Thursday, August 11, 2005

Gadget Tinkering 

I finally got The Girl's DJ's synched up - mostly. She had about 3600 tracks on her original player, but she had an unfortunate headphone incident which resulted in the connector being pushed into the player and partially disconnected. Dell once again came through, and shipped her a refurbished replacement along with prepaid shipping materials for returning the damaged one. We hadn't gotten it done in the original time frame (after which they can charge for the replacement), but she called them up and got an extension, no problem.

After several ways of copying files over (highlight all, highlight all in a genre, etc.), for some reason there's still a discrepancy of about 40 tracks between the two. That's not counting the tracks she got through pay-for-download, which are locked and not transferrable. After several late nights and bleary-eyed mornings, we agreed that it's close enough.

At one point I had brought them both into my office along with the USB cables, power cables and my notebook, and had a little MP3 station set up in my cube. Unfortunately, there's apparently something in the air in this building that prevented my computer from transferring files. It was running slower than molasses, hanging after 1 file transfer, etc. I tried running Norton, Ad-Aware, and Spybot. Norton took over 5 hours to run - without finding anything. The others didn't find anything either, and the transfers were still hanging.

When I got the whole setup home and tried again, it worked fine - a little faster than the night before, actually. Whatever - must be sunspots.

I've been carefully updating my Outlook calendar with all the school-related info (classes, holidays, exams, etc.). My Palm has been on hiatus over the summer, so I decided it was time to bring it back off the bench. I had brought my synch cradle from home to the office, because the one I had here died and got tossed before the office move. I figure I'll get a USB synch cable to keep with the notebook. Yesterday I brought the cradle but forgot the Palm. Remembered the Palm today, which was totally out of juice. After it was rejuvenating in the cradle for a bit I went to turn it on, and was greeted with the initial setup screen. All my stuff was gone. Agh!!!!! PDF reader, Avantgo, MBTA schedules, pictures - all lost to a power loss reset.

The good news is that when I pressed the HotSynch button, everything was magically restored. I really wasn't looking forward to dealing with the Help desk guys at school to get the WEP reinstalled for the school wireless network. They're very helpful when it comes to notebooks, but it took them FOREVER to set up my Palm last year.

I just tried to pull up WBUR's audio stream, but it appears to be down. It's not the network at this end, since I was able to access NASA TV live no problem (today's Atlas 5 launch had just been scrubbed. They're trying again tomorrow at 7 am).

What will be the next gadget dilemma to pop up? Stay tuned - I'm sure there will be something.

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:05 AM