Sunday, January 10, 2010

I Spit at You, New-Bright!

Ah haaah! Chalk up one victory for a guy who's not really computer savvy but is getting better through trial (lots of that) and error (even more than lots of that).

The victory in question is this: I got our legacy printer, an old HP LaserJet 4L, to work on a computer with no parallel ports. And I'm talking the old 25-pin parallels, not those nifty Centronics jobbies. Read more about my earlier agonies here.

I could blame my trouble on the fact that I bought a Chinese-made parallel to USB cable, with its accompanying insanely-translated manual of operation. But I could also blame my trouble on the fact that, the first time around, I didn't even bother following the entire instruction sequence, badly translated as it is. Wrestled with the beast last night, to no avail. Wrestled today. Then I fell back on that old Windows standard: If at first you don't succeed, uninstall all of the drivers and start over again, this time following the instructions. I did so. And the first test page I printed out was a glorious, normal test page, not the 30-page encoded monstrosity I got an hour and a half ago.

So I feel pretty good about my mad computer skillz with a Z. That means that two of the three problems encountered with the new computer I got for Christmas are solved. They are, in no particular order:

1) Getting the parallel-supported printer to talk to either my Windows 7 machine or Michelle's XP machine (I took the wimp's way out and used the XP).
2) Getting my computer to speak to the world, i.e., through powered speakers.
3) Getting SimCity 4 Rush Hour to play properly on my new computer.

The first two are solved, and Electronic Arts, in its arcane and serpentine way of doing things, is "working on a solution," though I'm not optimistic they'll pan through. So if any of you out there in SimCity 4 Land can tell me why I don't have the avenue Y intersection or the building blocks for overpasses, railroads, et cetera, I'd appreciate a ding-a-ling here. Thank you.

I'm just chuffed about the printer. That had been weighing heavily on my mind.

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