Dell Precision 650, October 2003 – January 2008

Miss Kitty After a great week in Mountain View with the rest of team I returned to find that not all was well.

When I tried to boot my trusty Dell Precision, nothing happened. Upon inspection, I found the video card had been pushed in and “bent”. I have been assured that no unauthorized vacuuming occurred during my absence, which leaves Miss Kitty as the likely suspect. I tried to re-seat the card to no avail. I think Miss Kitty actually did me a favor since I found a number of capacitors on the motherboard are bulging with “crap” coming out of their tops. I guess I am reaping what I sowed in my last post.

On Monday, I’ll try to find someone who might be able to replace the motherboard and possibly video card for a reasonable price but it looks like I’ll be needing a replacement for my personal computing soon.

PS. If you wish to comment, don’t forget to answer the challenge-response question!

Are Macs a ripoff ?

I sit here typing this on a 4+ year old Dell Precision while my trusty 3+ year old IBM Thinkpad stands by waiting for me to hit the road. The Dell has never needed a repair while the Thinkpad has been to the shop once. I like the Thinkpad so much, I even went for the extended warranty when the original 3 year warranty expired.

I’ve been jealous of the really sweet MacBook Pros that I’ve seen other mozillian’s packing and was planning on upgrading both my workstation and laptop to some really killer Macs sometime in the first half of next year. However, I am having second thoughts after seeing the kind of experience others are having.

Norm Walsh has been having problems recently that raised my concerns a bit.
Dave Winer has also been experiencing his share of the pain, but his experience with the Apple Store has left me flabbergasted.

What other choices for a really fast workstation and laptop do I have? For what its worth, I’m running Fedora on both my workstation and laptop and don’t want Windows on either machine. Suggestions very much appreciated.


My shell account at Dreamhost was compromised and this site was vandalized. It appears this was a wide spread event and a number of other sites hosted at Dreamhost were affected. If you have an account at Dreamhost, I recommend you change your passwords for your shell and email and check your web content for modifications.

I’ve cleaned up the mess (I think). Although as far as I can tell the Spider.xpi was not modified, I have generated a new version of Spider to force an update to any Spider users.


This has been a gumption killing week for me…


The network ports on my old Direct Way 4020 Satellite modem died leaving me entirely without a net connection.

Net withdrawal began.


Told numerous depressing options for replacing dead modem before managing to get the “upgrade” option without resetting my contract period but with a potential 2 business week delay on receiving the new modem.


Over to sister’s to take advantage of the Hughesnet system I got her last year…

Updated her system, downloaded virus|spyware scanners etc, scanned her machine to make sure no spyware, rootkits, bots on the local network.

Hit the new HughesNet Fair Access Policy (FAP) limit on her “consumer” grade account. FAP throttled my connection to about 2KB/s with no recharge for 24 hours.


Scheduled delivery and installation of new HughesNet 7000S Satellite modem for Thursday!

FAP still in effect at sister’s.


Satellite modem installed and net withdrawal symptoms receed.

Back to work!


Desk collapses onto the floor while rearranging office to discourage Miss Kitty from using my desk and possibly causing additional hardware failures. Fortunately only monitors were involved and were not damaged.

Found sturdy tables at Office Depot to use for work surfaces. (Staple’s tables were crap and staff were no help, but Office Depot’s tables were pretty sturdy and the staff ere very helpful. Thanks!).

Finish rearranging office

Backed up laptop across all other machines.


Back to work.

Discovered that my mozilla local mail folder had been wiped sometime on Wednesday…

Realized had wiped all good copies of the mozilla local mail folder.

I hope next week is better.