atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#2748: Dang it's been a busy day

And I'm not even done yet.

Got up at 1 PM, hit the shower, had breakfast, went to see therapist L., went to CompUsa for a network card, went to Sailor V's to have a gander at his ATV and see what can be done about the bottoming-out problem, came home and installed new network card.

*sigh*

Network card: last night while I was trying to get onto WoW it took nearly five freakin' minutes for the login screen to come up after I hit the "play" button in the launcher. That's too damned long.

This crap started happening after Blizzard patched WoW for IPv6 compatibility. The network card I had in there was pretty old (vintage 2006) so I thought I might see what I could do to fix the problem.

I first tried searching for new drivers for the network card, which was identified in "Device Manager" as a Ralink RT61. Well--if you go to Ralink's web site, there are no drivers for any device with the numbers "61" in its model number. I opened the case and got the manufacturer name off it, because the card was made by Airlink; then I did a search for Airlink AWLH5025...and discovered that Airlink last wrote drivers for the thing in 2005 and hasn't bothered since. I could get a driver for Windows ME, though....

In a fit of desperation I popped the RF shield off and got the chipset ID: Ralink RT-2661T. Going back to Ralink's site again yielded no fruit whatsoever.

*sigh*

Figuring I had nothing to lose, I shut down the machine and hied myself out to Best Buy to see if I could get a suitable replacement for not a lot of money.

The answer was no; the only wireless network interface they had that wasn't a USB dongle cost sixty-seven fricking dollars, and I wasn't about to spend that much for a Wireless N card when I've got a Wireless G router and my maximum download speed is 6 Mbit per second. (Wireless G is 54 Mbit/second, which is mere nine times faster than AT&T can funnel bits into the modem. I don't even need G; I could get by with B.)

So I came home and rebooted the machine and played WoW. Before bed I checked CompUSA's web site (since they're closer to home than Fry's) and was pleased to see any number of wireless cards that would do the job.

After therapy this afternoon, then, I went to CompUSA...where they had exactly one (1) of the myriad of cards their web site had. It's enough, though; a wireless G network card with current drivers that only costs $20. Woohoo.

I also picked up something really, really neat: it's a USB dongle which plugs into any old hard drive you happen to have laying around--IDE or SATA, any physical size--and lets you use it as an external drive. This thing cost $20, which is less than the IDE hard drive enclosure I'd thought about buying and rejected. I mean, this way, I can plug in any drive I've got laying around and use it as an external backup drive. I'm not stuck with just using IDE or SATA, you see, and that is what sold me on this thing.

After browsing around the store, I got out of there before I gave into the little voice that was trying to talk me into buying more stuff. The motherboard aisle tempted me again, but other than have a gander at some niftiness I didn't do much. They have some pretty video cards there, too; given about a thousand dollars to blow on computer stuff, I could build a really, really shiny computer with components bought from that place. Something fancy with light-up fans and blinkenlights and all the other gewgaws that super-nerds plaster all over their machines.

* * *

Doubleplusundead says electric cars aren't going to save the planet from global warming.

They link this article about how little carbon an electric car actually saves.

You buy an electric car and you assiduously drive it every day, and you put 100,000 miles on it, and then you go buy a new one, smug that you've saved Mother Earth from all kinds of pollution. But how much CO2 have you actually saved?

...one ton.

One ton compared to an equivalent distance driven in a gasoline-powered car.

Total annual carbon budget for Earth's atmosphere: 206,000,000,000 tons.

Total annual carbon budget if 1,000 people switch to all-electric cars: 205,999,999,899

Figure each person drives 10,000 miles per year, so that's ten million miles; divide ten million by a hundred thousand, which ends up being 100. At a savings of one ton per hundred thousand miles driven, you have a total carbon savings of 100 tons.

The human component of Earth's annual carbon budget is 6,000,000,000 tons per year. (Six billion.)

...yeah. You see, "The study...took into account carbon emitted to generate the grid electricity consumed." Electric cars need to be charged from something, and if you generate your electricity by burning fossil fuels, the only carbon savings you realize is due entirely to the economy of scale...and that works out to about 0.32 ounces of carbon per mile.

What if all your electricity is generated from nuclear sources? I have to wonder what the carbon savings would look like then. I doubt the study considers that.

* * *

Larry Niven's vision of organ banks is true in Belgium.

In Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, "Belgium" is a pretty nasty cuss word.

* * *

As for me, I've got 10 minutes before the first "Companions in Christ" group that I joined last week. I've got to refill my Mountain Dew bottle and get ready to go. I'll try the hard drive dongle thing after I get back. Have a good one!
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