Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tuesday Mixed Bag

WTF Computer Woes

I have spent hours and hours since Saturday trying to get my computer to work! The above error message is just one of three that keep appearing, preventing programs from operating. It has made inoperable all of the programs that I use to play music and two of the programs that allow me to watch videos and DVDs as well as two of my graphic editing programs.

I am stymied! I have searched the Internet over and over for a way to fix whatever is wrong. I have searched for the two .dlls that seem to be corrupted or missing. I have purchased and downloaded to programs that advertise they can fix the problem by cleaning and optimizing the computers registry. They don’t!

I may have to take this relatively new computer back to the Geek Squad dudes and let them work on it. If I do—which means I’ll not be posting while I am without a computer—I shall write a post letting you know what’s going on. Unless, of course, the WTF error migrates to my browsers!

The Book Review Is Coming!

A week or so ago I agreed to review Stephen Mansfield’s new book, The Faith of Barack Obama, for the Thomas Nelson publishing company. It’s a brilliant book—I’ve read it twice in preparation for writing the review—and I highly recommend it.

I fully expected to have completed the review and posted here to Nick’s Bytes last Sunday. However, with all that has been happening, I’ve not finished the final draft!

In case you happen to be from the Thomas Nelson Company wondering where the review is, please be advised:

Alex and the Clutter

Alex’s favorite napping spot, at least when I am at my desk, is on my desk beside the computer and beneath my high intensity desk lamp. With all of the muddle of stuff I’ve been doing recently, the piles of things on my desk have been growing larger and larger.

Now, before you criticize me for the mess, please understand me: I have the kind of personality that requires the stuff I’m working on to be where I can see and touch it. Otherwise, I forget that it exists! Therefore, I have mountains of stuff all over the place. OK?

Back to Alex. Since the mass of papers and such has been growing as I become involved in more and more projects, when Alex leaps on my desk—usually landing on my cordless keyboard and adding gobblygook to anything I may be writing—I have to pick the furball up and cuddle him in my right arm as I use my left hand to clear a spot for him to catnap.

Strangely, Alex doesn’t seem to mind!

Breathing Update

Since the early 1990s I have been sleeping with a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. It was initially prescribed because I was diagnosed with having sleep apnea. Since I have been a lunger in need of oxygen 24-hours-a day, the CPAP, which I have attached to my Oxygen Concentrator, is even more important than treating sleep apnea: the combination allows me to sleep and, more importantly, not to stop breathing while I am sleeping.

Several months ago I replaced the mask of the CPAP—something that I should supposedly do every six to nines months (but haven’t). I have been purchasing the masks from an Internet provider, which saves me about 60% of what I would pay a health equipment store.

That mask—which is pictured below)—was a new, diminutive style that covered much less of my face and was advertised as allowing the wearer more freedom. The only problem was: the damned thing kept sliding off my face while I slept!

Below is my new CPAP mask that arrived yesterday. There is more to it than the one I was using, besides which (surprisingly) it is much more comfortable than the abbreviated mask—and it does not slide off my face while I’m sleeping.

A Fabulous Commercial:

Sprite Love - The funniest movie is here. Find it


  1. Nick, get that computer issue fixed!! What will we do without our Nick dose again??

  2. I do hope you get your computer problems sorted.

    Those masks look so uncomfortable Nick, they must be torture to sleep in. :(

  3. Hi Nick - It was only about a month ago that the blog problem happened and now this! I sympathise - last week I had a computer error come up and I was fortunate to be able to sort it out. My user profile would not load and I was concerned I might have to do something to the registry but I started the computer in safe mode and selected System Restore and that seemed to do the trick. Not sure if that would help in this instance though. Hope the problem is fixed very soon.

    That mask certainly looks very uncomfortable to sleep in - glad your new mask is more suitable for you and STAYS ON!

    best wishes

  4. Nick
    I wish Mr. David was near as he would fix your computer for you. He fixed mine up and so far I have had no problems. Puppy was a dear and let me blog on his lap top but I could not load any pictures while using it. Hope you get it fixed soon. Peace

  5. Dana: I am working on it. I just spent the past 90 minutes on it and thought I had finally succeeded, so I rebooted and—well, shit!

    Akelamalu: The appearance of the masks is valid: they are not comfortable! However, they are better than not breathing so I put up with and have actually adjusted my life to wearing them.

    dancingonabladeofgrass: Thank you for the suggestion! I hadn’t thought about doing that. I will do it now!

    This mask is the best I’ve used since the first one I had about 17 years ago. I wonder why companies keep making improvements and don’t just stick with what works?

    Lady Di Tn: I, too, wish Mr. David were nearby—or that my computer genius of a son weren’t so busy that he can’t help. I take that last back: with five kids to support, I am overjoyed that my son is so busy.

  6. I've never gotten that error message, so I'm stumped.

    I just wanted to remind you that most libraries have computers now, so if your computer is in the shop and you're jonesing for your blog, you might be able to get your fix there.

