Dysmey Post Archive > Pages for 1999 > November 1999 Edition

November 1999 Edition

The local computer store closed its doors this month.

It wasn't the best store in the world. It kept irregular hours, and it was hard to tell when it would be open or closed. Its telephone answering system was impenetrable. Its distributor took far too long to deliver stuff and it often did not know how the stuff would arrive. (I ordered a SoundBlaster Live card and got it with packaging in Spanish and Portuguese).

The store's landlord played games with it, and finally took its parking space away when an annex of an Indianapolis hospital moved next door. It was this that probably forced the store to close.

Yet I liked that store. It was very convenient — only a short walk away. All the stuff I bought from them worked great (even the SoundBlaster card — only the packaging was wacky). The people there were friendly and knowledgeable. They sold operating systems other than Microsoft's, such as BeOS and Linux (and that's always a plus). And it was good not to have to drive all the way to Muncie or Indianapolis to buy a computer part or get something fixed when I couldn't fix it myself.

But the store is gone now. The people are still around, but they do computer repair alone. A good thing that comes from this is that if their ex-landlord tries to play similar games with the hospital annex, the hospital has a weapon that tiny store never had: Lawyers on retainer. :)

I got a new Soyo motherboard from TC Computers and with it replaced my old troublesome motherboard. Then I reinstalled Windows 98 and added the drivers that came with the board. You know what? Not a single glitch appeared. My computer works perfectly. I am so happy — my long troubles with my computer are over.

I stuck my old Asus motherboard in the box my new one came in and stuffed it under the bed, where I don't have to look at it. I'll figure out its fate later. It will be an ugly fate, for that board has been trouble from the day I installed it. From now on I will not be so trusting of boards from Asus.

With my main box finally fixed, I worked on my old box, which is made from various parts from old computers. It's based on a 100-MHz Pentium with twenty-four megabytes RAM. It's an ancient machine by current standards. I had to wait until I found a working monitor for the machine. After that, I installed Caldera OpenLinux on it.

It works, and it looks good. The problem is, it runs likes molasses in KDE for some of the applications. And KPPP does not seem to recognize the modem the U.S. Robotics modem, so I cannot dial out yet on the machine. I will have to tweak the modem itself before trying again.

My health insurance is proving its lack of worth as the costs of my visit to Ball Memorial (forced by stomach flu) come in. First comes the bill from the emergency room physician, which the insurance does not cover. Just as I pay that out, I get a letter from the insurance company, saying it won't pay the hospital bill, either, because it falls below the limit of my deductible.

My got better service when I was under my dad's health insurance. But my coverage ended fifteen years ago; my dad was in a union, so the insurance was better than most; and that was before everyone stupidly thought that HMO's were a Good Thing.

I guess I'll have to abstain from restaurant chicken, which send me to the hospital in the first place. (I won't tell you what they feed those birds in the factories the restaurants get their chicken from. You might not have eaten yet. ;) )

Copyright © 2005 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Last updated 11 November 2005.