So I got my ThinkPad back today. (See March 30th for details about why I had shipped it off for software installation.) Actually, I guess it arrived at the office late Tuesday afternoon, but I was working at home so I didn't get my hands on it until this morning. As far as software goes, everything was fine: Windows NT configured properly, no IRQ conflicts, no driver problems, most of my day-to-day software needs installed (Netscape, Lotus Notes, Lotus SmartSuite, etc.)... but the screen, that beautiful big 13 inch color TFT display was screwed up by a jagged line running across it. If the screen had been a window pane it would have been one with a crack beginning in the upper left hand corner and running down to the middle of the right edge.
My guess is that heavy package had been placed on top of it while it was being shipped back to me... perhaps somebody stepped on it... or a baby elephant sat on it? I don't know, but the display was definitely impaired. Oh, I used it all day today, but the scar was annoying. We always insure this kind of shipment so I suppose the shipping dept will have to discuss it with the delivery company. In the meanwhile, I called our corporate hardware support number and reported the problem. I was told that a special packing container will arrive by noon tomorrow and that I am to remove the hard drive (to preserve the configuration and the data that's on it) and ship the machine to some repair center to have the screen replaced. Fortunately the person I had passed my old laptop to is still working on her desktop machine so she loaned it back to me to use until mine is fixed. (We also have a spare laptop to be used by anyone in the department who needs one, so in an emergency I could have grabbed that one.)
The problem, of course, is that last week I had added more memory so that my machine had 288 Megabytes of RAM (32 on the motherboard and two 128 Mb modules) and I can't do any hands-on work with WebSphere, etc. without at least that much memory. Also, as I was using the machine today, mostly I had Netscape and Lotus Notes open, sometimes Windows Explorer as well, and response time was terrible... you would have thought I was working on an old, slow, underpowered machine... I suppose it could have been hanging on poor network response, but I am concerned that there has been some additional damage... a Pentium II with that much memory should not be that sluggish... Well, I'll just pass that info on to the repair guys and let them check it out.
I had thought that my wife read my webpage, not religiously, but once in a while... but a couple weeks ago I mentioned something about the distribution of hits from around the world and how fascinating I found it to be that people in Australia and Belgium and Japan were reading my page. (Okay, okay, so maybe one hit from Japan and one or two page views from Belgium, but still...there are a bunch of hits from Australia, probably three different readers, yeah, a whole three *grin* -- but they've returned again and again) And it turned out that she'd stopped reading it ages ago (she was never much of a web surfer until we got cable access and, besides which, until this year my updates were few and far between)...so I told her my URL and she began bouncing around from entry to entry and seem amused. [Hi Nancy! I love you!]
One of the problems of using multiple machines (and of using both IE and Netscape on this particular one at home) is that bookmarks get scattered all over the place... so although I updated my list of favorite and/or useful links last week so it could serve as my entry in the March collaboration project for the Speak Freely Webring, there are still some more sites that I need to add to it. I did update my list of online journal sites, but due to the press of time I left out at least two. So why am I not immediately correcting that oversight? Because if I did that then I wouldn't have time to finish this entry and get it posted and get links to it added to my index and journal pages. And it's already 10:30 pm and I've still got to finish cleaning up the kitchen.... it's not really a mess, the dishwasher has been loaded, but there are still a few cups and glasses on the counter, etc... and I'm tired so I'll probably put off making lunches until morning. In fact, I think I'll go nail this in place now and see if I can get to bed at a reasonable hour. (Please note, I get up at 5:30... well, the alarm goes off then, but it sometimes takes one iteration of the snooze cycle before I actually get out of bed.)
If you want to know some background, you could read a bit of autobiography although probably