  7. Have you tried going to the site of the product you're actually using and try their help desk? Sorry this stuff keeps happening to you, that's got to be frustrating.

    Breath well St. Nick, breathe well...

  8. NOTE: Success! (I hope). I’ve located the culprit application, disabled it, and have reinstalled one of the non-functioning programs—and it works OK! Now, if I can just do the same with the other programs….

    Thomas: Thanks for the reminder. I hope I won’t need the library’s computer, but if I do I’ll remember your advice.

    Tug: Thanks for the advice. I found that 100s if not thousands of folks using MS XP have been having the same problem. The culprit program is the voice command thingie, which I have now disabled.

    I’m breathing OK at them moment. I am hungry: I’ve been working on this computer problem since 4:30 a.m. and haven’t eaten since about 6:00 a.m. (I have, of course, fed Alex several times). Now I shall take a break and “enjoy” the NutriSystem version of a steak!

  9. It seems you now have this one under control! Have a fine supper.

  10. I love my computer, but I'm glad it's a company computer when there are problems. I can just hand it to a tech and it's usually fixed quickly.

    I'm glad you like your new CPAP mask. I've been around people with lung disease and I sure hope that helps you.

  11. Finally, I can take the time to post. I hate it when work gets in the way of my blogging and commenting...

    Well, it's sounding like you are getting the kinks worked out of your computer issues. I am jealous that you have the knowledge and confidence to mess with this stuff. If I didn't have a techie type in the house, I wouldn't have a computer.

    I am excited about the upcoming book review. There are so many books in my queue that it will be awhile before I get to The Faith of Barak Obama, so I'm glad to let you read it and write a review. But it sounds like the review is going to be favorable, so I guess I'm going to end up wanting to read the whole book. Oh my...

    Regarding the desk piles... well, you know me. I think that you and I are Siamese twins that were separated at birth...

    I'm glad that you got a better fitting CPAP mask! And I'm glad that there are such things so that you can breathe at night! You must have to sleep on your back! I'd probably strangle myself if I had to wear one of those. I visit every position possible at least a couple of times a night.

    (This is really long. Am I writing a letter or a comment???)

    Lastly, what a SWEET commercial! Thanks!

  12. The Toff: Thank you! I hope I have this problem finally solved. At least I know that I have fixed one program that wasn’t functioning. The dinner was fine, although I was much hungrier than the NutriSystem stuff could satisfy.

    Squirl: It would be so nice to hand the computer over to someone else to fix! I still have a warranty with the Geek Squad dudes, but I don’t want to give the notebook to them for two or three weeks except as a last resort.

    I do find this new CPAP mask much more comfortable the last three I have used. It, uh, pleases me!

    Carol: Don’t be jealous of my computer “knowledge”: I’m self-taught with a bit of aid from my computer genius of a son! I also have had lots of experience muddling through repairs of things I really know nothing about: I owned a British sports car—a MGB—which had the habit of deciding not to run at the most inconvenient times and places. Working on that using pure intuition and a repair manual written in English English (sort of like trying to read a Microsoft help file) taught me a lot.

    I have found The Faith of Barak Obama to be an excellent read. Since I have read two autobiographical books written b Senator Obama, I find it especially interesting to read a third party’s view of the same events.

    I agree: you and I are Siamese twins in so many ways. Those piles of stuff sometimes get to me; however, when I attack them all I usually do is to move them from one spot to another.

    I actually can sleep in my left side as well as my back. I, too, am a mover in my sleep and used to be about to cover every inch of my queen size bed in one night. However, the damned air hose limits my movement. If I roll over on my right side, the hose is pulled out of the CPAP machine and that ain’t good.

    Besides allowing me to get air when my body stops breathing—that’s what sleep apnea is—the machine and mask serve one other very important functioned: I am not suffocated by Alex when he decides to curl up on my face!

    Glad that you enjoyed the commercial. Each time I watch it, I smile along with the dad at the end.

  13. Hi Nick, sorry to hear your computer's being playing up again. Is the culprit white, with a couple of patches, and furry???

    I'm looking forward to reading your book I hope the computer cooperates.

  14. Nick I appear to be having problems with my computer, I am printing long & witty comments and its eating them. I will leave it for the elves to repair tonight whilst I sleep (try it). Have a word with the little girl in the video, see if she can personalise your mask. Any good ideas for a couple of books to take into hospital with me, i thought something humorous with a little escapism!!

  15. Puss-in-Boots: Nope, I can’t blame Alex for this one! I can, however, hold Microsoft responsible!

    Queenie: Oh, no! Computers have a way of eating our most glorious writing!

    Humorous books for a hospital stay? My choice would be 776 Stupidest Things Ever Said by Ross and Kathryn Petras.

  16. wouldn't it be great if alex could be your mask? warm, furry, probably lick your cheeks too ... you wouldn't have to wash in the mornings!