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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Spreken zie deutsch?

It would seem the gods of technology are angry at me. If I had to guess, it would be because I don't spend enough time on the computer in a 24 hour period. I think they want upwards of 20 hours instead of the 18 that I normally spend. Damn them! I knew I should have let the J-dubs in! Oh well, I will just have to weather this one, since I'm pretty much committed to a life of computing. That is, until the Internet fails to take off and becomes obsolete in a few years. Then I'm screwed.

Anyhow, it all started a couple months ago the first time my laptop broke. It had a few nagging issues for a while, and a few of them finally caved in. The power connector failed to power the laptop unless it was balanced in an elaborate sweet spot that involved plugging and unplugging it a dozen times before it could be located. Then the CD/DVD drive stopped reading discs and simply clicked incessantly. Finally, the "e" key broke and was only functional every other time you pushed it. With that, I sent it in for repair since it was still under the extended Circuit City warranty (by the way it is definitely worth it to get an extended laptop warranty, which is usually not the case with other things). This was just after Thanksgiving, and it only took about 2 weeks from the time I sent it in until I got it back. Speedy.

Once I got it back, I spent the next couple weeks reinstalling things, putting beryl onto it, etc, etc. All was well until a couple days before Christmas. My parents were visiting, and I got it out to show my dad around the Linux desktop a bit, and to my horror, the display was dead. And this just days before a week-long trip out to the in-laws on the east coast during which I was planning to get some serious work done. I was not to be however, so I again sent it in for repairs, and again waited another 2 weeks to get it back. It looks like the video card on burned out on the motherboard.

This time when I got it back, I set about trying to unsuccessfully install the wireless driver again. This was mostly caused by the fact that I installed some recommended updates to the system that broke the nvidia-glx video driver and screwed my install. I have it working tolerably, by turning off beryl-manager and installing the nvidia-glx-legacy driver, but the legacy driver causes X to not display on the entire width of my widescreen. I am going to wait and see if the repositories get fixed before diving into some other convoluted way to get the driver working again. In the meantime, still no wireless. Oh well.

The aforemention problems however, are not the strangest of the devilish forces working against me. For nearly the past 2 weeks I have been smack dab in the middle of virtual Deutschland. I started noticing that, upon going to the Google homepage, I was being served in the german language. Logging into Blogger was useless since I don't read freakin' german, and there was no language change link in english! WTFrick!? My first thought was some sort of proxy or spyware, so I started poking around. I discovered that I was getting the same issue from all of my various computers (all running different OSes), so that ruled out the spyware issue. Nothing changed in the settings on the router, and going to revealed the same IP I was getting from my ISP, so that ruled out the possibility of some sort of proxy. That left only one possible cause. Bad geographical IP data on Google's site.

Who's fault it was, I'm not sure. My guess is that my ISP, Mstar, bought a new block of IPs that had not been updated yet in whatever geographical IP database people use on their sites. I called up tech support to report the problem, and the support rep informed me other people had also been having problems. In fact, he said he had been getting pages in Spanish.

Well, to my uber delite, tonight, at least on Google's sites, things seem to be back to english. Woohoo! I guess I can stop thinking about laderhosen now.


Blogger StuTheWise said...

I can totally see you as a medical doctor.

9:49 AM  

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