Iruka the Computer Tech Vents in Your General Direction

Iruka Naminori
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Iruka the Computer Tech Vents in Your General Direction

Because I have a knack for building, rebuilding and fixing computers, my right-wing, fundy family expects me to keep the family's computers up and running. My mother helps me with living expenses, so she gets free tech service. I don't have a problem with that.

I also don't mind working on my nephew's computer. The only problem is my brother and the rest of the family basically annihilated the damn thing.

It's been a fucking nightmare!

The fan on their GeForce4 Ti 4200 died, so for a long time they had the side panel off and used a room fan to cool the GPU. Obviously, this didn't work forever and the video card blew. When I first came over to diagnose, I thought I could pop another card into the AGP slot and the machine would boot, but OF COURSE NOT. It wouldn't even POST. When a machine won't POST, nine times out of ten the culprit is a dodgy power supply. I used my power supply tester and it tested OK, so I thought maybe there was a problem with the leads that hook up to the chassis. After all, the chassis had been sitting open for months.

I went out of my way to procure a working power supply and chassis and asked my brother to test the motherboard. Weeks passed. No testy. Months passed. No testy. I needed the chassis and PSU to build a system...guess who got testy? >Sad

So I decided to fix the system myself.

I threw the mobo into the other chassis and it POSTed. OK, good start. Then I got this funny idea and tried the old power supply: intermittent power. Despite the fact it tested out okay, it was hosed. So, I threw everything back into the other chassis, but first it needed a good cleaning.

I took the remaining side panel off--the other one had been off forever--turned the chassis upside down and shook it. Out popped a good-sized screw, a metallic-looking object that felt more like plastic, several small pieces of paper and a herd of dust bunnies the size of tribbles. The screw could have shorted out all kinds of things, including the motherboard.

Let me interject that I have fibromyalgia and degenerative disc disease. A couple of years ago I had surgery to fuse vertebrae in my neck. I really shouldn't have had to do the heavy stuff and the cleaning, but my nephew had been without a computer for months.

I ended up vacuuming and cleaning a filthy chassis, keyboard and mouse.

A few months ago, I gave my brother a huge 22" CRT monitor for my nephew's computer. He's managed to break the foot. Loverly.

I got everything back in the chassis only to realize the DVD-ROM was broken. I had planned to boot from the DVD-ROM to do a clean installation of Windows. The previous hard drive installation was a complete disaster with a full installation of WinXP Home, an installation of WinXP Pro and an aborted installation of the 64-bit version of WinXP Pro. My nephew wanted a clean installation and I didn't blame him.

I had brought a power supply, a monitor and my old GeForce3 video card to fix the system. Now it appeared I had to scrounge up a DVD-ROM as well. I was tired and a bit pissy, so I went home.

Because of my various disabilities, I require a lot of sleep. My brother called me an hour or so later (woke me out of a sound sleep), claiming he'd "fixed" the system. All he'd done was turn it on and choose the operating system that happened to work (WinXP Home). After all that work, he tried to claim HE had fixed the computer. I hadn't even tried to get it to boot because that wasn't what I was after. I was after a clean installation. Sigh.

I hung up the phone and waited for another day.

I got a partial payment from my mother for the monitor, but I have "donated" a power supply, a video card, a DVD-ROM, two hard drives and two hard drive trays to the cause of fixing my nephew's computer. Once I realized the DVD-ROM was broken, I told my brother he was going to have to pay for parts.

If my mother finds out I'm asking him to pay for parts, she'll get pissed. She has donated a lot of money toward the cause of keeping Iruka Naminori alive. (My brother, on the other hand, doesn't give a shit.) Why this should translate into giving my brother computer parts I could have used to build a computer to sell...???? I just don't know. My brother just got stuck with some huge medical bills, but I feel like telling him, "That's what you get for voting for Bush twice." Yeah, he's got the big-ass truck with the Bush '04 sticker on the back. Every time I see it an urge comes over me to plaster an "I'm with stupid" sticker right next to it.

My brother has his health. My brother has a job. He should pay me a piddly $95 for putting Humpty Dumpty back together again using my own parts, shouldn't he? I mean, I've put SO MANY FUCKING HOURS into this. I don't mind doing it for my nephew, but I can't afford to give away computer parts.

My disability income amounts to very little. After expenses, I usually have about $300 for groceries. I haven't bought clothing in a long time. I've had to adjust my expectations from nearly upper middle class to lower class within the past few years. Yet my mother / family get pissed if I ask for even a little money for fixing the stuff they break.

Sigh.

Well, I got most of the system back together again and just found out the floppy drive is hosed, too. Sweet Jayzus H. Keeeerist on a Trailer Hitch! WTF did they DO to that poor system???

