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2/24/2011 (Journal)


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Thursday, February 24th, 2011
18:39:32 GMT


I've begun a new Journal section of my blog, so I can keep actual Site Update posts separate from posts where I just talk about my life, but have nothing of value to give to the world.

This is going to be a particularly poorly-written, hastily-written post because I'm a bit freaked out about my computer.

I'm just posting this to explain why I'm probably not going to be around much for a while (not that it will make much difference, considering how much I've been neglecting this site for years), and also to encourage donations, since oDesk has turned out to be a terrible way for me to make money. I've only made $30 so far.

And unfortunately, I think I'm going to have to get an entire new computer. I don't think I mentioned the following before, because I was a lot more freaked out about the little odd noises from my hard drive - but, for months, my computer's main fan has been making unusual noises at startup (though it quiets down after my computer has been on for a while).

It recently made some worse noises than usual (though on subsequent start-ups, it hasn't sounded as bad, so I don't know what's going on). It still works, but, this is very depressing, because I have no idea how to replace it, don't know anyone who could do it for me, and can't afford to pay someone else very much to do it. Though, I might be able to afford a replacement fan, if I could figure out precisely what to buy. But, I'd be afraid to even try to replace it - so, I'm not really looking to buy a new fan right now.

Another upsetting thing that happened was, today, Norton Internet Security (my firewall software) abruptly crashed with a weird glitch - which is something that never happened before. I'm afraid that might be another hint of my hard drive's impending doom.

Even once I get a new hard drive, I'm going to be reluctant to keep using my computer because of the CPU(?) fan.

The only reason I've been using my newer (but still old) Acer computer (from 2006) lately is because in Dec. 2010, my even older computer (my Dell from 2002) finally became unuseable.

My old Dell's 10 GB hard drive didn't die - but, something in my old Dell was making this horrible gluey, plasticky smell. I still don't know what it was for sure. But, I know it wasn't the hard drive, because when I temporarily moved it over to my Acer so I could copy the data, the smell didn't return.

I mostly avoided using my Acer from late May 2009 to mid-Dec. 2010 (when my Dell broke) because of my Acer hard drive's chronic problems with overheating and my inability to buy a replacement.

Well, I suppose if I had been willing to _only_ buy a replacement, and hadn't insisted on first getting some other hard drives and external enclosures so I could back up my data before I dared even try to replace the internal hard drive, I could have afforded that. But as it was, I was only able to afford some hard drives and enclosures to back up my data, but not a new hard drive to actually use inside my computer. (Well, at least not one with an adequate size. I do still have a couple 10 GB hard drives).

I didn't at all expect my Dell to suddenly die. (Well, technically, it didn't completely die - it never stopped working altogether, I just can't use it because of the possibly toxic fumes, and the fact that whatever went wrong in there will probably only get worse if I keep using it). I thought the worst thing that could happen was that my old 10 GB hard drive might die. :-( Which I had a 10 GB possible replacement for which probably works. So, for all that time, I didn't feel like it was urgent that I make enough money to get a new hard drive for my Acer, or whatever else I might need. That changed when I was forced to return to my Acer because of my Dell breaking.

Anyhow, things have just been a mess. I am pretty much totally inept at making money. I have major sleep issues that make it very difficult for me to do a regular job (because I end up constantly sleep-deprived), and I'm also shy. In my entire life, I only had one regular job long-term, which was part-time, and even that was very difficult to endure, and I ended up quitting after about a year (despite the fact that I still badly needed the money).

I also have never figured out a really good way of making money online, or at least, haven't felt motivated/enthusiastic/inspired enough to do everything necessary to make those ways work, and have been too busy with more interesting (but unprofitable) things, like working on Astroblahhh Desktop.

I think probably Second Life and my website are the two most plausible ways for me to make money online (well, aside from horribly underpaid work on oDesk), but... since I need money very soon, and need a computer to do any of those things, none of those things seem like a very good option at the moment.

If I could have figured out how to fit my 10 GB hard drive inside my Acer's case (instead of having to have it hanging out the side of my computer - which, amusingly, actually worked!), I might have actually switched over to using that as my primary hard drive. (I haven't wanted to take my Acer's hard drive out entirely because I figured it was safer inside my computer than anyplace else).

I actually tried booting my Acer from my Dell's 10 GB drive before wiping out the 10 GB drive, but unfortunately, it didn't work. I guess Windows XP doesn't let you boot from a hard drive that has been moved to a new computer.

I wish my Acer had come with an actual Windows XP installation CD instead of some kind of "recovery" CDs. Also, if I hadn't installed my Dell's copy of Windows XP on the computer of a relative (thinking, erroneously, I wouldn't need it anymore, after my Dell had broken)... then, I'd still have an easy way to reinstall Windows XP.

Anyhow, I don't know what to do next. I don't think there's a feasible, fast way for me to make money via my computer, and continuing to use my computer might only hasten its demise.

I guess I'll just make some final backups of anything on my Acer hard disk that isn't already backed up. Then, I'll disconnect my Acer hard disk (but leave it inside my computer).

I might not completely stop using my computer until it sounds like the CPU(?) fan is completely dead, but, I will probably use it much less frequently. It won't be totally useless without a hard drive because Puppy Linux (and other forms of Linux) can boot from a CD. Plus, I have a 1 GB flash drive. And, I finally figured out how to make the internet work in Linux.

It will be a huge pain not having all of my files available. I guess if I can figure out how to make TrueCrypt work in Linux, that problem will be eased somewhat, but, Linux seems really difficult to figure out. :-(

I don't know how I'm ever going to get $400 (or whatever) to get an entire new computer. :-( Just another depressing, difficult to solve problem on top of all of the other depressing, difficult to solve problems in my life. :-(

Anyhow, donations are welcome.

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