Bad, Bad Microsoft

When Windows Update goes wrong, it goes really, really wrong.

I had one of those wake up calls today where I remember why its best not to leave all the thinking to someone else.

Microsoft’s XP Windows Update site pushed an upgrade to my home PC. Since it is automated, all I had to do was say “yes” to reboot the system after the update arrived. Once I did, I got a “blue screen of death”, had no working audio, and shortly found several dead files written to my hard drive. Of course, the WU Crash dialog appears shortly after my 3rd reboot, telling me that Microsoft has no idea what just happened. Funny, my PC worked just fine up until today.

To make this long story short, Microsoft pushed down drivers for my nForce2 APU audio SoundStorm product, and they were very broken. I had to roll back to older drivers on the web site to get working again. Now the Windows Update site keeps demanding that I install the “new” drivers again.

Talking with some folks at NVIDIA, it sounds like I’m not alone in this debacle. It was proof enough again why taking human common sense out of the loop on technology is a bad, bad thing. Shame on you, Microsoft.

Long Waits and Big Bills

No new car for me in the near future, but possibly big costs for a home improvement project

I found out today that my chase after a sports car has ended before it began. After consulting with several dealers it appears that everyone is “allocated out” for the year. That means that no one can special order cars until the manufacturer decides to extend an offer to do so. Bummer for me, and stupid for the car maker, since I have money in hand.

On the other hand I’m headed into a mini house overhaul for the master bathroom. Conservative figures put the upgrade at around $4K, but depending on what else comes along for the ride (new door frames, additional room painting, furniture, etc) it could go up from there. So much for saving money by buying a place.

Common Sense vs. The Doctor

Sometimes the best medical advice you get is the advice you give yourself.

It’s now a few weeks on from my second, knee bending ski accident and a few more weeks further out from my snowboarder tackle accident. Things seem to be getting better, but slowly, so I figured why not go visit the doctor and see what the matter is?

The doctor told me, in not so many words, “don’t ski.” Thanks, I figured that part out. So now I’m supposed to wait another few weeks and see if things improve on their own, even though I have pain now (I should take Alleve, he says) but no visible signs of trouble. And I can’t even imagine how much money the healthcare companies get for this short visit.

Makes you wonder what we did before modern medicine (and HMOs) came about, doesn’t it?

Weekends are for…

I just can’t help myself. If there is something to be done on the weekend I will find a way to procrastinate and skip it.

Not to be lame, but here is a commercial parody of my weekend.

  • Buying a new motherboard to fix a dead PC server: $89
  • Investigating low flow toilet replacements: $308
  • Spending all day rebuilding PCs: $ uncalculatable
  • Walking several miles on a bad leg and coming home to find you are so sore you can barely move: Priceless

So again a weekend has passed and my newsletter is not complete. I’ll shoot for next weekend and I’ll keep from walking several miles to prove that I can.