Personal Update – Gremlin Extermination Edition

As per usual when I've had a distinct lack of posting I usually start things off with a fumbling excuse of how life got in the way.  My friends know this for what it is (lack of enthusiasm/motivation to actually make an effort mostly) but I've been so scarce lately that you folks might have forgotten what I'm all about.

Either way, life happening does sometimes provide some interesting stories to tell.
There's a funny thing about owning a Mac laptop; Windows users automatically assume you're more tech savvy then they are.  I think this is because they assume we're smart enough to know better than to buy a PC.  
This was the case on my last job site.  The management staff of the work site saw me with my mac and started asking me questions about how to get their windows machines to do what they wanted.  I'd help them along and explain what the problems were and show them how to fix them, and they kept calling me back for more assistance.  Somewhere along the line it dawned on me that I was good enough at this that I had become the unofficial IT support guy, a role I was greatly appreciated for.
The management were so appreciative that when the job required a medic with a higher level of training than I have, they immediately made some calls to make sure I was transferred on to another excellent job site, which is quite unprecedented in my line of work.  So last week I packed up from the last job-site and this week I started at the new one.  
However as the cliche phrase goes:  "Pride cometh before the fall," so this weekend some gremlins decided to pay me a visit to make sure my tech hubris would remain at reasonable levels.
One of my office managers had asked me to burn him some workout video's that I'd come across, however due to having reformatted from a particularly nasty virus infection 2 weeks before, my burning software wasn't up to snuff.  I had to do a bit of minor copyright infringement to fix this problem, and as can happen I stupidly let in a new virus for my efforts.  (One of the hazards of copyright infringement I'm afraid.  You can call it karma if you like.)  
So long story short, new virus was a particularly tenacious one that after several failed attempts to remove it, the only successful attempt locked up my OS to the point where I couldn't get past the welcome screen.  A format was needed but I'd never actually formatted a PC myself, it was always my tech guru who did that sort of thing, but he was out of town, and behind him I was the second most PC savvy person I knew…
By this point the girlfriend was extremely frustrated and was venting that frustration by attacking my IT helper pride, and this being the only time where I could honestly say it was my fault the computer was infected I worked out how to format the drive.  It was interesting and enlightening…
Have you ever had to do a task that you always felt would be quite daunting only to find once you attempted it that your skills and understanding far exceeded what was needed and you found it quite easy?  Well formatting was like that for me, the biggest barrier was me deciding to actually do it.  I'm not flush with experimental pride or anything, not about to try flashing my BIOS or anything silly like that, but I found that a PC format was far easier to do than I anticipated.  
So by Sunday afternoon I'd formatted the windows drive and got a trial of a new anti-virus scanner that a friend recommended and things were looking up, so I went out to dinner with the inlaws, thinking all would be well.  However once out of the house the gremlins returned…
I came home from work to find out that my liquid cooling had shut down my computer because the processor water-block was leaking fluid inside my case.  Thanks to an unusual case design this was not catastrophic to my computer in that the processor was located at the bottom instead of the top (which is standard layout) so the leak didn't fry every component of my motherboard.  
So for the 2nd time that weekend I started a computer task I had never attempted before, removing the water block without splashing coolant all over my computer.  Which I managed to do, I'd been wanting to drop the liquid cooling for a while now (it was too noisy for a computer that we use to watch movies in the living room) so I set out to buy a nice big conventional heat synch only to find out that I no longer had a plastic mounting bracket needed to mount it on… tech guy had it, and this wasn't a component that was easily gotten off the shelf.  
So anyhow, computer has been dormant for the past week and I'm still not 100% sure what caused the water block to leak, I originally thought it was cracked, but it seems more likely that the screws holding it together were coming loose now.  Either way it's not as cool or prestigious as it once was and the drawbacks are definitely exceeding the benefits so I'm moving onto a skookum heat synch instead… 
Anyhow, to tie all that boring babble back to my original story… all these trials and tribulations have been overcome and are simply serving to improve my knowledge base.  The gremlins may have won that little battle, but they're about to lose the war.

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About Helmsman

Importing a Vox Blog.
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