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Jan. 12th, 2010

1-up tee

As Douglas Adams said it so well, Don't (Kernel?) Panic...

Well, looks like my computer problems are back with a vengeance. I experienced last night my very first kernel panic. The fan in my iMac G5 whirred like crazy while the computer was in sleep mode and I had to force-boot to restart the Mac.

Since I managed to access my internal hard drive, I figured that this was not the source of the problem. And because the logic board was replaced last summer under AppleCare (after many fights with Apple to convince them to apply the warranty), it's probably not the source either (at least, if it is, I can still have it replaced under warranty).

There are three main possible issues here: 1. system overheating (which might be solved by zapping the SMU), 2. bad 3rd party RAM (however, my RAM has never been a problem in the past) or 3. something is corrupted in my system. I did a clean install of Leopard this morning (I was on Tiger before that), and succeeded in rebooting the system after the install. I don't know if that's sufficient to solve the issue, I'll probably reset the SMU nonetheless.

I hope the problem isn't the power supply itself...

Nov. 1st, 2009

1-up tee

Well, that was smart...

You know how I dressed up in PJs for Halloween Friday and told everyone I was dressed as a teleworker? Well, this will be my reality for the next 3 weeks since I sprained my ankle Friday night. I can technically walk on it (thanks to my cast), but I go very slowly and can't walk a lot without being tired. Today is election day in Montreal and the voting office was a mere 2 blocks away. It took forever to walk there and I was in pain when I got home. So, no way in hell I'm going to the office tomorrow. I'll call my boss to let her know of what happened and to ask her to get a laptop ready for me so I can work from home; Eric will go pick it up for me.

Oct. 30th, 2009

1-up tee


Well, it's actually tomorrow, but since Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, today (Friday) is the day to come to work dressed up. Or so it normally is. For some reason, it seems that everyone forgot about it at the office, so I'm the only one who dared to do anything. Basically, I put on my pyjamas and slippers and claim that I'm dressed as a teleworker. :P

At least it's getting interesting comments from people, such as "you're so cute!" (my PJs have little penguins, some on skis).

Now, if only the pizza we ordered, my friends and I, could arrive so we could have lunch...

Aug. 6th, 2009

1-up tee

Update on the Mac issue

Finally, after a lot of stress (and a few calls), all's well that ends well. I did have to call Apple's hotline a couple of times, but at last they found some clause on the customer service side that allows for an exception, which means that I will be able to send my Mac for repair at Apple's cost! Even better, I called the store where I bring the computer, and they said that it should take 3-5 business days. Much less than what I expected (I thought I'd be computer-less for a good 2-3 weeks).

Phew, this is the kind of day that's simply mentally exhausting. Good thing I'm going to see GI Joe tonight (for free, so if it sucks, at least I didn't pay for it).

Aug. 5th, 2009

1-up tee

Dead Mac aboard!

My iMac G5 is dying on me. When I came home Monday night (after being gone all weekend), I found my computer completely frozen. I tried to reboot it. The grey page with the Apple logo would load, but then it would freeze at the grey-blue screen where the OS loading usually occurs. I followed all the troubleshooting advice I could find, including zapping the PRAM, booting in Safe Mode (which works but doesn't solve the problem), and fully reinstalling the system. I did repair some broken permissions, but that did not solve the problem either.

Finally, after some research, I found out that iMac G5s (and early Intel iMacs) are equipped with bad capacitors that tend to overheat and blow up after a while. And indeed, after opening up the iMac's case, I saw that several capacitors did blow up and had some dried gunk on top, and a couple more were going to pop in the near future (the top was bloated instead of being flush).

Unfortunately, the extended warranty that Apple offered because of that issue expired last December. However, there's a silver lining: according to MacBidouille (a great French Mac website), Apple actually will repair faulty iMacs for free, on a case-per-case basis (this was pretty recent news, from June). That was in France, but there's no reason why Apple Canada wouldn't be as lenient, considering that it's actually a widespread issue and that there's no reason that a 4-year-old computer should be absolutely replaced because of a well-known design flaw.

I'll see what happens next. I'll call the Apple hotline tomorrow (I don't have the iMac's serial number with me right now) and hopefully, I'll be able to bring it at the Montreal Apple Store and have it fixed for free. I do have an alternative solution in case that doesn't work out, one that's definitely cheaper than buying another Mac (new or old) or having it fixed for a fee: buying a replacement set of capacitors and having my father do the repair (he's a former electronician, so he has the technical know-how to do that kind of thing). That would set me back approx. $50 (from the site I found, the set cost $35 plus $12 in shipping).

