About Me

My photo

I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

Clean slate...

You're never going to believe this...I don't want to speak too soon but I think I figured out the problem with my computer, the source of my eventual livelihood, and incidentally, most of my current frustration.

I'm in the process of reinstalling all of my software, piece by piece and copying files from my backup drive back to my main hard drive right now. A few days ago, I freshly installed my operating system and, subsequently, a few of my software synthesizers and the drivers for my sound card and audio interface, the bare minimum, as it were, to do my work. After a few tests of just playing through the computer with the keyboard, sure enough, with no other background operations running, no silly internet toolbars, no anti-virus software and no possibility of any viruses on the computer, I had dropouts, audio glitches and CPU overload. WTF?!

So, naturally, I called my dad, whose brain I normally pick when things like this happen and he suggested re-seating the memory sticks. So I powered down and went to pull them off the motherboard and swap them and that's when my attention was drawn to the amount of dust covering the motherboard and, incidentally, the processor fan. I am a classic idiot. I haven't cleaned off the dust in there since I built this computer 2 years ago! So, I promptly ran out to Radio Shack and bought a can of air and proceeded to blow the caked on dust out of there and then suck it all up with a vacuum.

So, I've yet to do any extensive testing but I'm pretty sure that will have fixed it. An overheating processor makes total sense. That would explain why it was so intermittent, yet so regular. Once it would get going doing a lot of work, it was only a matter of time before it started to drop out.

The question is, why did I insist on overlooking the most obvious of solutions to things like this? My mind is too complex. What can I say? I initially imagine that something this baffling must have some complex reason behind it. Wonderful life lesson here.

This particular clean install I've done has made me realize how little I actually need to have running on this computer. I've been using Google Documents so no need for a word processor, I have anti-virus that I know works, there are some files that I never use and can just leave on my online backup or my external hard drive, and I don't need to run a million internet tool bars. In fact, I don't even think I'll be doing much web surfing at home now that I have a smart phone.

Remember how I said I wanted a Droid. Well, I caved, mostly because it made sense too. Waiting for the discount in December when I would have been eligible, would have saved me the exact amount of money I would have spent now to use my insurance plan to get my old phone replaced. So, now I have entered the world of the smart phone and there is no going back. (I ended up with the LG Ally)I'm probably a little bit too enamored of it and I'm sort of waiting for the novelty of all the various applications and the sheer utility of the thing to wear off. In the meantime, I've been thinking all sorts of existential thoughts about what it's doing to my way of thinking and my lifestyle. For instance, am I losing brain cells playing with this thing? Is it making me smarter or dumber? And what of my attention span? Am I becoming one of those guys who whips out his smart phone every five seconds (I saw a few people give me a look while I was walking and texting...yes, I walked and texted a few times in the last day or so). And all manner of other thoughts ranging from loss of productivity (i.e. time spent playing with the light saber app) to, ironically, gain in productivity (I found a neat application that I can use to make loop-based songs like I used to do in college with Fruity Loops so now I can capture ideas at work or wherever I am) right down to how much energy the smart phone consumer tacks on to what he/she already uses and why no one has thought to put solar power on a smart phone like they did with calculators (I admit it probably wouldn't supply enough power to fully charge a phone's battery but perhaps it could extend the life of one...then again, I guess the phone would have to spend enough time out of one's pocket in the outdoors for such a feature to matter...nevermind).

At any rate, hopefully, at least, the cordoning off of my internet time to periods when I'm out and about killing time, or otherwise away from home, will lead to more productivity music-wise when I am home. Let's hope. In addition, I now have another clean slate on my computer with this fresh install and this time, my files are all safe. Hopefully, it'll work much faster as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment