November 18th, 2014

#4458: And what do you do when you can't sleep, anyway?

Had a hard time getting to sleep last night, to the point that I'm not really sure when I fell asleep but know it was sometime after 4 AM. Woke up at 9, then went back to sleep; next thing I knew it was almost 2 PM. *sigh*

2 hours of light by which to flush a cooling system? I can't do it in that time. So I'll get the supplies tonight and resolve to accomplish the task tomorrow. Argh etc.

* * *

The Asus M51AC, six months in:

So I'm sitting here at the computer, and my wife's LED glitter lamp, with the magnetic stirrer that makes the glitter move, is louder than the computer is. Most of the time the thing makes a slight noise--the fans are not completely silent--but the thermal management system of this computer has a ton of headroom, which is very very good.

The front USB ports are flaky. I haven't taken the time to figure out why, but I'd wager it has something to do with the dust that accumulated in them while this thing was a shelf display.

I never did get around to doing a system restore on it. A few weeks ago I made a USB recovery drive, but that's as much tinkering as I've done; otherwise I've just blogged, played WoW, and done far too little writing.

For the most part Windows 8.1 just works. Since I haven't tried to run any of my legacy software on it, I have no idea what will work and what won't. The OS stays out of my way most of the time, and the few times it got in my way it was because of the default settings for various accessibility features, like Sticky Keys.

Still haven't found a new keyboard that won't cost an arm and a leg, but will offer full-travel keys etc. Nearly all the cheap ones are chiclet type, which is a nonstarter with me.

I've discovered that GeForce video cards have better driver software than ATI cards. For one thing, I don't have to rearrange my desktop every time there's a driver update, because the update routine thoughtfully retains their positions for me when it has to drop to a lower resolution while swapping drivers. From now on I am probably going to avoid ATI-based video cards just for that reason alone.

Things I don't like: though I've fiddled with the settings, the machine still sometimes powers back on right after I've put it to sleep, and I have to do it again. I now have it set to go to sleep after about an hour of inactivity, but it's still irritating.

There doesn't seem to be a way to tell the OS, "Hey, forget about burning those files to disk; I don't care any more." The abortive attempt to burn a data DVD that I was doing for whatever reason is now causing the OS to pop up the "You have files waiting to be burned to disk" message. So far I haven't figured out how to make that shit go away, and since it only pops up after a reboot it's not really a priority, but I'd like to eventually get that dealt with. Which leads me to:

The default software for burning disks is Windows itself. I don't burn disks any more--it's literally been years since I last did that--so I suppose it doesn't really matter to me, but it would have been nice if the machine had come with something for that purpose.

I find that I'm going to have to fire up Cephiro to get some stuff off the old girl, and one of those things is the freeware disk burning software that I downloaded and installed. I can't remember the name of it, but I recall thinking it was pretty good.

Well, more on this as events warrant.

* * *

So by now everyone knows about the probe landing on the comet, and the feminists getting their panties in a bunch because one scientist was wearing a shirt with space babes on it.

Isn't it totally like a bunch of gals to focus on what someone's wearing, rather than the big event?

* * *

The low was 12° last night. Frost on the lower left corners of the windows by the front doors, as usual when the outdoor temps go that low.

Still no appreciable snow, but the other day I noticed that snow which had falled previously was stuck in the cracks in the pavement, in some spots.

Yes, it's winter. Go figure.