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Archive for August, 2008

For a few days it was kept aside – dead cold. The laptop just won’t start up. After the power is switched on, all the indicator lights will come up, the fan will start, the hard disk activity indicator will flash for a few seconds – then it will stop. It will just stay like that forever. Nothing on screen – which means the BIOS is not loading, as the HP logo even won’t be coming. Nothing will respond. The only thing that will be possible to switch it off again, but pressing the power switch for 5 seconds.

That was how my HP Pavilion tx1020ea Notebook PC will behave.

Attempt 1

I contacted the HP Online technical assistance. Seeing the symptoms they suggested that I remove the battery, remove power cord, press the power switch for 60 seconds, and then start up the system on direct AC power (no battery).

Didn’t work.

Then they said since my machine was bought in the United Kingdom, they could not help me!

Attempt 2

I went to PCWorld Tech Guys. I was ready for spending some bucks. Their repair cost was about £70 plus parts cost. The guy at the desk took a look at the machine. Tried out the HP recommended step to start with. Then checked the display. Everything looked fine.

Then he said that he would need to run diagnostics which would cost about £30 – but he fully booked for next one week, and then also, if the problem was with RAM, Hard Disk etc. he would be able to fix it, but if the problem turned out to be with motherboard then he would not be able to. That was because the machine was not bought from PCWorld. Also, if the hard disk is gone, they would take another £100 to recover data, if I want.

So it was a matter of : £30 (diagnostics) + £70 (repair) + parts cost + £100 (data recovery)  I was lucky (i.e., if motherboard was not damaged). And I wont even know what’s wrong for the next 7 days.

So I came back.

Attempt 3

I called up HP UK hardware service line for out of warranty stuff. The lady told me their charge was about £270 irrespective of the nature of the problem.

I decided to break by piggy bank. But I knew that wouldn’t be sufficient.

Attempt 4

Lots of research over internet. No clear solution was visible.

Attempt 5

I had 2 batteries supplied with the original product – one 4 cell and one 6 cell. The 4 cell one was in use. I had a divine vision, and changed it and put the 6 cell one in.

Laptop started up!

Maybe it’s the power supply – gradually degrading over months and losing the right level of amperage. Maybe it’s something else. I do not know. I still have to do it a few times over and over again to be sure. I thought maybe I should replace my AC adapter and the 4 cell battery. But then HP Parts Store declared flat out that the specific battery is no longer in their stock!!! I did find it in some other website, and the cost was about £55. And the AC adapter from HP was about £35. So now I am in 2 minds whether to invest about £90 for the power unit or not.

Meanwhile my machine is running and I am copying out the key data into my portable hard drive.

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My stupid laptop gave its final answer it seems. It’s not starting up. The BIOS is not loading. Hence can’t even check the hard disk’s condition or extract anything out of it. Bloody HP Pavilion Entertainment PC tx1020ea AMD Turion 64 x2 blah blah bullshit!!!

One of my friends is quite a fan of Acer – and after some searching, I also liked the model Acer Aspire 5920G. And it’s bloody cheaper than what I paid for my stupid HP one! 😥

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Some weeks back, I finally finished The Unwaba Revelations – the third and final book in Samit Basu‘s GameWorld series. The journey started in 2004 when I suddenly discovered his first book (which was acknowledged as the first-ever Indian-English SFF genre novel and was widely popular since it was published) in the Calcutta Book Fair and was thrilled with anticipation. Here was an author, couple of years younger than me, who wrote an SFF book in English language and got it published by Penguin – it had to be good.

And it was better. It was fantastic. It perhaps wasn’t a serious novel as it started – with themes and names and concepts borrowed from every possible fantasy creations on earth, the first few sips were like those of an exquisite cocktail. But then pages turned, and story formed. By the end of the first book, his literary style was proven to be unique, concept complex but unconfused, brilliance shimmering.

Then came the second book a little while later. And it threw things upside down. Gods playing games with the world is something one can digest – but then one set of Gods cheating some other set of Gods in that game? I mean… – and, he wasn’t kidding – he was serious, and he pulled it off. With fantastic things happening on the world and off the world, the second book was a delight to read after a long wait. Story grew more complex, it was an abundance of characters, and all the while every chapter holding the readers’ nerves on a strong leash.

The anticipation for the third book was breaking the sky. Readers – by now die-hard-SamitBasu-fans – were after him for months in his blog site about publication dates. I was in the United Kingdom, so chances for me to see the book in the local stores were remote. Fortunately someone came to visit us and brought the book for me upon my earnest request. I kept it away for sometime, as I had some other agenda which were keeping me busy. And then one fine day, I started reading it.

Wonders. Amazement. Joy. Laugh. Delight. Suspense. Intrigue. Fascination. Emptyness.

The book was finished. And I am still thinking why couldn’t it last longer. Fantastic story-telling. Wonderfully new language. Fantastic plot-sum-up. I could make a guess about the fact that perhaps the author wasn’t sure where the story would lead when he started writing the first volume in this 3-book-series. But that is not something one would complain about after being through the joy-ride. It finished neat and it finished perfectly. Unlike classical good-over-evil stories, in this book the reader would see deaths of prominent “good” and “important” characters, reader would also see survival of “villain” characters, and finally “un-suspended animation” of some characters (after all, Gods were playing games here). But the author, following some traditional norms, did give us triumph of some of the most favourite characters – and that too in a spectacular fashion.

A wonderful read, I must admit. I couldn’t have asked for a better finish, after those monumental battle scenes and adventure rides. There wasn’t a single moment of feeling “blah, this wasn’t really an up-to-the-mark closure” in any of the chapters – that’s to say the least.

I am now a definite die-hard fan. I was already, but just proclaiming it. Will eagerly wait for Samit’s next masterpiece, when it comes. I hope he do not go miles away from SFF genre – because that’s what I like. Meanwhile I am thinking of trying out some of his comics works. Feeling excited.

And now, finally after finishing this blog, (to quote Samit) I will collapse spectacularly on my bed. Lights out!

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