Too Big Desktop Blues

So, I dunno, back around Christmas time, Brother Eric graced me with a new graphics card for my computer. It was an old one of his and, more importantly, a step up from what I was using. It was nice of him. I appreciated the thought and his work in installing the card.

It wasn’t his fault the damn thing crapped out a few months later.

Probably. Though if I can blame him…

Neither here nor there. What matters for this essay is that I have a bum card, one that, I think, overheats or some such thing.1 I can no longer play the high tech games I had recently bought. Nor can I play some of the older games that I had before the problem came in.

One could see this as a boon. Say, one that would see to it that Cullen does more, oh, I dunno, writing? Getting the novel up and ready for submitting? Working on another one? Something? Anything? Bueller? Bueller?

Fooled ya! So long as I have a solitary game on the computer, I can get by.

One of the rough parts, though, is giving up tooling around with Neverwinter Nights. A lot of my time (read: too much of my time) was spent creating a campaign (story) for the game. It wasn’t much more than fooling, but there was writing involved and I could excuse it, in a fashion. At least, I could excuse it a lot easier than, say, playing Free Cell.

The current story was looking good, too, which made me very bitter about it all. I was just about finished with the first part, too. Kind of. Sort of. Close enough.

Last week or so, though, it hit me. Why not take the characters and events I made for the game and use them in a novel. I wouldn’t use the Neverwinter Nights world, of course, but some Tolkien-esqe fantasy world. Pit my writing against his, in a way. It would be fun, moving it away from the game and towards something of originality. Something of me.

Problem. Last time I opened up the game editor, the thing went straight to the overheat message.

Well, I thought about it and decided, what the hell. Give it a go. And you know what? Worked like a charm. No error message, no overheating, just wonderful.

So I got brave. I hadn’t played in Neverwinter Nights sooooo loooooong. What could it hurt, right?

You all can see where this is going, right? I hadn’t more than finished my character when I get a error message.

Only it wasn’t about overheating. Oh no. Something about graphics. But don’t worry. It was fixed.

For once I didn’t need to be hit in the head with a clue-by-four. I shut the game down. Thought about doing some work, drawing…

Why are the icons on my desktop so huge?

And they were huge. Perhaps a square inch instead of the usual quarter square inch. Icons for the nearly blind.

Well, as my eyesight wasn’t that bad yet, I set about to fixing thing. I knew how to adjust the resolution. Simple.

Only after I made my adjustments, I had gnat sized icons. And with my magnifying glass in the shop, how was I to read what was what?

I went straight to Cullen’s Secret Computer All-Cure #1. And no, that’s not begging the computer to please, please work right. That’s CSCAC #2. CSCAC #1 is restarting the computer. You would be surprised with how many problems I get out of by restarting something. Works for cars, too.

But this problem… This problem wouldn’t go away with CSCAC #1. In fact, it seemed to make things worse. I had to scroll to get to the icons now. Hell, I have to scroll to reach my taskbar. It’s like it’s been formatted for a large screened monitor. Say, one with a three foot screen.

It’s even made the wallpaper for my desktop gigantic. This would be okay if it was Power Girl or Jessica Simpson or some hot lady or another. It’s not. I was on a Master Kick and took a wallpaper from the Doctor Who offical website. I now have an image of Roger Delgado that would fit a three foot screen.

Roger Delgado IS the Master

I like Roger Delgado. But not that way. That way is more than a little… creepy. It’s like he sees something just over my right shoulder. Something nasty. Something that doesn’t want to do me a bit of good. And the very thought of this thing causing me untold harm pleases him.

Now I start CSCAC #2. CSCAC #2 on bended knees.

Doesn’t help.

So now I’m forced back to the most depressing of CSCACs. CSCAC #3: Call Eric.

Beg for his help.


Thankfully, though, it didn’t really have to get so depressing. The act of putting the phone up to my ear knocked one neuron into its sole room mate. A thought emerged. And when I was able to stop thinking about Power Girl, I had the solution.

I can’t speak for anyone else’s PC, but mine has this feature where it takes “snapshots” of itself. This is a record of how the computer was running, settings and all, for the time the “snapshot” was taken place. You just need to do a “System Restore”, find the right date, and presto! Problem solved.

As I, unlike Eric, am not a COMPUTER GENIUS MAN®, I can’t say if that would be the way to go with every headache that came down the pike. However, I was certain that it would work this time. Hell, I’d done it once or twice back on my old Devil Box for something similar. Couldn’t hurt to try, and it was better than begging Eric’s help. Again.

It took me a good thirty to forty minutes to find the system restore. I have a Help feature on my Start Menu, but that’s a damn dirty lie. I never get help from it. Ever. Just vagueness and insinuations about my intelligence or lack there of. Is it any wonder I look in askance at my Devil Box?

Once, found, however, all it took was a button push and I had things back to normal. Delgado was now back to his usual self. Though… really… What is he grinning at?


So what’s the moral? Damned if I know. “Everyone knows more about Computers than I do” comes the closest. Right now, I’m content to have a normal size desktop.

Might change the wallpaper, though. Something more Power Girl, I think. Too bad I didn’t have her up for this batch of computer troubles. Could you imagine a Power Girl blown up to fit…

.. a three…


Where’s my copy of Neverwinter Nights again?

Power Girl

1 Honestly? Don’t have a clue if that was what it is. I just got an overheating message in a window thing-a-majing.2

2 That’s an honest-to-God computer technical term I dropped on you there. A true one, like the whatzit that sits on your desk and allows you to see the interwebnet and the clickityclick that makes words apper on the whatzit.


And if you believe that, I have a small planet called Jupiter to sell you….


5 Replies to “Too Big Desktop Blues”

  1. “System Restore” is definitely something everyone should get familiar with. That and knowing how to re-install drivers (and also how to look up the current drivers available for hardware. Especially video drivers). Also when installing an updated video card, one has to make sure that one’s power supply is up to the task. cooling is a major factor and you may want to check that the case vents aren’t being clogged with dust. You can always get assistance with a particular piece of hardware by “Googling” your problem and see what the forums say.

  2. “Computer Genius Man”?

    You are aware that I’ve had to send my laptop in for repair three times in three months, right? I’m more like “Computer Guy”. Now, my friend Pat on the other hand…

    Also, I have found that The Melancholy od Haruhi Suzumiya makes for a great desktop wallpaper. The only problem with power girl is that, if blown up to a size appropos for a three foot screen, you really won’t get any work done. You’ll just throw your arms around the moniter and start saying “my precious…”

    Finally, if you think the Windows Help is useless, you should try the Search.

  3. Henry: Thanks for the advice. As far as I can tell, everything is clear. Both my Devil Box and the video card have fans and the last I knew they were working fine. While I won’t rule out an error on my part (the interior doesn’t get dusted as often as it should), I’m not sure that it isn’t a flaw in the card.

    BeckoningChasm: A lot of life’s little illusions were killed by Window’s Help.

    Watts: In comparison to me, you are COMPUTER GENIUS MAN ®.

    But, then again, so are the dachshunds.

    The only problem with power girl is that, if blown up to a size appropos for a three foot screen, you really won’t get any work done. You’ll just throw your arms around the moniter and start saying “my precious…”

    What makes you think I’m not doing that now?

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