My hulking HP Pavilion DV9xxx is pretty much dead. I don’t want another hulking (17-inch) laptop. (12-14 inches, I’m thinking; maybe 15; most likely won’t go the netbook route.) I don’t want another HP. I can’t afford an Apple.

Anyone purchase a laptop in the past year or so and care to share their evaluation?

Computer worm

It just so happens I’ve been coming close to purchasing a new laptop over the last few days, since my current one is experiencing constant OS crashes in addition to the broken monitor.

Fittingly, I discovered this worm tonight. I’ve seen all sorts of insects in my house over the years. This is the first worm. I’m guessing Herman picked up in the backyard. Anyway, I let the worm out on the front porch. I can’t harm a worm.

Computer worm

No, I don’t fix computers

Toastie: I work in IT.

Oh, so you fix people’s computers?

Toastie: No.

No, I don't fix computers

My two-year-old HP Pavilion laptop developed a crack in the screen hinge. I lived with it for a couple of months. I could have tried to send it in under the two-year warranty I had. But I didn’t want to go without it for a few weeks. I’d live with it. Well, a couple of days ago, the crack got a lot worse. The screen half broke off from the rest of the laptop.

My solution: duct tape.

My solution: FAIL.

My back-up plan: buy a new laptop.

My back-up plan: fiscally irresponsible.

Plan C: grab the nice 19-inch monitor from the old desktop that I never use.

Plan C: WIN.

See, I don’t know how to fix anything, with the possible exception of broken Remedy workflow, and you have no idea what means, nor should you, since it’s not exactly an in-demand skill.


In my attempt to learn web skills, circa 1999, I’ve added SuperClock to this website. How is SuperClock better than a normal clock? You’ll have to watch it and observe for yourself. An earlier theme I used had come with a clock. This new one is homemade. So anytime you visit Toastiest, you’ll know what time it is! (Just in case you’ve inadvertently block your OS clock).

I wonder if I can get a trademark on SuperClock.

Back to black

I changed my black-and-blue theme to white-and-black about a week ago. I’d had themes with black backgrounds for a couple of years. I thought I needed a change and should go to something a little more standard. Alas, I’ve decided I prefer a black background. I’ll probably continue to mess around with the stylesheet over the next few days. It’s the closest thing to “development” that I get to do.

If you’re usually reading this on Facebook or through some other feed reader, you really don’t care.

The End of Analog

Wow. I’ve officially entered the digital television era. I bought my DTV converter, which was $13.49 after tax and the government’s $40 voucher discount. This socialism was brought to us by a Republican administration! Go GOP-controlled FCC! (Well, except for the horrible rules allowing monopolistic media controls…)

So far, with my existing junky antenna, I can get the signals from the local Fox and ABC affiliates. But this is great; it’s the first crystal clear signal I’ve enjoyed since I dumped Dish and Time-Warner 15 months ago.

If I can get an antenna that allows me to pick up all the local stations, I think I’ll be happy with free programming on my 27-inch RCA “TruFlat” CRT for many years months to come!

UPDATE This evening, I’ve messed with the super-duper RCA antenna I had gotten some months back, and it is now working superbly. I get 23 channels, which is really like 5 stations x 4 channels per station, but it’s basically what I was looking for. Between football and Three Tenors Christmas on PBS, there are plenty of choices for background pictures and sounds.

UPDATE #2 I spoke too soon. Just saw a commercial for a new Howie Mandel show “Howie Do It” in which the perplexingly-successful network television star plays practical jokes on audience members, such as by telling a man he has just spilled the ashes of another man’s dead wife. Hahaha. Maybe I don’t need TV afterall.

Celebrating Internet Explorer goodness with a YouTube Amusement

Thanks to some great advice from one who shares her name with the “celebrity” in the video below, IE devotees can now see this site close to how I intended it to be seen, particularly all this crap from YouTube I keep copying.

Nothing says “celebration time” like a big win on the 100K Pyramid, which aired at a time when you had to be really good at something to win a lot of money on TV and not just some greedy schmuck who’s lucky enough to pick the right briefcase.

For the benefit of The Google, if you’ve got a page that displays fine in Firefox but badly in IE, it might be because you’re stuck in last millennium and using to many margin attributes when padding attributes will suffice, and the margin attributes are being rendered differently in different browsers.

Why does IE choke? (There are prizes to be won)

Why doesn’t IE like my blog? It is because of all the embedded crap? Or is it because I don’t know CSS and how to make a layout that works for all browsers, and I ought to just pick a theme and not mess around with it? I’ve tried some Firebug-esque debuggers for IE, but I haven’t found anything that works just like Firebug for Firefox, and I don’t want to screw up the layout for Firefox.

Whoever can tell me how to fix all this gets their choice of…hmm…let me have a look around…

    some 37-cent stamps
    the O’Reilly book “Learning CGI Programming on the World Wide Web” (circa last century)
    a bound copy of my homeowner’s policy from Unitrin/Kemper
    a big Yankee candle jar still with 8% of the wax left (“Lemon Lavender”)
    a week of free advertising space on Toastiest (a $0.0099 value!)