3 Elmstone Close
ME16 8DQ
United Kingdom

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3rd of July 2003

Some good news is that I managed to fix my lightning damaged laptop, but how I managed to do this remains a mystery. As I just pulled it apart somewhat, where as it was a right pain to get say the processor out, then so did I give up and put the 40 odd screws back in.

When I tried to power it back on next, it worked first time, which makes me think that maybe it just needed some down time to recover from this lightning strike. I will have to have a look at the currently faulty graphics card on this computer to see if I can work another miracle.

Anyway, I should be answering this e-mail again either later today or early tomorrow.

One other problem I have had recently is due to one person sending me over 2000 very large and virus infected e-mail. As this caused a large slow down on my own LAN system, then so has this person (Grace Cummingham) just been banned for life. Any of these virus infected e-mail that was being received every 4 minutes will now be bounced right back at them.

This was the second virus attack from this person within the past year, when last time it overloaded the 10Mb e-mail box space on my old hosting. As a result that caused some valid e-mail to be lost or bounced.

So when I notice that this person had just started up again on a broadband connection, then so was I worried that my hosting would not last long.

These days all e-mail is downloaded to the e-mail service on my server, which has vastly more storage space and is kind enough to neutralise all virus infected e-mail. Even if oddly it still took almost half an hour each morning just to transfer all these hundreds of ex-virus infected e-mails across my LAN system.

Anyway, now this person will only be damaging their own mail box, when I will be seeing nothing from them ever again.

So some good news today at least, when I have only two broken laptops here now and not three. Well I just need a new power adapter to get my other main laptop working, but the final and oldest laptop was just rubbish and fell apart.

Well amongst processing todays orders I will see about fixing this computer as well, but I have a feeing that the only solution to these grey bands will be a new graphics card.

2nd of July 2003

Well I am not having much luck recently, or at least good luck, as I will now explain.

Over the last few days I have had the formally old central heating system replaced with a new system, which resulted in the removal of much pipe work, three water storage tanks, the old boiler, the old flue and the the installation of the new all-in-one boiler.

Too bad that they completely paved over and removed one of my needed light switches instead of relocating it, as was required. That is something that I have yet to sort out, where this plumber seems very reluctant to complete this task.

Apart from that the overly large holes indicating a rush job, where some of these will need filling, then everything else seems fine.

Now although this has been causing a few delays in my business from Friday, then there has been a second problem.

As it seems that an act of God, in terms of a lightning strike on the local power system this weekend, caused a power fluctuation in my local supply. As I was using this same computer at the time, then the strange video effects indicated that all was not well.

To begin with this computer is now suffering from a graphics card problem due to this event, when now I am suffering from grey horizontal lines. This is that white sections going across the entire screen remain white, but say lines with text, like this news section, suffer from grey bands across the entire screen. The shade of these grey lines vary depending on what is on that line. No matter the colour, like with the thick red lines on this page, there is always grey lines.

This to me indicates that I will be needing a new graphics card at the cost of about £150, but that is not the end of it.

Having checked my other equipment for damage, then all seemed well until it was back to work on Monday, where on-going installation work required the mains power to be turned off. Since I am awaiting arrival of a new battery for my Gateway 9300 laptop computer, then so was this one powered down beforehand.

The only problem is that this laptop computer now won't power up again, as it should do, where the LEDs do not even light to show that it is receiving power.

Now the odd things here is that this computer was working just fine before it was reset, which to me indicates BIOS death. After all when powered up the computer shadows the BIOS to RAM for faster access, but when first switched on it needs to read this from the BIOS chip. And so if the BIOS chip was dead, then so would this explain what I was seeing.

There is also the possibility that turning back on the mains power caused a surge, but as this near-by lightning strike has already damaged one computer, then odds are that it damaged two.

All my other equipment seems fine, when my satellite equipment is connected to a surge protector, and where this only seems to have damaged computer equipment. Fortunately my server is UPS backed-up, where it would have swapped automatically to battery power upon detection of this surge.

Well it is kind of a shame that this laptop was not also connected to the surge protector, as it was a couple of month before, where at this point I moved it to a standard adapter to avoid it trailing across the floor. And this computer I had planned to link to my UPS as well, just as soon as I had fitted a long enough power cable, where although this was to keep it working during power failure, it would have provided surge protection as well.

So in one foul swoop both my computers that I use for my business have been damaged, one has this annoying video problem and the other has been taken out completely.

The laptop poses the greatest problem, when all the main e-mail was answered on here, which means no e-mail replies since Thursday. This other computer processes the on-line orders, which will at least keep the orders flowing.

I am going to take a look at this laptop to see if there is anything that I can do, but in either case it will take a couple of days before I can process a week's worth of e-mail. Anyway, I have now updated this site to this new month, including the currency rates of course.