See, while I was playing WoW Thursday morning, the computer just up and shut down on me. No warning, no explanation; it just shut itself off.
...reasoning that it might be a thermal issue, I disconnected the machine and disassembled it and blew six months' worth of dust bunnies out of the vents. In truth I have no freakin' clue what made the machine shut down without so much as a warning, but it was an orderly shutdown; the system started up without a hitch and there was no "Windows did not properly shut down" screen. But it had needed cleaning for a while, I reasoned, so I might as well go ahead and do it; I shut down the system again and went to work.
I really don't get it. When I lived in Cedar Rapids, even with two cats and two cat boxes in a 600 square foot apartment there wasn't this much dust. I dusted perhaps twice a year and there was never much buildup anywhere. The computer certainly never accumulated so much crud that it needed regular cleaning.
This place, I need to dust at least twice a month. If I let it go longer than that, I'm using up the disposable dust cloth. And I end up cleaning the computer about every six months.
ANYway, so I cleaned the stuff out of the vents, and I also decided I'd finally de-clutter the front end of the machine. I had sound and wireless keyboard and MP3 player cables all plugged in the front, which necessitated having the sliding door down thus blocking some of the vents on the front of the case. I fixed that: I moved the wireless keyboard USB connector to the open USB port on the back of the machine. Also I moved the audio out for the video system to an unused output jack on the sound card.
Well, that didn't work. Since the computer found the wireless keyboard/mouse first, it treated that as #1 and wouldn't let me change the settings of the mouse buttons on the main mouse. Also, the auxiliary output jacks on the sound card don't frickin' work and can't be turned on.
I rearranged the USB cables on the back, plugging the main mouse into the port the other mouse was in; that fixed the mouse problem. But I need the aforementioned splitter to fix the audio problem.
Anyway, after all this, I then played WoW for quite a while without any trouble whatsoever.
I do keep thinking about moving the tower out from under the desk, but I'm at a loss as to where the hell I could possibly put it that wouldn't require rearranging half the freakin' room. Ideally I'd like to put it approximately where the scanner/inkjet printer is now, but then I'd have to figure out where the hell to put that damn thing.
If I could get the wireless function of the laser printer to work, I could move that anywhere (almost anywhere) and put the inkjet where the laser printer is, and the computer where the inkjet is. I guess I should look into doing that.
On the minus side, I bet a lot of the cables wouldn't reach where I want to put the CPU. Argh etc.
In any event, I didn't go get the cable this afternoon--after I was done with WoW for the day--because I'd been up since about 2 AM, and I wanted to go to bed. I thought about it, but I didn't do it. If it were really critical that I have it right now I could go to the 24-hour Wal-Mart in Homewood, but I just don't care enough to drive that far.
If the nearest Walgreen's were still a 24-hour store, I'd go there and buy it. But they're not. So F it; it can wait. If I simply must watch anime before I can go get the cable, I'll just plug the thing into the front jack again temporarily.
* * *
As for WoW--
The changes are interesting. I'm not sure I like some of them.
Example: the talent tree system now forces you to select one tree and spend all your points there. On the plus side, it makes your character stronger. On the minus side, you lose the flexibility of spreading around your points.
Something I really don't like is that they nerfed the hell out of "Lifeblood", the bonus ability you get from Herbalism. It used to give back a certain percentage of your total health over a 10-second period; now it gives you some miniscule HP bump and increases your hit rating for about 20 seconds. Boo.
Fiddling with Oledanbolt: they changed how some mage spells work. "Arcane Bolt" now requires that you do damage with other spells before you can cast it; it is powered up approximately randomly by other damage spells. On the plus side, when you can cast it, it costs no mana to cast. Not sure I like that.
Slaughther did a random, and we were flattening the bad guys most of the time, so it looks like DPS has been increased, generally speaking.
Leveling skills has changed. When you get a brand-new recipe and it's orange, you automatically get three skill points from making that recipe. They also did something that I thought would be useful; they added a filter to show you recipes that will level up your skill.
Interesting bonus: I'm getting XP for harvesting herbs, and it's subject to the 2x XP bonus from being rested. (I assume this XP bump applies to all gathering skills.)
The minimap in the upper-right corner of the screen can now show more than one kind of target. Slaughther has it set for "find herbs" and "class trainers". The latter show up as little books; if you select "Repair" those targets show up as little anvils. Heh.
The world occasionaly rumbles and shakes. Cataclysm is coming!
They've changed how they render water; it took my breath away when I realized that there were reflections on the surface of the water. Dayum!
The 4.0.0 patch was 4.7 GB and the thing downloaded another 1.3 GB of patches after that, so in total it took 6 GB of patches to bring me up to date. That's basically the entire freaking world, right there. I expect to be finding new tweaks to the graphics for some time to come.
...and I'm going to have to respec every damn toon I've got, too. *sigh* Such is the price of progress.