I sometimes wonder if I'm getting too old for all this technology crap.

I have a couple of problems with this here laptop and frankly they are driving me nuts.

One of them was a real irritant – my mail programme kept locking up without my realising it.  So I could glance at my mail, see there were no messages and go about my business.  Later I would try to check another mailbox and find it wouldn't work – the damn thing had frozen again.  So I would kill it [linux has a lovely command called "kill" and it does exactly what it says on the lid] and restart it only to find there were loads of messages there all along but they just hadn't loaded.

This was really getting on my wick so I tried to find a fix for it.  But no one else seemed to have the identical problem so I was stuck.  I spent quite a chunk of time trying to fix the damn thing and was getting really frustrated. 

Then one day the thought crossed my mind that on a previous occasion I had read about a "repair" thing.  I checked one of my mail folders and there it was hidden in a corner of the properties yoke – a "repair" button.

I pressed it.  The screen went blank.  The mail programme came back again only now my inbox was suddenly full of unread messages.  Fuck!  Where did they come from?

I checked through the messages and they dated back not a few days nor even a few months but a few years.  Mails from friends and the not so friendly.

So my apologies to all my friends who wrote to me and I never replied.  Now you know why.  My apologies too to Tanya, Olga and Ludmilla.  I hope you weren't too disappointed and I hope you managed to find some other fuckbuddies.

My mail seems to be working perfectly now.  It hasn't hung up on me since.

But I still have my other problem and that has me completely stumped.  It is actually a two-parter.

When I switch on my laptop it flashes up the manufacturer's screen.  If I do nothing, it just sits there for several minutes before doing its loading business.  If however I switch on, off and on again it loads almost straight away.  Fucking weird, but at least I know how to speed it up.

Then when it does its loading thing it sticks up the little Mint logo to show its busy.  Now sometimes that logo is there for about fifteen seconds which is fine, but sometimes it takes between two and three minutes which is really fucking annoying.  Once the whole thing is loaded it runs perfectly without any more glitches.  What makes it boot slowly on some occasions but quickly on others?  

There are times when I seriously think that pen and paper are a lot easier.  Paper doesn't take any time at all to prepare itself for use.  It is there in an instant.  Pens are the same.  You don't need to switch 'em on or worry about updates or viruses or any of that shit.

But then a laptop never runs out of ink.

Damn but I'm confused!

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The devil and the deep blue sea — 17 Comments

  1. Tanya,Olga and Ludmilla those two timing hussies have propositioned me in the

    past.What are the odds that out of the entire population of the world all three of them just

    happened to contact the two of us?

    Too much of a coincidence?

    I suspect a conspiracy!


    • Why do I always get a mental picture of some beefy bearded truck driver when I see those mails?  Or would I be classed as somewhat naive if I expected an incredibly ravishing nubile young blonde to rush into my arms at the airport?

      • Damn!  My mail is working all right.  Just received this –

        Adٛieu mِy se͇xf̹rie֑nd
        i bro͏ke up wٔith my BF a͜nͣd just wan֛t t͓o h00kup.. l̢et me b̨e your toy. i'm 27/f wͯith a cute bo̳dy o:-)
        My use̗rname is


        • Could that message have emanated from a lovelorn Extra Terrestrial on a remote asteroid? Maybe at last people up there are responding to radio messages astronomers at Jodrell Bank and Dunsink Observatory sent into outer space decades ago. 

  2. There must be a problem with Linux Mint and Acer laptops.  My current problem is that Firefox weirds out every couple of days and when it does I have to reboot the laptop to fix it.

    • You could be right there about the Acer.  Another little foible is that the whole thing locks up and just sits there for a few seconds before returning to life as if nothing had happened.  It was like a memory problem, but this yoke has 8Gb and I have run tests on the memory with no problems.

