This computer is a piece of crap (TM)!

Yes, I’ve known that for some time (especially when compared to newer machines), but during the last week or so, it has become very readily apparent to me that this machine is indeed A Piece Of Crap[sup]TM[/sup].

It all started last Thursday when my mouse refused to move where I wanted it to, then quickly progressed to not moving at all. That was immensely frustrating to the max. I asked some friends’ advice on the matter and they decided that my mouse must have had accumulated gunk. That may have been, but I couldn’t see it. But I did make a stab at cleaning it out, just in case.

However, I did manage to do certain things by dint of using the right button on my mouse, and keyboard strokes. (that would have been about the time that I managed to post questions about how to navigate via the keyboard) It was very much a situation in which my patience was needed.

I was out all weekend, and when I returned on Sunday night, all seemed well. The cursor now moved more or less where I wanted it to, and I thought things were all right. However, I did notice that as the week went by, the mouse grew ever more jerky in my attempts to move the cursor on the screen.

Yesterday night, I decided to sever all ties with an ICQ online contact of mine. Today, when I got up, the computer was running sort of more slowly than it usually does. The mouse worked more or less as usual, until it suddenly decided to stop moving AT ALL.

I took a look at what my computer speed was actually at: imagine my surprise when the mhZ reading was at 40 instead of 66! (yes, I have a very slow computer anyways; please don’t hold that against me) That represented a 40% loss of running capacity, meaning I was running at 60% what I should be! :eek:

The first thing I thought of was that my erstwhile ICQ contact had somehow managed to control the operations of my computer remotely. (he’s a computer programmer and could probably do this stuff, for all I know) So is this even possible? I’ve heard of those things, and know they are possible. I can’t think of any other explanation that would clear his name, and frankly the timing seems a little too coincidental. I hope it isn’t due to this explanation of the facts, though… I’d hate it if it were true. (maybe virii, but are there any out there that would do this kind of thing to your computer? probably yes, unfortunately)

So what can I do? Getting a totally new system would be a good thing, as I can certainly use one. However, I have little money to spare for one right now. I’ve thought of asking friends for their old (but newer) computers, but that’s what I did when I moved in this apartment. Besides, I don’t think they’d be willing to pool a bunch of money together and get me a newer one, either. (that would be one of my wildest fantasies) My friends might be willing, but once my sibs hear of it (and they will), they will think I’m trying to take advantage of my/our friends!

Maybe I ought to start playing the lottery or something… robbery, prostitution, and things of that ilk are out of the question, thank you very much. Any other ideas on how to earn money? (currently, I’m out of work)

Sorry for the lame nature of this rant, as it won’t even rate on the blip-meter. I just needed to let off some steam here. Thanks. (never mind that I swore something fierce earlier today, and will probably continue to do so)

P.S. lel, I know you messaged me on AIM earlier today. I wasn’t ignoring you at all; I was just trying to figure out what the deuce was wrong with this computer of mine!


So, if you do get a faster computer… will you be posting even more, and how is that possibe?


Your IRC buddy probably wasn’t involved…assuming for the moment that there’s some kind of security hole in the version of ICQ that you’re running (which isn’t all that likely), then he could find much nastier things to do than cutting your processor speed.

Have you tried simply replacing your mouse?

I’d guess that possibly your CPU fan has gotten all dusty & nasty and stopped moving, and your motherboard switched down to avoid overheating and burning out your CPU.

It’s simple enough to take a look inside to check to see if that’s what’s up – if it is, sometimes you can get them working again just by cleaning them up a bit, if not, they’re easy to replace.

Good source for all sorts of PC advice is the forums at

You can get a used PC for dirt cheap. Check eBay. (Of course, “buyer beware” on eBay! But I’ve had great luck with computers on eBay.)

I just got a mighty fine 200 Mhz PowerMac with a 8 GB HD and 128 megs of RAM for $90 (plus shipping). Used PCs will probably be even cheaper. Go for it!

Out of curiousity, Squish, are you getting commissions from the PC Mech site? I notice you’ve been answering all sorts of computer-related questions in General Questions with a “Go see PC Mech” reference…

rjung, I don’t recall answering any computer-related questions in GQ. :confused:

You got that right.

I am seriously not trying to dis you, Flamsterette, but is this correct?

