Warning: while I’m doing my best not to let it get out of hand, this entry has a fair amount of geek speak. But there are cool pictures at the end, if you scroll down.
It’s taken a few months of dealing with their tech support, but Dell finally replaced the motherboard on my 3.5-year-old gaming laptop, sending a tech to the house this afternoon. My “gaming” on it hasn’t involved anything more exciting than Wordle, but I need the high-powered video card and other gee-wiz techie stuff to handle Photoshop and my publishing software. The lappy has now been zipped back up and all updated nice and purdy – including another upgrade to Windows 11.
All the crap experiences I reported a few months ago with Windows 11 could be traced directly back to the issue with the motherboard. And let’s face it, for better or worse, any upgraded machine will also get me Win 11, so I figured what the hell, might as well…
Now we wait to see if the mobo did the trick. If not, this is the last hurrah. I’ll bite the bullet and order a replacement computer, probably this business-class monster or one of its kissing cousins. Photo at right – link goes to the details on Dell’s website.
Over the past 2-3 months, I’ve been on chat with tech support countless times, on the phone with tech support a few times, they’ve sent two people to the house, and I shipped the thing to Houston for them to fix it. This is also the second time they’ve replaced the motherboard in this computer. First time was not long after I bought it.
Like I said… if this doesn’t do the trick, I’m throwing in the towel on this ‘puter.
Thankfully, so far so good with the new mobo. It even seems reasonably happy with Photoshop again, which is the litmus test. We’ll see how it handles when I start working with a bigger file, later tonight.
While I sincerely hope this fix took care of the recurring crashes, the service plan and warranty are up in a few more months. First time this acts up once those are gone, I’m looking at a new machine.
Quick lesson in tech 101, which will hopefully help make sense of the geek-speak.
Think of the motherboard as your house’s framework. The case is the equivalent of siding and shingles – necessary to protect from the elements, but that’s all it does. The framework of a house – the studs, rafters, etc – holds the plumbing, electrical, etc. Same goes for the motherboard: it’s a panel in the computer where the keyboard, monitor, and power plug in and connect to the processor. (The processor is the computer’s brain. It’s about an inch square and 1-2mm deep.)
I promised you pictures and you get pictures.
My older daughter – the one who owns the event planning business – has discovered how addicting it is to play with a good image editor program. I bought her Affinity not long ago, and she’s beginning to explore what it can do.
However, she’s been working with it less than two months. I’ve had *mumblemumble*WAY-MORE*mumblemumble* with Photoshop. She asked me about some specifics and I made specifics for her. I hand-drew this lacy rose pattern. It’s intentionally a bit lopsided. Incidentally, while I put this on a black background to show it better, it’s actually a brush so can be duplicated, re-sized, rotated, etc., to her heart’s content.
I’ve been on an AI-graphics kick lately. Some of the results have been bizarre but a few of them turned out surprisingly beautiful.
If I do use this as a book cover, I’ll also have to overhaul the covers for the previous two books in the series. And I’m okay with that.
The following were all created with the same AI art program as I used for the book cover mockup. I typed in what I wanted and the AI server created them. (Click to enlarge.)
These all are variations I chose, modified, and enhanced. When you type in what you want to create, you get back a set of four images the computer thinks you want. You can then choose to enlarge, enhance, and save the individual images; do a spin-off new set based on any one of the images; tell it to re-do the whole thing, or type in a whole new set of directions to restart the process from scratch.
This program really shines for fantasy concepts:
The wizard dude above will need some tweaking – I’ll need to paint him a face, for example – but the concept is beautifully executed far as it went.
If you want to check out some of the amazing things other folks have created, you can see a gallery at midjourney.com. You have to sign into Discord (free) to see. And keep in mind, some of the most spectacular human faces on the gallery were made with a beta version that’s not widely available yet.
Late edit: the motherboard didn’t resolve the issue, so looks like I’m going ‘puter shopping. Wish me luck.