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12 August 99

Some of you probably know of LockerGnome - I have been a LockerGnomie for over two years now and it was in one issue of Chris Pirillo's newsletter that I first heard about LiteStep. In fact, the second time I heard about LiteStep was there too <g> Anyway, I hadn't been thinking of doing something like his LockerGnome challenge when I mentioned that I was building a computer and that you could send me whatever hardware you had lying around. But guess what? Jacob Hochstetler was gracious enough to e-mail me and let me know that he had a hard drive that he'd like to let me have.

I was overjoyed as I am still having problems with BestBuy and might have to return my current machine at any time if they really exasperate me. As I have no backup of my development work except for what's on my hard drive, this would prove to be a heaven sent. I can at least backup my development work before I have to return this machine if worst comes to worst. Anyway, I just had to tell all of you about this very kind gesture by Jacob :-)

10 August 99

OK I'm finally back. Sorry about the really long period of absence (in fact that is going to continue for a while .. :-( ) but let me explain. Incidentally, all of this is going to be off-topic as far as programming goes ....

I had been thinking of getting a new desktop machine for development work for some time now. So I decided to go ahead and get a computer under a tempting offer that Compaq had - a Presario 5304 for about $ 270 (after a $200 mail-in rebate of course) with monitor and printer! This deal was at BestBuy and I almost jumped on it but unfortunately, that turned out to be a nightmare as BestBuy messed up my credit cards and I had to make several trips there to get it sorted out but still haven't got them to sort it out entirely. I have sworn never to use BestBuy for major purchases due to the extremely inefficient and unhelpful service (could it really be called service?) that I received.

I got all my stuff transferred to the new machine but still haven't even installed MSVC on this machine (nor have I installed NT on it yet) so dev work is kind of at a stand still. That is mainly due to the fact that I leave home around 7:00am in the morning and don't get back till about 7:00pm at night as I have a commute of about one hour to work. I am extremely tired when I get home and usually don't have much time to be on the computer. Incidentally, I've received all of the many kind enquiries that many of you have made about me, but just haven't had the time to respond. Thank you one and all for your concern!

My new Compaq Presario turned out to be not so hot because its got an integrated motherboard with built in graphics card and sound card (at least I think so because that's what their website seemed to suggest) and so I won't be able to upgrade it. And the existing graphics card and sound card have turned out to be pretty crappy because the drivers aren't DirectX compliant (at least the sound drivers) and the video gives problems on certain games that I want to play. So I have been contemplating building a new machine from scratch but since I am poorer than a church mouse at the moment, I guess I'll have to wait for a while. Unless of course any of you have a 440BX motherboard or an ATX case or a hard drive or any other hardware lying at home and would like to donate it to me :-)

WareWolf from LiteStep.Com offered me a subdomain there for the Developer Journal and I decided to at least mirror stuff there for a while till everybody got wise to the change and started looking there for stuff becuase I figured it would at least make it easier for those of you who have been having trouble downloading. The URL is supposed to be but I can't seem to access it though I have uploaded all the stuff there. Oh well ... I guess that needs some more work. But keep on checking there as it might be easier for you to download stuff from there than here.

I'm typing all of this before I leave for work as I've been feeling very, very guilty about not updating for so long - especially as quite a few of you have been concerned about my apparent disappearance - and so decided to do this long ramble to bring you all upto speed. I might not have the time to do much for a while as the weekends are probably all that I'll have to do anything and the next few weekends are going to be pretty hectic as well but keep on checking back as I'll update as and when I can. But now I really must rush off to work as I'm already late :-)

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