Saturday, September 11, 2010

Fixing Computers By Breaking Them

Ugh, one of those days. It is Saturday here but for something to do and maybe for a few minutes of internet time I decided to visit the ICT lab on campus. Maybe do some good and rescue a few computers while checking out what is going in the world. That was the idea at the start. I did not mean to create more work for myself by being helpful, but...

That is precisely what I did. With the Windows XP installation disc in hand I went from computer to computer trying to figure out which machine had a virus and which one did not. After getting my list together over the past few days I had the notion of wiping out the old operating system and putting XP back on, maybe with Ubuntu as well when I get that install disc, and seeing what a nice fresh install looks like on the machines here. Unfortunately that has not happened yet.

Some machines did take nicely to the tend-love-and-care approach but others have suffered greatly for the attention. I now have three machines that boot up only to about 16 colors and a screen resolution of 600 x 400 or thereabouts. It looks terrible and there may be a lot more hassle before I get them running again. Apparently for certain models in the lab a reinstall of XP is causing it to lose a lot of drivers for somewhat important things. The Display adapter, the Network card, and USB support. That is all... just the things that I need to fix the problem that I helped create.

That was not what I wanted to do. And on top of that the internet when down while I was researching fixes. Some days it does not pay to get out of bed.

On the plus side, I did start a drawing this morning of a statue that I photographed in D.C. earlier this year which is proceeding along nicely. When I finish the drawing I will post it here and a few other places.

Back to nursing sick computers.


GFan1701 said...

Hi Dave, it's Jimmah! Sorry to hear about your IT problems, I'll have Tak on a plan this afternoon! ;-)

So where do these computers come from in the first place? Are they donations? If so send them back and ask for better ones! Hheee

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave!
Wow....just caught up on all your postings for the last two weeks. You are really getting creative learning to cook the foods. I find that fasincating and definitely would be trying like you. I am sure with the help of your neighbors you will be a pro soon.
Too bad about the computers....just when you were trying to help too! I bet by now you have them fixed. Good luck with that for sure!
Ok, the bugs have to go! I could not live in a place with spiders and ants. Are you not afraid of getting bit? Do you sleep with one of those nets over the bed? It would seem to be important now. However, maybe not!
Take care,

D.Boyer said...

I don't know where the computers come from. These old ones are Compaqs from HP, and the new ones are made by a company here in Ghana called Zebra. I can get you specs later J.

It will be a while before I can cook with ease. Right now it is basic stuff until I get a rhythm of when I will be home. Most days are in the lab, and the computers are getting fixed as mentioned in the latest post. Things are good here and nothing bites yet other than some of the insects. Mosquito nets are a must here as you don't want malaria, and the medication comes in handy. I think I will be all right! Thanks for the good words lady and gent!

me said...

Hi Dave,
My name is Emily, I am former PCV-Senegal volunteer.

I work with the World Computer Exchange, a non-profit that ships refurbished computers from the US to developing countries. We are looking to partner with a current PCV in Ghana. I came across your blog post about decrepit computers while searching for potential PCVs.

Would you or another PCV you know be interested in working with us to deliver computers to Ghana? I did it as a volunteer and it was very rewarding. It requires some fundraising by the PCV, but is a very cost-effective method for supplying schoolchildren with (good, working) computers. Any contacts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!