Tuesday, October 19, 2010

No smoke, but awfully hot!

I wrote this on Monday and set it to auto post at midnight, but as often is the case blogger didn't post it! So I will manually post it now, but it seems late when you don't catch it until noon the next day. Sorry about that.

It's the middle of the afternoon (Monday), and I just had my keyboard burn up on the new home built computer.  I salvaged the old keyboard as I built the new bare bones machine.  Nothing ever goes wrong with a keyboard does it?  Well it would seem not!

But as I was sitting here, the cord began to get hot.  And then hotter, as I quickly pulled it out of the back of the new machine.  It was the older PS 2 connection, and the back of the tower was facing me directly, so unplugging it was just reach over and do it.

So I headed out to Hypertech and bought a new keyboard.  But, of course the new keyboards are USB.  And I immediately wondered how many ports like that I had and if Ubuntu would recognize the new design keyboard.  Read that, a new driver is necessary!  And the new machine does have 8 ports.

It all plugged together nicely once I got home.

But, it scared me for a minute as I rebooted, when it said that the hard drive was unaccessible!

But I had tried a warm start reboot, so after reaching over and totally killing the power for a cold start, here I am typing away on the new Logitech K120 keyboard.

Of course the thing is light plastic and has absolutely no tactile feel to it.  But what do you expect for under $20?  I know, I should have bought it three weeks ago when I bought the new bare bones.  But that would be hindsight.  And none of us have any of that! LOL

Now as I think about it, the motherboard ROM BIOS (read only memory, basic input output system) had to inventory the available peripherals and configure them before starting any operating system, so of course it needed a cold start reboot.  Dah!   I know these things, but I don't do it for a living like I used to do, so it takes a while for me to get up to speed again.   My computer is my right arm and window into the real world, and when it goes into a failure mode, it is a bonafide emergency!


I'm trying to remember if I can answer Al's question about whether I still have my teddy bear.  The answer is no, but more perplexing is that I can't remember if I actually had a teddy bear.  I remember having a boy doll at one time, but I didn't play with it much, because my friends said that dolls were for girls.  That must have had an effect on me, because the doll was lost forever as I moved out of the parents house.

At about the same time that I graduated from High School, my folks moved into a different house, and a lot of the old stuff that I had as a kid simply disappeared.  I was in Mason City going to the Junior College, and when I got home, my bedroom was now the guest room.  Kind of an abrupt reality check.

Now one thing that I still have from that time, is our soldering gun.  As a kid, my folks were in the wholesale electronics business.  So my idle time was spent in the basement building Heathkits and soldering lots of electronic stuff together.

My father had saved that old Weller gun for years, as he didn't like the newer designs from the 60s and beyond.  It is still in the basement here in Kansas City.  And it still works just as well as it did when I was a kid.  I guess that explains why I go buy pieces and build a computer to this day.

Old habits die really hard!

Retired Rod

PS: in honor of Rick's blog today, I changed the header picture using the Collage function in Picasa.  But the thing of note, is that it was done in Linux Picasa, and uploaded with Linux Chrome.  No Microsoft Windows involved at all.


  1. No teddy bear here..in fact I don't think I have one thing from my childhood other than some baby jewelry.

    On the auto-publish with blogger...I've gotten in the habit of going back to my EDIT page list to make sure the status is SCHEDULED. If it shows as DRAFT, edit it and republish.

    Sometimes I know I hit the wrong key but other times I know Blogger messed up.

    I am putting up a lot of blogs ahead of time on my new website, http://blog.toadilypets.com and had that happen just last night.

    PS. Hope you are well on your way to recovery!

  2. That word, 'Heathkit' brings back memories. I wasn't smart enough for them but my friend sure was & took great pleasure in assembling different components like stereos, scopes, etc. He always liked me to hold things while he deftly fidgited with wires, screws & soldering procedures which would effectively nearly electrocute me every time. He got quite a rise out of all that & needless to say I got quite a rise out of it too. He later went on to work for IBM & NCR. Flys his own plane now....no, it isn't a Heathkit model.

  3. Your new header collage looks great, even if it was created using that woe-begon OS Ubuntu!!

    A keyboard catching on fire - that's a new one for me. Not bad getting a new one for under $20 though.

  4. I really like your new header. I did not know that you could delay the publishing of your post...more to learn, so little time.

    It sure was fortunate that you noticed that your keyboard was getting hot. That sure was a good price on your new one.


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