Friday, July 23 2021
I went to the office for the third time this week, and on the way I stopped at the Red Hook Hannaford to get sleeping pills, snacks, and some sort of lunch. The lunch ended up being black bean salad, which I'd kind of forgotten about. Additionally, I got peanuts and store-brand granola bars. I also tried to get a 12 pack of Hazy Little Thing IPA, but it wasn't yet 8:00am, and apparently New York State has a rule that alcohol must be purchased after 8:00am. It's a rule I'd only run up against once before, and I'd assumed it had been dispatched along with other anachronisms like arresting people for marijuana possession.
I had another productive day, which this time involved figuring out why some SQL in SQL Server Management Studio was throwing errors as a string executed by C#. It turned out I was overlooking a hack I'd made where I'd substituted the dump of the contents of a small configuration table for a comma-separated string.
Back at the house, there was a new AM4 motherboard from New Egg waiting for me, so I installed my Ryzen 3600 processor, a video card, a power supply, and some memory and then fired it up. Again I got nothing. After some tinkering, though, I managed to get to a BIOS screen. It turned out that one of the sticks in a second set of DDR4 RAM I'd bought on eBay was bad. It's good I caught it before my ability to return it expired. The problem with this sort of project is that I'd bought all the equipment over a long span of time, some of which I've had too long to return. The first AM4 motherboard I'd gotten, for example, seems incompatible with the Ryzen 3600 without a BIOS update, and it doesn't have a way to update it without a compatible processor. I'd rather just return it, but I've had it for nearly 50 days. I wonder to what extent the good ratings one sees of sellers on eBay are people who sell useless junk over and over to different customers until they find one who holds onto it too long to return it. Such customers are probably more common than you'd think.
After I was satisfied with my new motherboard, I started preparing for next week, which will see me driving down to Virginia in the Chevy Bolt. To make this work, I need to use fast-chargers provided by Electrify America. Those are the ones in Walmart parking lots. But then it turned out that the Electrify America app was incompatible with my four-year-old Android phone (a Redmi Note 4 running Miui 10.2), and there was no other way to take advantage of a 25% discount. So I drove out to Target and got another cheap smartphone (my third), a $100 Samsung Galaxy A12 sold through the Cricket cellular network (which is what I am currently using; it uses AT&T towers). I'd hoped my old SIM card would fit in the new phone, but no, it took a smaller kind. That would've been fine, but when I tried to log into my Cricket account, it insisted my phone number did not belong to a Cricket subscriber. I ended up having to call Cricket, where, after a very long time on hold, a human was easily able to transfer my account to the new SIM card. I was also able to transfer all my apps and data using some handy Samsung software made for this purpose.
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