onefixedstar: (mystery)
Does anyone have any idea what might cause red dots to pop up all over my screen? It started with random red dots, and then vertical lines of red dots, and now I've got horizontal lines too. It's starting to make it very hard to read the screen. They mostly show up on white backgrounds, and mostly in browsers, but I do get them on other colours and in other programs. Haven't seen any on my wallpaper yet, though. Googling turned up one quick reference to the possibility that my video card is broken. Other than that, nada. Anyone have any thoughts before I haul it back to the repair shop and lock myself in my bedroom with my desktop?

Argh!

Feb. 26th, 2006 12:34 am
onefixedstar: (butterfly)
My laptop popped up with the Blue Screen of Death tonight. I've Googled the numbers that went along with it, and came back with lots of scary references to impending hard drive failure. :(

The computer is still under warranty, but I'm not sure they'll replace the hard drive if they can't replicate the error. If they won't, I suppose I'll have to become obsessive about backing up, and hope the final failure occurs before the warranty is up. (I have over a year to go, so it's quite possible.) Alternately, maybe the large number of minor but annoying mechanical problems--like my laptop's newly acquired tendency to ignore the power cord and draw from the battery and the scary looseness of the hinges--might be enough to get them to give me a new computer. Okay, maybe not.

For the geekly inclined, here's the failure info:

KERNEL_DATA_INPAGE_ERROR

STOP 0x0000007A (0xC03E1DA 0xC000000E 0xF876A000 0x07630800)

(More Googling reveals that 0xC000000E = STATUS_NO_SUCH_DEVICE)
onefixedstar: (Default)
So it seems that somewhere, somehow, I installed some sort of banner ad blocking software. Not a problem, you think. After all, who really needs to see all of those ads on websites? And well, yes, except that this particular piece of software appears to employ a very unsophisticated algortithm for determining what is and is not an ad. As a result, it sometimes blocks rather important non-ad things, like, oh, the menu on the graduate student section of my department webpage. And there doesn't seem to be anyway to disable it for particular pages. Or to eliminate it completely, since I have no idea where it's coming from.

Hints about its source:

1. It's an equal-opportunity program that happily blocks ads on Firefox, IE, and Opera.
2. I don't actually recall intentionally installing any general ad blocking software, so there's a good chance that it's a side function of another program.
3. In further support of number 2, when examining the list of installed programs in Control Panel, I can't find anything labelled "ad blocking software" or any software that suggests it might be ad blocking software.
4. My internet security-type programs include Zone Alarm personal firewall, Norton corporate anti-virus, AdAware, and Spybot Search & Destroy. I haven't found anything in any of those programs that suggests they might do ad blocking, but maybe I'm missing it. Does anyone know of any ad blocking features in any of those programs?

Any thoughts out there?
onefixedstar: (Default)
I can no longer get Firefox to work with LiveJournal. Once I try to log in, Firefox refuses to render the page--all I see is HTML. I don't know if it's an issue with LJ or Firefox, but either way, it's annoying. For now I'm using Opera to access Firefox, but I don't really like the interface. Hmm, maybe back to IE?

Tech woes

Oct. 14th, 2005 12:45 am
onefixedstar: (Default)
Somewhere, somehow, I installed some sort of ad blocking software that is now rendering all sorts of website sidebars as ads, regardless of whether they're selling something or simply providing navigation to other parts of the site. It's making it very difficult to move through certain key sites, such as, oh, my department's website. I think that at some point soon, I'm going to have to track down the responsible piece of software.

In other related problematic tech news, my laptop has stopped giving me access to my USB key drive. It recognizes that a USB device is attached, but the device doesn't show up in Windows Explorer. This is a bit of a concern since I actually need some of the information stored on that device. Fortunately, my desktop is still giving me access, so I was able to transfer the important information over. Nonetheless, I'd like to fix this as it's rather convenient having a USB drive.

Finally, I actually read the SSHRC application instructions this year. I can't believe how many little errors I made in past years! No wonder they never forward my application...

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