A New Computer, Leive’s Travels, and Jack Pattie Day

A lot has happened in the past week, and I couldn’t report it here because I didn’t have a working computer.  Regular readers, family and friends know that I go through life with one foot in cyberspace, so that really hurt.

The trouble started on Tuesday when I used the System Restore command on my computer to fix a program that wouldn’t either run or reinstall itself.  System Restore never gave me any trouble before, but this time it corrupted or erased a critical file named txtsetup.sif, and the computer would not boot after that.  After spending $170 to use a helpdesk company named iYogi, and talking for nearly five hours with six or seven folks, all of them with Indian accents, we managed to get the computer to work again, by replacing the registry with a back-up registry file I made last week.

However, the txtsetup.sif file was still missing, which meant I would be in big trouble if Windows crashed again.  I decided to reformat the main hard drive, using the recovery disks I had made when I bought the computer nearly four years ago.  Everything went all right until I put in the last disk, and it turned out to be no good.  I can’t remember a CD or DVD failing on me before, so why did it have to happen now?  I called the Geek Squad, but they couldn’t help me without another set of recovery disks, so I was left with a dead computer.  The good news is that I had backed up my data on external hard drives before trying to reformat, so the only thing I lost permanently were the bookmarks on my browser.  And the tower has two internal hard drives and one CD drive that according to a preliminary test, are in excellent condition, so maybe someday I can reformat the messed-up hard drive and use all three with a future computer or network.

On a hunch, I called the nearest Radio Shack store on Thursday, and they had a laptop on clearance that sounded good enough for my purposes.  That afternoon I went and bought it, along with a few accessories.  In terms of capabilities, it is probably just as good as Leive’s laptop, but it runs Windows 7 instead of Windows Vista.  I’ll just say it cost me less than any other computer I bought over the years.  Since then I have been configuring it to my style of work, and to run my favorite programs, which should keep me busy for several days.  One thing that surprised me was that quite a few of my old favorite programs, like Cardfile (a Windows 3.1 accessory), won’t run with Windows 7, so I have to find newer programs to take their place.

In other news, Leive is out of town.  Yesterday she went with the ladies of our church, to a retreat on the other side of Estill County.  This is Aldersgate, the same campsite I went to three months ago; you can see the pictures from my trip in the message I posted on May 30, 2010.  She’ll be back tomorrow, but in the meantime, our parrot Brin-Brin definitely doesn’t appreciate having me around.

Today marked the fourth anniversary of the ComAir Flight 5191 disaster, in which an airliner crashed near Bluegrass Airport because it took off from a runway meant for private planes, and hit the nearest trees and a fence.  Ground was broken at the University of Kentucky Arboretum, to build a memorial to the crash.  It will be a metal sculpture with 49 silver doves, one for each victim.  With a bit of luck, it will be finished by this time next year.

Finally, today marked 35 years on the job for Jack Pattie, the most popular DJ in town.  Jack does the morning show on the leading AM station in Lexington, WVLK (590 AM).  In that sense, he’s a lot like Jim Turner on WDBO in Orlando, my former home.  For me he brightens up my commute to work, but apparently he means much more to the oldtimers.  Today’s show was broadcast from the Red Mile racetrack, and around noon the mayor proclaimed today to be Jack Pattie Day, inviting everyone to celebrate by going home early.  I’m telling you this because if you don’t live in central Kentucky, you probably don’t know Jack!

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