Very confused

I’m a bit bewildered about my computer at the moment. If you’ll remember, a few weeks ago while Chip was here my computer seems to choke and die and needed a whole system tune-up/reinstall to get it working again. The final diagnosis of that whole ordeal was that a stick of RAM had gone bad. Now, just today, the system starting acting up again. For the moment it’s only acting up when I’m playing a game but it’s very disconcerting none-the-less. If I remember correctly, 90% of the error messages we were getting were “memory” related. It never really specified more than that. I’m starting to think it might actually be video memory. The problems all started last time when we were playing a game and continued every time something graphics related was even touched. It also could simply be a nVidia driver issue this time since I installed new drivers yesterday. What leads me to think it’s a video card issue is the fact that I’m typing this without incident from the on-board GeForce 2 that my motherboard has built in. I also just playing 2 levels of Red Faction as a “test” and it was rock solid. 30 minutes ago I couldn’t take 10 steps without it crashing. I’m going to try and roll back the drivers to 41.xx and see how it handles. If problems continue I may be in need of a second new video card. If you’ll remember back 8 months or so, my previous GeForce 4 crapped out on me after the long drive back to NH. I figured it was merely the stress of a 1200 mile driver with minimal padding for my case and called Gainward. They were very helpful tech-support wise and shipped me a new (and faster) card instantly as a replacement. So, could Gainward cards really be this flaky? We’ll see. If they were wouldn’t errors have occurred when I ran SiSandra (benchmark) after the clean reinstall? Or the thousand times I’ve played a game since then? There has to be some other variable that’s making the card unhappy but for the life of me I can’t figure out what it might be. We’ll try the drivers. If not then I’m at a loss this time. We’ve removed “bad” memory and now it’s happening again. It’s like cancer. If I cut one piece out it keeps coming back in different places. Very aggravating. That said, if it is the graphics card, I’d be in the unfortunate market for a new one. I can’t have this happening every 20 minutes. I have A LOT of Photoshop work to do this semester. So, since Gainward is obviously not going to be on the top of my shopping list, what do you guys recommend?

nVidia Detonator Drivers got funky?

Since when do my graphics card drivers have options to change my desktop wallpaper on a rotational basis? Since version 43.45 apparently. The date on these bad boys is the end of March but apparently I missed their release. As far as I can see, there wasn’t any mention of new features but a quick check of the settings display tab tells a different story. Under the Direct 3D category there’s now a wonderful menu for controling and overriding refresh rates at different resolutions, so I no longer need Refresh-Lock, the NView controls can do it for me. Also, if you open “Desktop Utilities and check the button to display the “Media Center” on the taskbar you can get to a whole host of other nifty things. Right clicking on this Media Center in the taskbar will bring up options to customize not only your display but performance (open GL and Direct 3D) settings as well. There’s also a “Nvidia Desktop Manager” which, if you enable it and take the time to set up a few profiles and such, is actually z rather interesting of changing your wallpaper and desktop settings. I have no intentions of using any of these features I’ve just mentioned (actually, they’re already disabled) but I just thought I’d mention their existence. Perhaps I missed these in early driver revisions but I don’t remember them being there as of 41.xx. The refresh locking is actually the most interesting feature as far as I’m concerned, I can change my wallpaper on my own thank you very much. Regardless, it seems like an interesting step for NVidia to take with it’s driver packages.

As for the rest of my day… the shoot went well, my car got scratched and I’m pretty pissed about it, Chris called and said he finished a new mix and that I should D/L it (which I will, as soon as a spot on the hub opens), I bought a new pillow because my old one sucked and Lauren just made me a frappé. So, life is… interesting and mostly good, especially the frappé I’m drinking at the moment. A little hard work and car stupidity thrown in for good measure.

Oh ya, and Windows decided it didn’t want to be activated any more and I had to spend 15 minutes on hold with MS tech support waiting for a new activation number. All because I updated my graphics card drivers. What the hell is that about? Actually, when I asked the lady on the other end that same question work for word she said “well, they tell people it isn’t really sensitive but I’ve seen’em need to reactivate if you plug in a new mouse.” I almost wet myself laughing. I think the 15 minute phone call was worth it just for that.

That is all.

So close… but not quite

I was so close to making a clean break from the Bursars Department until they stuck one last knife in my financial back. Instead of telling people that they were experiencing problems with their direct deposit system they told everyone that everything was fine, issued paper checks instead and then mailed them. So, instead of having a few thousand dollars in my bank account, I have $48.50. And it’ll stay that way until I get mailed a check, open it, mail it to NH, have them deposit it and then wait the week for it to clear. So, basically, I have no money for the next two weeks. I should have had money last week, but because they didn’t tell anyone now I’m in a bit of a bind. I have a credit card bill that’s due on the 14th, a cable bill that was due today and supplies to order from B&H. Plus I haven’t given Jason a check for my half of the rent yet. I know he doesn’t care that much but it’s still not fair to him. Oi.

Besides the usual financial woe, I do have some photos to take this weekend. Friends from class, Lauren W and Jonquil have volunteered to help me out. I have two separate shoots, one tomorrow at 1-ish and another Sunday afternoon at a yet to be determined time. I don’t have any critiques due until the following Thursday so if things go bad I have time to re-shoot, which is always a nice “buffer zone” to have.

Other than that I’ve been hanging out with Lauren as much as I can. Our schedules are kind of all over the place this semester and I like to spend time with her when I can. Tonight we’re actually going to go to an art gallery opening for one of my friends, Jason Mehan, who if I can get him over here with a portfolio might be the photographer at the wedding. After that I think I’m going to treat Lauren to a late night showing of Anger Management if she feels up for it.

That’s about it. Matt out.


I’m now convinced that the following is one of the most perfect meals possible. I had the extreme pleasure of eating the following mere moments ago:

1 Sundance Margarita
1 basket of Texas Tonions (shared with friends of course)
1 9oz Flo’s Fillet cooked medium-medium-well
1 Sweet Potato with butter and brown sugar
1 Greens salad (with dressing of choice)

All this plus a health supply of A1 sauce and warm delicious bread makes Longhorn Steak House one of my favorite restaurants and this one of my favorite meals.

My stomach is very happy at the moment.

Oh, and photo stuff is going well too… more later.