Month: October 2006

i must have the best fucking luck ever

Thursday night after i made a pizza delivery, two black guys in their mid 20s surrounded me. one pulled out a small, silver-ish hand gun, and demanded money. the other grabbed me from behind and started pulling stuff out of my pockets.

i told them they could have all my cash, but i wanted my wallet back because of the pictures of my daughter and my family. i told them this repeatedly, and eventually they gave the wallet back, sans money.

they then told me to run back to my car, or they'd shoot me.

i lost over a hundred dollars and my cell phone. now they're using the cell phone to call other pizza places to try and rob them.

and the problems keep coming!

the other day, while playing World of Warcraft, my monitor turned off. i had no clue why. i ended up restarting my computer after many random key presses did nothing.
after getting back in the game, my mouse cursor turn into a distorted block, and then my monitor turned off again.

this made me think something was up with my video card. i popped the side of my case off, and noticed the fan on my MSI Radeon 9800 Pro wasnt spinning! the card was overheating. i gave the fan a little push, and it started to spin slowly, and then stopped again. i gave it another push, and it started to spin slowly, and kept going this time.

i started to look online for a replacement fan. it didnt look like a standard fan on the video card. it was some weird fan screwed into MSI's even weirder heatsink.

after some Googling, i found out that some people had put the "VGA Silencer, Rev 3" on their MSI Radeon 9800 Pro. NewEgg had one for $20 shipped, so i ordered it.

i got the VGA Silencer in about a day (NewEgg is awesome). i took the heatsink off my 9800 Pro, and popped on the VGA Silencer.

after booting up the system, i was getting "artifacts" (little colored sparkles). that usually means the card is overheating, but it was at the default clock speed.
i pulled the card, and removed the VGA Silencer, i could see from the tiny amount of thermal compound on the heatsink that it wasnt making good connection with the video card's core. so i re-applied some Arctic Silver, put the VGA Silencer on again, and i made sure i had it on there good and tight.

after booting up, i started to get a corrupted mouse cursor, and the system locked up. i pulled the card again and saw even less thermal compound on the heatsink. like it was barely touching, and i knew the core needed to be fully touching the heatsink for it to be effective.

so i put the VGA Silencer back on, and tightened it a lot more - and then *SNAP*! i had crushed the core of the video card. when i took off the VGA Silencer, i noticed that there still wasnt much compound on it - even with enough force to crush the core, it still wasnt tight enough to make good contact.

obviously the VGA Silencer, Rev 3 that i was told worked great with the MSI Radeon 9800 Pro doesnt even fucking fit the video card. the original MSI heatsink has a slightly raised part that fits flush with the core. the VGA Silencer doesnt have that, so the flat part of its heatsink doesnt reach the core. i guess i should have caught that before i tried putting it on, but i had read several times that the *exact* model of the VGA Silencer i got worked fine with the *exact* model of the MSI Radeon 9800 Pro that i have.

so, i was left looking for a new video card. luckily, someone on Something Awful says they can sell me their old 9800 Pro cheap.

how could so many things go wrong after an accident?

my thermostat was bad. it wasnt regulating temps, causing my car to overheat and my air conditioner to turn off.

$20 part, $120 labor.

my vent fans would go off and on with a "click" and "pop" sound. sometimes they'd stay off all day. my air conditioner would be on, it just wouldnt be blowing on me.

turns out the wires going to the fan were all burned up and melted. why? i dont know. i was told the vent blower fan had shorted out, causing it to overheat. the popping sound i head was BARE WIRES touching each other from the rubber and plastic melting, causing sparks to fly.

$110 for a new blower. i couldnt find a pigtail plug to put on it, so i have some other plug clamped down on the wires.
i installed it myself (it was painfull trying to bend and work under my dash).

things seem to be working ok now. after about 10 minutes of full blast, the wires were a little warm. i dont know if its because the motor is warm, and that is normal - of if there is something overheating again.

so $230 to fix fans/heating/cooling issues that all popped up when another car hit me. my insurance company, their insurance company, and the auto body place all say that it cant be accidently related, and that it was all electrical issues that just so happened to pop up at the exact moment when i got hit.

random bits

my site has been down a lot the past few days. it has been moved to another physical location, so things should be a little better.

in other news:

Intel is rumored to be looking into investing more into NVidia, if not flat out purchasing them.
more at

Mozilla Firefox 2.0 RC2 has been released.
more at

you can get it from the Firefox 2.0 site.