Monday, 1 April 2013

computer broken :(

This morning I finally finished going through my list of passwords, adding them to Lastpass. Some of the sites no longer existed. On other sites the password I had written down didn't work and I had to reset it. On some they couldn't recognise my login details at all, and had either deleted my record or switched to a new forum / login system. For example, I had a Sun, MySQL, and Oracle account. Now all 3 use the Oracle system.

One of the sites that no longer existed was Strangely they still have a facebook page, which was created on 7 May 2010 and only had one post, made on that date.

In a couple of cases I think my account data has been deleted, but the reset password link doesn't give an error like 'email address not registered'. But despite trying a few times with no error messages, I haven't received any reset password emails from these two sites (Firefox addons and Ironport training).

With Worth1000, it wouldn't let me login, so I reset my password. After resetting the password (the link lets you choose the new password and you must enter it twice to avoid mistyping it), I still couldn't login. I think that probably they allow you to choose a password with non alphanumeric characters in it, but don't let you login with it. Very strange.

One of the sites I logged into was PCPro, and this article about using picture passwords in Windows 8 grabbed my interest. It does seem that they should be more secure and easier to remember than text passwords.

Another site / password I had listed was Asda Digital Newsagent. When I searched for this, the only info I could find was websites announcing the launch of the service. Links to the site from the articles didn't work.

Eventually I tracked it down to But the link on their website to download the "My Delivery" software was a 404 not found. After a while I managed to get the software by changing the language on their website to French, and clicking the download link from the French download page.

After installing the software, the magazine I'd downloaded long ago through Asda Digital Newsagent wasn't showing up in the Library. I compared the "My Delivery Folder" the application uses after it's installation to a backup of the old one from before installing the new software. The new installation had added a new folder called "My Delivery documents" that wasn't in the backup. So I tried moving the magazine file (.dly file extension) into this folder.

The magazine now showed up the Delivery Reader application's library. But when I tried to open it, I got a message

The document ... cannot be opened on this computer

Searching for this, I didn't find much, but I did find this French forum thread: Delivery Manager. It seems that Delivery uses DRM on the files, and there is nothing you can do if this happens to you. It makes me glad I never paid for any subscriptions through this service.

I do have some subscriptions through a similar service, Zinio, but Zinio seem to be more professionally run. I would hope with Zinio that once a magazine has been downloaded, then it can always be read with their reader.

Anyway, I tried opening the file using 7Zip, but this didn't work. I tried opening it in a PDF Reader, and interestingly it asked for a password (rather than saying not a PDF file). Unfortunately I have no idea where you would get this password from.

Later in the afternoon my PC just suddenly switched off, a few seconds later there was a bang and the power went off. I checked with Billy, and he still had electricity. So I checked the circuit breaker in the garage and one of the switches had been flipped. After flipping it back I had electricity again.

I thought the bang must have been a capacitor blowing somewhere in my computer. I looked, but couldn't see any blown capacitors on the motherboard, sound card, or graphics card. So this left the PSU as the likely culprit.

I tried disconnecting everything from the PSU, but I couldn't get the connection to the motherboard loose. So I had to dismantle the computer and take everything out. After doing that I could get a good grip on the plug where it connected to the motherboard and pull it out.

I undid the casing of the PSU, but I couldn't see any blown capacitors in there either. It did smell a bit more than the other components though. I wanted to test the PSU to see if was broken or not. But I wasn't sure whether powering up a PSU that has possibly blown a capacitor would be safe. So I posted on the anandtech forums to get some advice.

I cleaned the PC case and all the components of dust (of which there was a lot). And that took up most of the rest of the day. In the evening I also watched VR troopers and played on Donkey Kong with Billy.

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