  3. I think we are approaching a rudimentary form of Artificial Intelligence, insofar as the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. I too have oddities in my system for which I've eventually found workarounds (as often as not purely by accident), but workarounds that make absolutely no logical sense. For instance (just one example of many), when I use my UK VPN to watch the BBC (as I did today to watch the F1), the stream buffers and then appears in a minimised screen. If when the stream is running I go to full screen, nine times out of ten I will lose the stream and have to start all over again. If, however, I let it run for five minutes in the minimised screen, it will then go to full screen without a murmur.

    I put it down to the inherent personality of my machine.

    Cars used to be like that, before they engineered the personality out of them.

    I had a car once that sometimes decided it didn't want to start, and it usually chose times when I was running to a schedule. It just Would. Not. Start. Didn't matter how much I tinkered with the carbs or whatever. It was lifeless. Eventually I would get really mad (I was more prone to venting my frustrations in those days) and scream and cuss that car to hell and back. And you know what? It would then start immediately, as if there had never been a problem. But it would only start if I was genuinely angry. I tried faking it, but to no avail. I had to be really spitting feathers before it would fire up. If I hadn't loved it so much, I would have trashed it. It was one of these:


    and was a classic when I owned it in the 70s.


    • Now that looks like a car, unlike the modern yokes that look like something inflated out of a children's cartoon!

      I had a couple of strange vehicles too.  One like yours that only worked when it wanted to and another one that seemed to be magnetic – I lost count of the number of things that hit it [cars, motorbikes and bicycles].  It was always stationary at the time and I was always either in the car or standing beside it.  I know that wasn't a foible of the car itself but I really got pissed off repairing dents and scratches.  The fucking thing was haunted.

  4. It sounds like it is about time to backup the \home folder and wipe the hard drive.  Would a fresh install help, you think?  Throw an SSD in that puppy.  That'll speed it up!  🙂

    • I actually did a reinstall of Mint leaving /home unformatted.  It took about twenty minutes and didn't interfere with my settings, mail and all the rest.  Everything seems to be working a lot more smoothly now and doing a full boot up in less than 40 seconds. 

  5. Next time you get the thing up and running, open the menu (yes, I know what brand of Linux you're running) check the "SMART" data for your HDD. I'm sure you already know how to do this but what the hell:

    Find and open the "Disks" application. Once open, highlight your drive on the left hand pane (should be the only one) then click the gear icon in the upper right of the right pane and choose "SMART Data & self tests" from the menu.

    Anyway, it sounds like your lappy either has a power supply problem, and overheating problem or a drive problem. The SMART data will eliminate or confirm the HDD.

    Overheating can be checked by opening a terminal and typing "sensors".

    Your BIOS show the voltages. That is if your BIOS is one of the better ones.


    • Ran the SMART check and everything is 100%.  No problems there.

      Temperature isn't a problem as it's cold boot-up time [unless it's too cold!].

      Memory was checked and it's also 100%.

      I fixed the slow Mint load by reinstalling but it still occasionally locks on the pre-grub screen – I say occasionally because it has taken to booting properly sometimes.

      The only other possibility is the BIOS but there is noting I can do about that.  The manufacturer's site has obviously decided my machine is already obsolete and I can't find a BIOS for it, and I am not going to chance one for a similar machine!!

      My only problems now are a) the machine freezes occasionally but all I have to do is wait for ten to twenty seconds until it catches its breath and b) Thunderbird still locks up the odd time and has to be Killed.  Time for a reinstall of Thunderbird!

      • If you can, reinstall Thunderbird with a new profile. it's a bit of a pain setting up your email account(s) from scratch but just reinstalling will still use the old profile.

        I'm sure you know all this already but I just can't help it.

        • My big fear is that if there is an error, that it's in the profile.  I've been using the same one now for several years so it wouldn't surprise me if there is an error or two somewhere!

          In the meantime I disabled my only plugin – Firetray – and things seem to be running a bit smoother since.  Fingers crossed……  😐


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