Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Continued Computer Woes

On Sunday night, I was whizzing through the sound effects edit on this week's episode of The Dunesteef. The story, a Jason Sanford joint entitled, "Maps of the Bible," is divided up into 9 sections. I was in the middle of the eighth section, when suddenly, the sound stopped playing back correctly. I pushed play, and got static instead of Rish's dulcet, southern-accented tones. I was momentarily confused as to what was going on, when an error message appeared onscreen. GENERAL ERROR it said, and underneath there was simply an OK button I could press. So, I pressed it. I tried to play the podcast again, and the same error appeared.

Now if you've been following my blog or my tweets, you know that I'm no stranger to computer problems recently. I figured I needed to restart the computer. I worried a little, because I wasn't sure when I last saved my work, but I didn't think it'd been all that long, so I didn't panic. The panic came a moment later, when the computer wouldn't start back up.

I tried again. Then I tried again, and I couldn't get anything. Each time, the computer plays its start-up tone, then gives me the "You need to restart your computer, blah blah blah..." screen. I restart it and get the same thing.Now, I recently had computer issues, and took it to be fixed at a local store. They charged me way more than it was worth, and didn't fix the issue at all, so I'm really leery of those types now. The thought of taking the computer to get it fixed again doesn't appeal to me at all. The original diagnosis last time around was that my main logic board was going bad. They later changed the diagnosis to a bad RAM chip, and swapped that out. I was glad of it, because a new logic board was going to cost $580-$670. Waaaaaay more than I can afford, and basically the price of a nice new computer.

So, with the computer in the crapper again, only two weeks later, I've decided it's time to put it out to pasture. We went shopping last night for a new computer, and we think we've decided on one. It's a laptop that costs half what a new main logic board costs, and, since it's a new computer versus my three year old machine that is breaking down, it comes with the same amount of RAM I used to have, a bigger hard drive, a faster processor, and so forth. And it's a laptop. I had to have a desktop to get all that stuff three years ago. Funny how that works.

We're gonna pick that up as basically a stopgap measure. We'll have a computer at home that works, and we'll be able to get by for now. I'm still looking to get maybe a used Mac somewhere, because I've got some pretty pricey programs that I'd like to be able to still use, and they don't run on PC. They're what I use for putting the podcast together too, so I gotta do something to get those back.

For the time being, I guess I'll have to learn how to use Audacity (free program) and hope we can still put out a decent show until I get a new Mac. I'd really like to thank Bryan Lincoln who is putting together the show that I was working on when the computer died. Rish already did the post story part, so we should have an episode available sometime soon. I think it might not have our theme music though...that's on the old computer's hard drive.

I'm going to talk to my local computer nerd friend that I have to see if he can help me get the hard drive out and get the files off of it that I want. Hopefully that's possible, because Rish and I have several things we recorded that are stuck on there. And it always sucks to have to re-record things (although, with all the problems I've been having recently, you'd think we'd be used to it by now).

Anyway, that's the situation these days. Hopefully things will look up soon, and I'll be back in business.


  1. Wow, that stinks. Personally after switching over to a laptop a couple of years ago I don't know if I could switch back to a desktop now, but then I'm not ready to start recording anything yet either, so that may make a difference for me.
    Switching formats must be particularly painful though.

  2. Christine Maia-FleresMarch 24, 2010 at 11:27 AM

    Hey, Guy, if there's anything I can help with, let me know. If I don't know how to do it yet, I can schedule a one-to-one with Apple and learn how. I now have a nice new MacBook Pro and an iMac and a new Blue mic . . .

  3. If the drive itself didn't crash, retrieving your data will be no problem at all. This does sound like a motherboard issue, not a drive problem.

    Audacity is great for mixing multiple sound files together (that's what I use it for), but for editing individual files, I find Nero a little better. Audacity won't dehiss a file worth crap (or I am just not smart enough to figure that out). The real time sampling for editing is better in Nero as well. And, Nero works faster.