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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Wednesday, April 3 2002

New computer

The computer I bought during my 15-month stint in Los Angeles (1998-99) was three years old in early December, so in computer terms—at least in on-the-job computer terms—it is of a ripe old age. And of course it's not just that the computer was crashing more often (this old Sony Vaio was crashing a couple times every evening while I was getting my webpages together), but the new bells and whistles from Microsoft and Sony sent out their siren calls..."you need me...you want the new XP operating system...more memory...more RAM...you need a DVD player...a built-in rewritable CD drive...better movie editing capability.... You can have it all for less than you paid for that old workhorse three years ago." I caved.

Actually, it wasn't the siren call of the new gadgets as much as the high-speed Internet connection that forced the issue. At the first of March my son Mike, who lives at my house, had a high-speed DSL Internet connection installed and invited me to tag along as a family account holder on the same phone line. We could have had Pacific Bell come and set everything up for about $200, or we could buy our own hardware at about $200 and spend all our weekends for the next month trying to make it all work on our own. We opted for the latter, with much assistance from my other son, Kevin the network engineer. I call it tuition in the college of hard knocks; that's the way Mike works. I've worked on computers from the beginning of the PC days, other son Kevin is a graduate of tech school and a registered expert, but Mike the pipe-fitter apprentice knows more about the systems than Kevin and I both together.

But after two weeks of waiting and two weekends of spending all our available time working on getting the network to work between my computer and Mike's, though we could share files between computers, I was not receiving the Internet connection from his. After trying everything the manual described and checking and rechecking, getting an "all-clear" from all the hubs and routers and still not getting the Internet, we concluded it must be that my older Windows 98 wasn't receiving the DSL modem signal. So upgrading to Windows XP, because that was the system on Mike's computer, would be the next logical step. The local computer store had a killer sale just at the most opportune (or vulnerable) moment and it was back with a new bigger and in all ways better Sony Vaio (I have no emotional commitment to that company, but had a good service record with the old [1998] workhorse and Sony's price was the most competitive one at the local store).

Got home and set it all up. Still no DSL connection! Then Kevin got a brilliant idea. I'm not quite able to explain it technically, but his bright idea was something very complicated like click a switch in the software. One more minute in the other room, and voila! We have contact. The same "solution" would have no doubt worked with Old Workhorse, too....

As Herman Sedloff always said: You learn. You pay your tuition. You learn.

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

You see what you're looking for

When my daughter was three, we watched Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs for the first time. The wicked queen appeared, disguised as an old lady selling apples, and my daughter was spellbound. Then Snow White took a bite of the poisoned apple and fell to the ground unconscious. As the apple rolled away, my daughter spoke up. "See, Mom. She doesn't like the skin either.

—Sent by Sallie Covolo

Thought for the day

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

—Philo, Jewish philosopher, first century
Sent by Frederica Mathewes-Green

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