Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Shawn's new PC

Shawn's new PC arrived yesterday via FedEx. Wow! She got a Toshiba R200 notebook. It weighs in at under 3 lbs. Part of the weight reduction came from the lack of a built in CD/DVD drive. She's going to get an external drive for that function. It's got Windows XP Pro, 512 MB of RAM, Wireless G/B capability, and a 60GB hard drive.

She spent a chunk of last night setting it up. I spent a chunk of last night working with the office PC. I thought we'd get Shawn's new PC hooked up into a workgroup so we could share files and so on. However, when I went to start to do that, I realized that my computer could no longer see the network connections. I tried XP's network diagnostic tool and received several "Unable to connect WMI to \\.\root\cimV2" errors. Ugh...after some Googling, I ended up dumping the WMI repository, then re-registering the dlls involved. That got rid of that error, but I was still not seeing the network connections nor was my Wizard for home office networking coming up. More Googling revealed that A) a Verizon installed software might interfere with windows, so I removed that and B) I might have had to contact Microsoft support and pay them to provide me with a hot fix for a recently discovered, but known bug.

Well, that was unacceptable to me. Microsoft states on their site that under some conditions fees associated with support calls may be reversed, however the user doesn't know until s/he calls support. I didn't want to waste my time. I did some more Googling and found lots of references to the problems, but not a fix. Finally, I went to The Elder Geek forums and did a search for networks not being seen. They provided a link to Microsoft's support network (yes, I had searched there first, but found no joy) that seems to have assisted me in fixing the problems. I won't know for certain until Shawn brings her computer home tonight for me to try out.

Before embarking on this epic, I played around with the latest release of Thunderbird last night. It's a pretty nice update. Most of my extensions worked, though none of my themes did. I finally exported all of my Contacts from Outlook and imported them into Thunderbird (a tedious task and the clean up took a little while). I've moved some of my RSS feeds over to Thunderbird as well and am using it to read various blogs. Thus far, it's working out pretty well. If I use it a lot and like it, I'll move my other email addresses into it and consider using it instead of Outlook. The main thing holding me back from jumping into it right away: lack of a calendar integrated into the program (I know, it's coming, but it isn't here yet). I'd also like to see more fonts and I wish that we could manage RSS feeds with folders a little more easily. Other than that, great stuff.

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