Wednesday, 20 June 2007

"We gotta get outta this place..." 25 Miles

My computer has gone bang! Halfway through writing e-mails or this blog, the keyboard will either freeze or I will get a blue screen and a glimpse of some warning message before the whole thing shuts down. I can't go a step further without it being fixed.

If you are avoiding the big cities as I am (wanting to see small town USA, which was the purpose of this visit), you can't expect the services you are used to in every high street in the UK. For example, a friend has lent me an American mobile phone as his kids live over here. It is a "Pay As You Go" type, so I needed to put some credit onto the SIM. To do that over the phone you need a Zip Code as well as your credit card number; it won't work with a British post code. Back in LA, I tried several times until they suggested I visited a T Mobile shop and got it done in person. This I duly did. A few texts and a couple of calls back home and the money was gone. Could I find a T Mobile shop??? Not a chance.

Where I have been, I could buy a tractor or a gun any time I wanted, but a top up for my mobile was impossible. Eventually, I tried the call centre again and to my surprise and delight I now have dollars on the card. The same is true of computer shops. I looked in the phone book and located one which, like most places, was 5 miles out of town; hence the mileage.

They promised to give my machine the once over and said I should return in an hour. I went for a burger and was complimented on my hat by a woman who said I was "cute". I then realised that she was with her parents and was erm... "differently abled". So her critical faculties may have been impaired.

An hour later the guy in the shop said the hard drive etc was fine and he needed to run software tests, so could I come back in about 3 hours time. What to do for 3 hours??? The Titanic Exhibition seemed the logical choice!
As you can see from the picture, they have built a smaller scale replica of part of the vessel. You enter through what they describe as "Waterloo Station" which looks nothing like, but still. Everyone is given a card with biographical details of a passenger or crew memeber. You are that person and you can find out if you survived when you get to the end of the exhibition. Speaking as William McMaster Murdoch, First Officer, I am delighted to report I survived. Although, looking at the glass wall with all the names, I noted that third class passenger James Lester, alas, didn't survive. It is a clever exhibition, which takes at least an hour to get round. Nice touches, which give you the opportunity to stand on the deck at different times so you can fight against the angle of the ship's list. To me, the most interesting thing was the bowl of swirling water in which you could dip a digit which is kept at the correct temperature of the ocean at the time the unfortunate people plunged in. It was cold!

Back up to "Cyberstreet" and they said that my laptop checked out perfectly. Maybe it was getting too hot, they suggested. I am now typing this with the motel air con on full blast. So far so good.


Anonymous said...

Hi Alex,

back from my hols. You've done shed-loads of kewel stuff, while I've been away. Sounds like your PC has the "Blue Screen of Death" problem or "Blue screening" as it's more commonly called- , it's usually a problem with a or some file corruption in the operating system - I'm guessing you're running XP? almost impossible to fix without the right fix program- don't what ever you do run a registry scan. ..... Don't ask!

Your trip sounds exciting .... "differently abled"... I like that:).......

Rachel x

Del & Al said...

Great blog Alex

The Titanic must have seemed huge after been used to a narrowboat.
Glad you got the laptop sorted.

Have fun and keep bloging!

copter doctor said...

ALEX Re your laptop overheat!!!
I had all this aggro and more, a terminal crash and i lost all my photos when I was living in the Gulf about 5 years ago. Find yourself a computer shop and get a cool-plate which goes under the laptop and is powered from a USB port. The two fans draw air over the undersiude of the case and drop the temperature by a critical 10deg C. They are not expensive and absolutely essential even with air con

Meantime I am thinking of an event in Nashville two years ago about a cover band. I'll send you a post later

hope the above helps keep on truckin'

matt said...

at least when the small town shop says we'll fix it in three hours they will. in high street uk you'd still be waiting this time next week. after paying enough for a new one LOL.