03-23-2015 Journal – Nerdy Woes!   Leave a comment


I spent a good part of my day yesterday trying to get a fourteen year old computer to once again work properly.  I’ve been a computer gamer for a very long time and started when the games were just text-only.  I finally settled in permanently with the X-Box because of my life long loyalty to Microsoft.  Don’t sit there and shake your head, all those years were a great deal of fun and taught me a great deal about computers and software.

As the games became more sophisticated the older games fell by the wayside.  Having spent my hard earned money for these games I refused to just discard them.  I saved the floppy disk games, games on CD’s, console games, and any other that I sincerely enjoyed playing.  All these years later most of them remain unplayable but alive and well in my files.  

I’ve became interested in reviving some of  these old games after receiving from my nephew an Atari 2400 Anniversary console  that contained dozens of the ordinal Atari games such as Pong, Asteroids, and Centipede. My nephew is a computer nerd like me and after a telephone discussion a year ago he shipped me one of his older computers dating from the late nineties.  It’s one of the few I’ve been able to find with a working floppy disk drive and I also wanted to use it to convert many of my older games on floppies  to CD’s. It would give me a much better chance at playing them once again.

I love computers but they are extremely frustrating to work with.  The computer companies in their attempts to protect their software have made them extremely difficult to copy and to reuse.  It seems to me that most of their technological advances with game consoles and computer games are purposely made incompatible with previous generations.  It forces consumers to constantly spend their hard earned money on upgrades of both software and hardware.  My best recent example for that was X-Box One which will not play any of the hundreds of X-Box games made for previous X-Box versions. That sucks and has only convinced me never to buy one.

Yesterday was like giving CPR to someone who is on his last leg. During shipment cables for that old computer were knocked loose and it took a while to get them all replugged into their proper places.  I finally was able to get it to reboot with Windows 2000 but that’s when the real fun began.  Using parts from a number of my past computers I finally found a mouse that would work with the unit.  The monitor worked fine and I thought I was home free.  I still had no sound and no working keyboard and I don’t know why.  The keyboard I have was from a newer model and there was no way it would ever work with this old machine.

One of my chores for this summer will now be to visit as many yard sales as possible to find a keyboard and mouse from that same era.  It should be an easy find since almost every yard sale has computers and parts for sale. With any luck at all I should have this machine working this summer and I can pull out my old Doom and Quake games and relive those earlier days that I enjoyed so much.

I find myself extremely frustrated but having many years of computer experience it wasn’t unexpected.  I’ll just walk away for a while, turn on my X-Box 360, and return to the world of Halo to kill a few thousand aliens.  It always makes me fell better.

Nerds rule !

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