Friday, May 04, 2007

new & improved

Cat Proofing 101

1. Buy 1/2-inch plastic tubing at Home Depot
2. Measure against length of all cables cats like to chew on, which is basically all cables, and cut
3. Using a sharp scissor, cut the tubing along one side, the entire length of the tube
4. Slide/work the cable into the slit, then attach to computer/peripheral as usual
5. Rest easy knowing your cat will not electrocute itself, nor will it wreak havoc on your net connection, by chewing through crucial wiring

All the new hardware arrived yesterday (well, Wednesday). Setup began yesterday after the kids got home from school and finally finished today -- mostly.

We ended up needing to get a new router. (I bought this one on the recommendation of the very nice tech support lady, who sadly informed me that my old (ancient!) 802.11b router would simply not work under Windows Vista. Considering the contortions I went through to get it to work with Windows XP, I was not surprised.

Lucky for me, by that time, all the stores were closed, so I had to wait until today to pick up the new router and get everything configured, and to finish setting up the new printer as well. (It really was lucky, too, because otherwise I would've been up till 3AM tinkering -- as it was, I had to give up and go to bed, just like I should now.)

I just a few moments ago finished restoring my iTunes libarary from my iPod; I used this nifty utility called CopyTrans (along with its companion utility, CopyPhoto), to get everything off the iPod back onto the PC. Considering I had close to 5,000 songs and nearly a hundred photos on that thing, it was well worth it to shell out the cash for the program to do the copying for me -- having to load in those hundreds of CDs again just would've crushed me.

So far Windows Vista is OK: very slow at startup, but otherwise fine. We're slowly but surely getting everything installed and back to "normal". I ran into the MS Office 2003 persistent EULA problem, but that was an easy fix (at least for me, since I don't mind editing a registry entry if I must.)

Possibly the coolest thing was booting up the laptop and having it be able to access the network through the new router with no intervention on my part -- now I just have to figure out how to get the Vista PCs to be able to grab files off the laptop, which is still running Windows 98, and I'll be cooking with gas. There are dozens of photos on there, not to mention the last 10 days worth of email that I'd like to move to the new computer without resorting to ftp -- it may yet come to that, believe me.

This evening I set up the mail accounts in Outlook again, along with the sorting rules, and we'll just see how that goes. There are all these little odd things that go on that make doing things like that take way longer than they should. But it's working now!

I can't believe how much time this has sucked out of my life, all this ordering and unpacking and setting up (and setting up, and setting up, and setting up again) of new computers and other equipment. The house is trashed, old hardware is piled on various surfaces, while new manuals and discs and extra cables are all over the place as well. There's a huge stack of boxes the cats have been enjoying tremendously, too. This weekend will be a cleaning weekend for sure.

Meanwhile, my new/replacement camera is due tomorrow: yay! Setting it up will require nothing more than putting in the batteries and the memory card, and setting the date and time -- my hands need a break from working with that vinyl tubing.

For now, we're done.

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