It's still a frustrating setback, especially since I recently had issues with my Internet connection (I was without service for 10 days). Is it a way for the universe to tell me to not rely so much on technology? But I love my computer, I'm such a geek in that way! (Dear universe, leave my 360 and my DS alone!)

May. 15th, 2009

1-up tee

thoughts about geekhood

I went to see Star Trek on Tuesday (got sick afterwards, but it had nothing to do with the movie, and everything to do with work and bad timing). While taking the escalator down from the movie theater, I realized one thing: we have achieved Revenge of the Nerds. In this day and age, everybody is a geek. Star Trek, the ultimate geek/nerd series (IMO, much more so than Star Wars), had become mainstream. Never saw this much hype, this much general interest and buzz generated over a Star Trek movie or series before...

I don't know when the shift occured where sci-fi and other geek interests went from strictly geek and nerd territory to something that a great many people like, but I think we can thank the Internet for that. 20 years ago, unless we had a BBS set up or subscribed to one of the protoweb services (like GEnie or Compuserv), we were isolated to our community for sharing our geeky interests. We'd find a few friends at school who liked the same series or shared the same interests, and it'd feel like our group were the only like-minded group in the whole world. Nowadays, no matter how obscure your interest is, you'll find like-minded brothers and sisters online. (Makes me wonder how it'd be to be a teen geek nowadays?)

In a nutshell, Leo Laporte was right: we're all geeks now.

PS: I loved the Star Trek movie. Kinda heart-breaking to think how that was likely the last time Leonard Nimoy will ever play Spock, but nonetheless very enjoyable experience (aside from being forced to sit way too close to the screen due to coming in too late). I also got a Spock glass at Burger King (it was either Spock or Uhura; should have gotten both, since we had gotten 2 trios for dinner).

Mar. 24th, 2009

1-up tee

Resident Evil and other games

I think I'm the worst Resident Evil player of all times. I just suck at them. I do grasp the idea of the controls but I have a hard time aiming properly -- I keep on forgetting that you can't move and aim at once, so I end up messing the aim and getting my ass kicked.

*Yeah, I know, with some practice I'll eventually get the gist of it and become an okay player, but for now, it's frustrating. To the point where I said "To hell with it!" and switched to Castlevania: SOTN. Even though I did used to own a non-GH copy of the game (yes, I'm dumb -- I sold it), I never really played it back in the day. But since I've played the GBA Castlevania games, which are sequels in terms of gameplay style, I'm not having too much difficulty with the game (I do have a lot to learn still, but even with what I currently know, I can survive in the game).*

I also want to advance in Mass Effect. I'm also at the beginning of the game, so there's quite a bit to go. Still getting used to the whole shooter side to the game.

Sometimes I tell myself I might as well just go on and get Oblivion already, so I could progress in at least one modern game. :P

Mar. 23rd, 2009

1-up tee

I fell in love with a book...

Yesterday, I fell head over heels over a coffee-table book, the kind that's expensive but so amazing that it justifies the cost. I saw the French version in a bookstore, but it was pretty expensive. Fortunately, the original English version is a lot cheaper (like $20 cheaper), so guess what? I want the English copy. :P

The book in question is called The Mickey Mouse Treasures. It's a visual trip through the story of Mickey and the merchandising and derived works that surrounds it, including comic strips, flyers and all kinds of things. Even more amazing is that it contains facsimiles of vintage flyers and cards and other documents like that, making that book not too likely to be available in libraries (too easy to lose the facsimiles).

This week, I will to Indigo and ask if I can order the book (thus getting a 10% discount with my iRewards card), hoping that it'll be the same price as on the Chapters/Indigo website.

Here's a link to the Amazon.com page (it has the Look Inside feature, so that's why I include it here -- the price in Canada is a few bucks more, but not a lot more, fortunately). The Look Inside feature doesn't really give an idea of how awesome the book is -- it's almost like a popup book, in that every page is filled with surprises.

Mickey Mouse Treasures on Amazon

Mar. 8th, 2009

1-up tee

Wow. You know this movie will suck when...

Just saw this post on Torontoist about a newspaper ad about Joshua Jackson's next movie, One Week. All the pre-release quotes were lifted from Youtube, based on the trailer of the film. I bet that if there were any press screening, the journalists were embargoed from writing about the movie before its release (always a sign that the movie's producers/distributor lack confidence in the film...).


The pics in question, for those who don't feel like reading the original postCollapse )

Feb. 14th, 2009

1-up tee

Guitar Hero pics!

Talking about great purchases isn't as fun as posting pics... So here are a few pics including the receipt, which proves that it was indeed at $100 (plus sales taxes) rather than $200...

PICS!Collapse )

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