October 18th, 2014

Dust In the Wind

daisy_knotwise reported to me last night that her computer was not talking to either the monitor or the keyboard. This is usually believed to be a Bad Thing (TM). Today, I went to check on it.

Gretchen has a little Acer mini-tower that I bought, plugged in, and have spent most of the time ignoring, other than fixing the occasional network problem, making sure that antivirus software is installed, and the like. I verified that it wasn't booting up and decided it was time to open it up.

Of course, I'd never opened it up before. :)

The two thumbscrews on the back were more than hand-tightened, but a screwdriver took care of that. Then you have to pull the side off while pushing a little lever to unlock it. I hadn't seen that system before, but it wasn't too hard to figure out, so off it came.

Oh, look. Dust.

Now, given what I pulled out of my system a year or so ago, I hardly have room to talk. But this system was literally choked with dust. I handed Gretchen the side panel to clean off and then just started raking dust out with my hand. I eventually figured out how to pop off the cover that held the expansion cards in place so I could get to the last of the dust -- and as I pulled the lone expansion card out, I studied it closely and suddenly said, "Look! A modem!" I didn't know this box had a modem in it. Not that a modem is particularly useful nowadays...

I figured I might as well replace the battery while I was in there, so I got Gretchen to fetch one from the stash in the basement where I've been working on things. And I found the CMOS recovery jumper in case I needed it.

Let's take a look at the CPU fan. I poked at it with a screwdriver and pulled out a fat dust bunny that was nearly an inch long. As I rotated the fan, I eventually pulled out another three similar dust bunnies before the fan turned freely. I puffed into the case and blew out the last of the dust, then rolled back over to Gretchen's computer desk and plugged everything back in.

The computer booted up happily. And there was much rejoicing.

The side cover is now reinstalled and the computer is back beneath the desk.

Another technological hurdle overcome by thorough dusting. :)

Let There Be Sound

After a large number of wiring adventures, I finally got to wire up my new UA audio interface to the Mackie Big Knob and the speakers. Then I fired up Cubase to see what I had.

So far, it sounds good. :) Mind you, I haven't actually tried recording anything with it yet, because that would require running more cables that I have not yet run. Nor have I finished the other wiring under the desk, so there are still a good number of wires to be hooked up.

But I can play things back now. And that's progress.