Not only that, I also just learned that my brother has NO IDEA where the other side panel is. Great. If I send it back without a side panel it will be broken again in no time. Part of me wants to overcharge him for used parts. At this point I think $35 for the PSU, $30 for the vid card and $30 for the DVD-ROM is more than fair.

What if he can't find the side panel? Do I sell him a chassis, too, for less than it's worth? I'd have to completely unmount everything and move it to another chassis. I think at this point I should start charging him for labor. What do you think?

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melchisedec
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I would definitely charge

I would definitely charge something. Considering all the labor you have thus far put into it, it is only fair. Sounds like a hellish situation. Normally when a computer can't post I immediately think of the mobo being the culprit. In your case it seems like just about everything was bad. I do have to admit that in the past I had an old 9800 Radeon that would get super hot. Even with a regular dusting. So I had my household fan pointed at my open case and it worked out pretty well.

 I am very use to being the family computer guy. My wife's friends used to send their PCs over to me to fix for all sorts of issues. I finally got sick of it all and told her I was officially retired. I swore that besides my family I will not touch a computer. So what happens? Now I get sent a few computers a year from her friends and friends of my mother in law to fix computers, for christmas! I hate to be a scrooge so I end up doing it. Just when I thought I was out they found a way to drag me back in!


Iruka Naminori
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melchisedec wrote: I would

melchisedec wrote:

I would definitely charge something. Considering all the labor you have thus far put into it, it is only fair. Sounds like a hellish situation. Normally when a computer can't post I immediately think of the mobo being the culprit.

Actually what I meant was the system didna ha' no power, keptin. Smiling  If a system won't POST, I usually think mobo, CPU, RAM or power supply.  Power supplies seem to go belly up a LOT. 

melchisedec wrote:
In your case it seems like just about everything was bad. I do have to admit that in the past I had an old 9800 Radeon that would get super hot. Even with a regular dusting. So I had my household fan pointed at my open case and it worked out pretty well.

Yeah, I can understand doing that.  It's not like I've never fucked up a system by doing something stupid.  I have. Smiling  More than once.  I guess I'm upset with my brother's attitude.  First he thought he "fixed" it by turning it on.  Now he's hemming and hawing about a few bucks. 

I guess what really chaps my hide is the feeling I have that I'm in trouble if I don't just do all of it for free.  If my mother finds out, she'll pass me a few bucks under the table and tell me to shut up about it.  I already feel like I'm under her thumb because of all the money she's spent keeping me.  And that's what it feels like.  I'm being kept.  

melchisedec wrote:
I am very use to being the family computer guy. My wife's friends used to send their PCs over to me to fix for all sorts of issues. I finally got sick of it all and told her I was officially retired. I swore that besides my family I will not touch a computer. So what happens? Now I get sent a few computers a year from her friends and friends of my mother in law to fix computers, for christmas! I hate to be a scrooge so I end up doing it. Just when I thought I was out they found a way to drag me back in!

LOL!  What do you think of this:

 

 I want one of these T-shirts really bad, but I can't afford it.  Ah, irony!

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MrRage
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Iruka Naminori wrote: LOL!

Iruka Naminori wrote:
LOL! What do you think of this:

I want one of these T-shirts really bad, but I can't afford it. Ah, irony!

My roommate has that shirt and he basically wore it out.

If money's a problem, may I suggest making one yourself? You seem to be pretty talented with design and art. Blank T-shirts are pretty cheap.


Iruka Naminori
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MrRage wrote:

MrRage wrote:
My roommate has that shirt and he basically wore it out. If money's a problem, may I suggest making one yourself? You seem to be pretty talented with design and art. Blank T-shirts are pretty cheap.

I could, actually. It does cost a bit to have something printed up that will last. I did these two T-shirt Designs. I wear the first one when I take my bird into public areas:

 

On the back it says:

 

 

 

I also sold this colored pencil design on T-shirt (it looks better in real life, of course):

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MrRage
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Shoulder Shark, that's

Shoulder Shark, that's hilarious.

Iruka Naminori wrote:

I could, actually. It does cost a bit to have something printed up that will last.

True. I'd say most t-shirts like that are marked up 3 to 4 times their cost, and they're not always high quality. It's almost robbery. I just buy the $3 blank ones at Walmart or Target. Same thing w/o the logos. I've been wanting to get a t-shirt screening kit though.


Iruka Naminori
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MrRage wrote: Shoulder

MrRage wrote:
Shoulder Shark, that's hilarious.

True. I'd say most t-shirts like that are marked up 3 to 4 times their cost, and they're not always high quality. It's almost robbery. I just buy the $3 blank ones at Walmart or Target. Same thing w/o the logos. I've been wanting to get a t-shirt screening kit though.

Also I tend to like black shirts, except in the summer. I have at least a few more months of black shirts.... 

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Vastet
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I think it's time for you to

I think it's time for you to use the internet to apply for a job far far away from there. Canada maybe. Eye-wink

Proud Canadian, Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.