Susan Dennis (susandennis) wrote,
Susan Dennis

My own Christmas magic

I'm still tweaking the new PC because mainly it's so fun to mess with. I'm not sure I've ever worked with any computer more responsive and robust. Last night the keyboard (external, not the laptop's keyboard) was giving me fits and finally I figured out to try new batteries. FIXED! doh. I think I probably last changed batteries in that thing a couple of years ago. Canceled the Amazon order.

Today's adventure was sound. The laptop's speakers are not robust enough. The USB speaker is too tinny. The speakers I ordered from Amazon were broken (and are all boxed up ready to go back). So this morning I was speaker shopping on Amazon again and finally decided that I could whip into REPC (the used pc parts store about a half mile from here) and pick up some perfectly fine speakers for cheap.

And then I thought... Echo! I tried pairing the PC to the Echo and it wouldn't show up in the PC list of bluetooth choices... Google then pointed out that the PC doesn't transmit. Oh, right. I need a transmitter. Oh, wait. Don't I have one of those in my Storage Closet Of Tech That I Should Throw Away Or Give To Goodwill? I found two! I bought originally for the car and then tried on the TV and both had issues that now I can't even remember but they were too cheap to bother sending back.

I hooked the smallest one up first. Found a button and held it until I got the flashing light and then asked Echo to pair and BAM! It worked!!!!! To my plebeian ears the Echo speaker is fine quality. And so now I am all set. The big ben chimes come out of the Echo and sound splendid.

1. Having an app that chimes every quarter hour has been on every Echo wish list for two years. No one has done it yet. Now I have!
2. When trying to make bluetooth pair and so turning it off to turn it on again, remember, your bluetooth mouse will die immediately. That's a big DOH!

I am enormously pleased with myself. Everything is hooked up and working. And very tidy. The laptop sits on a small rollout cart (originally made for the printer). The dock and cables are hidden under on a shelf. It looks very nice and functions perfectly. (I rolled out the cart, opened the laptop to give life support to the mouse I killed. Then just rolled it back in place.)

That corner of the living room has been home to my computers for 25 years. At one point, I had about half the computing power I have now with about half the 'toys' powered by two CPUs and a nest of wires and cables that was just a horrendous and ugly nightmare.

I snapped this proud shot after I upgraded from my gynormous monitor (that actually bowed the desk) to a sweet flat screen. I thought it was so sleek looking... That was the end of 2004. (See that thing on the right that's at the end of a black curved poll with white cable? That was the web cam that I installed so Mom could see what I was watching on TV.) What a mess.

This is the same corner today.


Ok, so... now that the PC excitement is over, I think I'll get on with my day. I need to take my garbage down to the dumpsters before everyone fills them with Christmas waste. Then I think there will be some sewing and other usual stuff. A nice, quiet day.

Oh Big Ben just chimed again through the Echo. Every 15 minutes I'm going to delight at my enterprise there. This does not bode well for cleaning shit out for throwing away or Goodwill. hmmmm.
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