Are you complaining that your 66mhz computer is starting to crap out? Blaming it on someone on your ICQ list? No offense, but it IS a piece of crap! Get thee to a used computer store. We have one in our area (and there may be one in yours) that refurbishes older business used computers and sells them for like $200 complete. These are all at least 200 mhz machines with around 4 gig drives.

PS- did you try reinstalling your mouse drivers? Sounds to me like something got corrupted on you or you had a bad software install of some sort that’s causing a conflict. Also, the mouse could just be dead- they just die sometimes.


You know what? That came off as really fucking rude and I apologize. I just pulled the bug out of my ass that was causing my irritation and I"m much better now. Good luck with your solution!


Sorry, Squish, I guess I had you confused with someone else.

That’s what I get for posting past midnight…

Thanks for the replies and stuff, y’all! :slight_smile:

Wikkit, if I do get a faster computer, you can be sure that I might be posting more… it really depends. Here at my brother’s, I can certainly get a lot more posting done, because it’s quite fast on the ADSL connection. (unless the Internet is being slow, like today)

Taran, I asked someone else if it was possible for someone to remotely control my operations and all that, and he said it was extrremely unlikely since I’d have to have a program on my computer that acts as a client to bve remotely controlled. Since I don’t think I have that, it clears that source, anyways.

Squish, that’s what I was thinking of doing in any event. I’ll see if anyone I know has used mice, or I could just get a new one.

Larry, when I get home, I will have to check that out. Probably does need a good cleaning, for all that. Get all the dust out and everything. Probably just a damp paper towel will do the job. If not, tell me so I don’t do the wrong thing.

To all those who suggested eBay: I’m sort of wary of online auction sites, which is probably why I don’t do much online shopping, if at all. But maybe I’ll look into that soon.

Zette, I have no idea about mouse drivers or anything like that, but I’ll get one of my more computer-oriented friends to look into that for me. Of course, used computer stores and such (maybe the Sally Ann) might be a good bet, too. No problem about the tone of your first post, if you really had something up your ass. I know how that is; happens to me all the time.

The mouse could be dead, as well. It happened to work fine one day, and the next, it didn’t. Oh well. Shit happens.


You could get someone you trust to do your bidding for you.

F_X, go get one of those cans of compressed air from an office store (or Wal-Mart). Don’t use a damp paper towel. Just power down the machine, unplug the power cord, pop off the case and spray the living daylights out of the components with the can of air. Be prepared to sneeze.

I’d be hesitant about buying a used computer except from a reputable store that sells refurbished computers. My boyfriend got ripped off to the tune of $500 that he couldn’t afford. :frowning:

Uhm, check your ‘Turbo’ button. Most older systems, especially 486’s, had them.

Button position #1: Full speed.

Button position #2: 3/4 (more or less sometimes) speed.

It would be near your reset/power button, probably.

Eek, just checked back in here.

Ixnay on the damp paper towel, for sure.

F_X if you are thinking about upgrading your computer, the Buy and Sell is a good place to start.

If you’re strapped for cash, you can get yourself a significant improvement over your current pokey machine for < $100

Typical offering, from the first page:

That’s just the first one that caught my eye, I’m sure you could do a lot better. You can cannibalize your old machine (Hard-drive, CD-ROM, possibly the memory, etc.)

Of course you can spend more and get yourself something a bit more stylin’, but if you’re currently running at 40Mhz, there’s nowhere to go but up.

If you don’t have a trained nerd to make sure everything’s kosher with the vendor, and get you all set-up, I’d be happy to volunteer. (I can provide references, of both the not-being-an-utter-moron and the not-being-an-axe-murderer variety.) And I find myself in Richmond pretty frequently (my dear old ma lives near Granville & Three Road) so it wouldn’t put me out any.

Geez, and I was grumbling about how pokey my machine is getting today – (I need an upgrade to run the new Star Wars game… whatta geek. :o)

At any rate, there’s absolutely no reason you should be running at 66Mhz (much less 40Mhz!,) You can do better for $45.[sup]oo[/sup]

FWIW, Flamsterette X, I’d take Larry’s offer to do for now, then buy parts piece by piece as you can afford them, and build your own machine. It’s really not that hard at all.