Tag Archives: laptop

Been a while…

Running loads, not quite as hard as I could.  Things seem to slow down a bit on the weekends and I’ve plenty of time to get to where I’m going.  Conversely, that means I’m not getting as many miles as I could run.  Therefore, being paid by the mile, weekends are not as profitable for me.  But it beats sitting here on my ass doing nothing, like back in the old flatbedder days.

I managed to scrounge the power brick from the old laptop, it was the same brand and power output so I’m back online again.  Yea!  So I’ll just fly my Internet spaceships for a bit, then hit the rack.  I’m a bit tired from swapping from day to night and back again. 

Thank the Gawds for Melatonin!

Stupid laptop is acting up

After leaving the underground warehouse, my laptop took a header off the passenger seat and broke the plug on the power adapter.  So now it won’t charge.  Lovely.

Still have the phone for FB and such, but no GPS mapping, and no games for a while.  At least till I can track down a cheap power adapter (or two) from ebay.  And this right after my phone fiasco. 

I need… something.

New Digital Digs

Got a new laptop to replace the aging Toshiba I had before. I’m now dealing with Windows Vista on the new machine after years of using XP. It seems I have the horsepower to run Vista reliably and so far its been good. I think I’ll take the old one and slap Ubuntu Linux on it, just for grins.

My 15 year old grandson wants my old one, he styles himself a computer geek and wannabe hacker. He was openly disappointed that the almost 4 year old laptop was a single core processor with an paltry 80 gb hard drive. Oh, well… I guess he really doesn’t need it.  I remember my first PC, a 10 Mhz 80286 with the two 30 mb hard drives, each big enough to kill a gazelle with. With my lovely sixteen-color EGA display and a dot-matrix printer that used to rock the little table something fierce.

I have not an ounce of pity… ;)

Hanging At The Hook

Get used to long lapses in this (blog) narrative, shit happens and sometimes I get bored with typing in this thing. I’ve finally decided not to feel guilty about it and just type whenever the fuck I feel like it. If nothing else, maybe my typing will improve a bit, but I don’t think I’ll ever get over looking at my fingers instead of the screen… oh, well.

I guess the threat my ancient typing teacher issued to me never stuck. She offered to let me sit on her lap while I typed if it would relax me and make me feel better. She was frail and at least seventy. I never got to sit on her lap but it did take me three tries to pass the most basic typing class that everyone needed to get a degree at Lockyear College. Maybe deep down I was trying to get up on that, undoubtedly, wrinkled lap after all. Or maybe I’ve just always sucked at typing…

Today, I’m hanging out at the Flying J in beautiful Columbia, SC. I’ve been here since yesterday afternoon and I’m about 100 miles from my delivery appointment in Charleston at 1100. I’m hauling an armored military truck that has to be there in a hurry, but not much of a hurry because they weren’t too damn interested in getting me a better appointment time. The guy I loaded from expressed mild shock that they weren’t unloading on the weekends, being that these loads were supposedly critical. “Oh, hell no,” was the reply from whoever was of the phone when I asked if they had weekend appointments.

I’m also taking the time to update/upgrade/maintain the laptop to the latest and greatest, while I’ve got a decent connection. Hunkered down in one of those booths next to the gameroom and irritating noises and repetitive tunes issue forth at irregular times.

Later – Another driver sitting nearby, also with a laptop, has taken the initiative and killed the noisiest of the game machines, he just turned it off! Why didn’t I think of that?

I’ve read all my RSS feeds, Twitter is boring me, and I’ve got nothing else going on. I can’t watch DVDs because my laptop’s CD/DVD drive is dead, dead, deadski. If I can spare a few bucks this week, I really need to buy a replacement. On Ebay, they’re going for around $20-$25 plus shipping.

I give up. Maybe a nap is in order…

Rejoice, rejoice!

Yeah, the laptop is back in operation! Looks like the power supply brick crapped out on me (it was a replacement for the original which also crapped out) and I ordered one from Ebay. There were some third party one available in the stores but they cost 10 time more than what I paid. It came in a few days ago while I was in Florida and I just did a interstate drive-by and got it (and hugs and kisses) from The Wife as I was passing through my hometown. Now I can blog! Now I can use my GPS and mapping program! Yay!

Right now I’m blogging offline using OpenOffice and I’ll upload when I get some Wifi again, whenever that will be. I’m down for the night in Carlisle, IN, waiting for one-half hour prior to sunrise so that I might pull this oversize load through the outskirts of Chicago (got to be out of IL before 1200) and up into Wisconsin. No load scheduled after that (surprise, surprise) but I’ll be able to get a 34 hour break, preferably some place with Internet so that I might waste much time browsing and Twittering.

Rejoice, rejoice! The laptop is back!

First Look: Linux on my laptop

A long time ago and far, far away… (ugh) I was messing around with a very basic version of Linux, the free Unix clone on a Frankenstein PC I’d built up.  I wasn’t much impressed and soon forgot all about it.  Recently I got the itch to look at it again and downloaded a free distribution of Linux called Ubuntu.  This particular download involved using WUBI, an installer for Ubuntu that allowed me to install Linux on my laptop without screwing up my Windows XP install.  I found that I liked it.  I’ve not a lot of expereince here, but it looks like the closest thing going for a decent Linux desktop OS and its a world of difference from the ancient Red Hat version that I’d installed from floppy disks back in the ’90s.

(As an aside, I must mention that I had 15+ years in the computer business before economic forces turned me into a truck driver.  But I don’t think you need that kind of experience to do what I did.  But you really do need a more than casual understanding of how PCs work before you start messing with Linux and go poking at your PC or laptop.  I’m just sayin…)

Last month I got a book at Barnes and Noble all about Ubuntu 8.04 (The Official Ubuntu Book) that came with an install DVD and lots of info on how to install and run Ubuntu.  You can also run Ubuntu from the DVDROM and test drive it before you ever fart around with your hardware. So I took the plunge and decided to install it as a dual boot with it’s own partition on my laptop’s little 80 gb hard drive. But first I had to do some cleaning up of my old Windows in preparation for resizing the partitions on my hard drive.  Not a job for the faint of heart…

Of course all my data files are backed up, I use Mozy.com to send everything off to a secure place out there on the Internet and I had my Toshiba A55 recovery CD on hand before I did all this.  I cleaned out a lot of unused programs and files (and the WUBI install) and then got a freeware defragmenter program, JKDefrag, that optimized my hard drive and moved everything "Windows" to the front of the partition it was in.  Took about an hour but XP never blinked.  Then I ran the install program by booting from the DVDROM, shrunk the NTFS partition that Windows lived in to 60 gb and created a system (16 gb) and swap (4 gb) partition for Ubuntu. A half hour after that, Ubuntu was installed and I was able to dual boot between XP and Ubuntu and they both actually worked!  I was seriously afraid of killing my XP install, but after a disk check, the XP system ran like always.  When I start up the laptop a boot menu will let me pick what operating system I want to play with.

I’d been puttering around with Ubuntu for a couple of weeks and so far I like it.  The only things Ubuntu won’t do are play my DVD movies and run my GPS/Mapping program.  But other than that, I get OpenOffice for word processing, spreadsheets, etc and Firefox for my web browsing and many other fine program that came right from the DVDROM.  It hooked up easily to my laptop’s WiFi  and every other piece of hardware on my old Toshiba.  You can also load up a program called WINE and run some windows program right in Ubuntu.

I’m going to futz around with it some more and maybe I’ll post some more here if anyone is interested (as if anyone is reading this crap).  I’m down for the weekend at a Flying J in VA waiting for Monday to roll around, so I’ve nothing better to do…

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