scribbles tagged ‘Tinkerbell’

welcome Sparkle!

Monday, November 5th, 2012 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

Sparkle on my tableSparkle a ‘Champaigne’ coloured Acer Aspire S3 Ultrabook running windows 7 home premium joins my list of personally owned computers, dating back to 2004. Hooray!

Here’s how it all started:

In 2004 my employer provided me with a really good laptop and didn’t mind me using it at home. No need for a 2nd computer.  Until a 17 year old Swedish exchange student moved into my life, my home. My official role was “Host Mother”.  I didn’t think I’d be chosen when I offered my skills to the local Scandinavian society:

I drink, I smoke, I work long hours, live alone with 2 cats and have absolutely no experience of being a parent or living with teenage kids except with my brother but that was over 20 years ago so it doesn’t really count. If she and her mother are OK with that then I guess we can work something out

Much to my surprise, and slight horror, they choose me – for a year. At work my Canadian manager  told me I was crazy.   Unconvincingly, I tried to reassure him:

She’s a half Finnish Swede, studying cookery, we’ll work something out


You’re crazy, I left Scandinavia to get away from the bossy women and you’re inviting one home!

When a 17 year old moves into your home, is studying at Redmond High School (almost everyone’s parents work at Microsoft), you have to make sure they’re equipped with a computer.  I bought a HP Compaq and set-up a home wireless for her. She would be able to do schoolwork with privacy in her room, or join me on mine downstairs. There were times when we sat next to each other on the Sofa using MSN Messenger to talk to each other.  It was surreal and fun. When she left, she left the laptop.

Quickly I got used to personalising the machine and not carrying my work laptop home.  I started blogging and met other people who had their own laptops and blogged. I was hooked.  Sparkle makes me smile, helps me to sparkle.

Meanwhile, a few of you may remember my blogging from these laptops:

  1. Tinkerbell Silver HP Compaq Windows XP Home  – suicide in 2006 (Motherboard failure)
  2. Darling Maroon Sony Viao Windows XP Home  – retired in 2008 (XP irritatingness – traded-in for Sparkle)
  3. Neverland Golden Sony Viao TT Windows Vista Professional – suicide in 2010 (Hardware failure – power socket – much loved and missed)
  4. Cupboard Maroon Sony Viao Netbook – Windows 7 Starter – suicide in 2012 (Hardware failure – Screen-crack, touchpad left-click not working, some keys getting fussy and CRAP performance. I never liked the Cupboard much)

Can you guess how long I expect Sparkle to last and the likely main cause of her demise?

welcome Sparkle!
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Hard Drive DEAD

Thursday, September 29th, 2005 | tags: ,  |

Normal service will resume in mid October


Hard Drive DEAD
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Operating system not found

Tuesday, September 27th, 2005 | tags: ,  |

My laptop is empathizing with my health…     …after I pressed the power button this morning…   …first it  ‘whirred’ reminiscent of an electric ‘saw’…     ..then  this  is what it said to me in a small font, centre screen…  

operating system not found


Dad knowingly said ‘the bearings on your hard drive have ‘gone

Doh.   Lost my bearings…



Operating system not found
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My Home Network. Fiddling.

Tuesday, September 13th, 2005 | tags: , ,  |

<boring entry>

Initial set-up:

  • old desktop replacement HP laptop runnng XP SP2 Professional (Tinkerbell).
  • combined wireless base-station router (gateway?) connected to a DSL modem.

Problem space:

  • Recently Tinkerbell started making disturbing ‘whirring’ noises intermittently. Scared the kitties. Spooked me. A ‘tap’ on the side stops it.. …but its a mystery…
  • Tinkerbell could provide a useful resource on trip to the UK, homes with wireless networks and limited access to PC’s…


  • Back-up digital music & photographs ‘outside’ the laptop.
  • Storage accessible over wireless network (don’t want to plug it into my laptop).
  • Easily add a photo-quality printer to the Network.
  • Cheaper than replacing Tinkerbell.
  • More storage than I currently need.
  • No complex labeling and filing systems to manage (e.g. burning and maintaining a complex CD catalogue).
  • Opportunities beyond my & the kitties current imagination…

The solution is not immediately clear to the the kitties and I.


  • Searching online stores. Reading descriptions of Network thingy’s. Trying to work out what those descriptions meant and if they were good for the kitties and I.
  • Verified research by asking specific questions of a store assistant (Fry’s).

Implementing the solution

  • Purchase a network storage drive with printer-server (photograph attached).
  • Follow instructions. Everything set-up ok… …then…
  • changed the name of my remote storage folder…. ….things got too messy to describe here… …in time, i managed to ‘recover’.
  • Searched XP help for ‘Back-up’. It wasn’t helpful. Later discovered it would have been helpful if I’d typed ‘backup’.
  • 3hrs copying files from laptop to the remote storage – I havent got much ‘stuff’ yet!

Now Tinkerbell can ‘pop its clogs’ any old time. I can save for a light-weight, pretty, kitty-fur-repellant, replacement laptop. A small object of desire rather than a whirring functional brick!

Meanwhile, the brick will come to the UK with me. That means you’ll get more ‘verbose’ blog entries than if I used my phone…. Hooray! After all, it is all about you.

<boring entry finished>

My Home Network. Fiddling.
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