), and we scarfed down dinner like it was going out of style. Still hungry, though, we made up some quick ghetto spaghetti (noodles, jar of marinara, added onions and mushrooms). Probably shouldn't have eaten all that, though, as her stomach was not happy, come the evening. Oh well, we'll work it off today. Anyway, when I'd returned home, she'd started to re-install WoW, so we left that running during the night to do its thing and we went to bed. I know she was up a few times during the night., but hopefully she's feeling better when she wakes up this morning.
Day full of frustration, man. Oh, and still waiting to hear back on jobs. Job hunting sucks.