Its been a bit quiet on the ‘Power’ front this last couple of days because I’ve been too busy doing other things.

Still ‘LEAF’ related, these ‘other things’ involved the repair of Diane’s laptop, without which LEAF would be severly compromised.

Her laptop, a Sony Viao (…a truly gorgeous machine…) running ‘Vista’ (…a truly awful operating system, but there we go…) decided that it’d had enough, and consistently ‘locked up’ soon after power-up.  The only way to get it to ‘power down’ was to either hold the ‘on/off’ button down or remove the battery.  Not good.

And the reason for all this misbehaviour (…apart from the operating system)?  Would you believe that the heatsink compound used between the processor and the heatsink had ‘perished’ and was only making partial contact?  The result was that as soon as the machine got warm, it started making silly gibberish (…well, more gibberish than we can normally expect from a machine running anything remotely resembling ‘Vista’…), splattering data all over the hard drive randomly.  Yak…

…Now Diane uses this machine for, amongst other things, email.  Two accounts.  The first, an old ‘Virgin’ pop3 account, the second a much newer one I’d set up myself using IMAP.

“Okay, enough blinding us with techno-babble!  So what?” I hear you shout.

Aah, Dear Reader, therein lies the rub.  The IMAP account stores mail on the server, only pulling it down to read.  The Virgin account ‘pops’ the mail down onto the machine and doesn’t save a copy on the server.

So, the long and short of it is that I’ve been able to resurrect both accounts -and most of  the 20+GB of photos she had stored on it (!!!!!), but alas, all the mail that had been ‘popped’ down from the old Virgin account has now disappeared into the ether.

Still, she has got herself a shiny, new laptop with all new software thanks to those awfully nice Sony people and their recovery disks!

NOW, I can get back to what I was doing.

I was just finishing the serial bit for the new PIC board I’ve been blathering about this last few days.  I’ve just got to connect up a switch and a 9-pin socket, and it should just fire up and enable me to write to a PIC directly without the cumbersome programming board in the way.

Much more fun than laptops!

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