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My wireless card is a nudenik bastard.

October 17, 2010

So I got a new computer earlier in the summer but I didn’t really start using it until I bought a new graphics card and wireless card.  The graphics card was for video editing, which I still haven’t done any of because I’m a lazy turd, and the wireless card was for downloading programs to use on my computer like the internet and iTunes and other things that are legal to own.

Once I started to use it regularly, though, it became evident that the computer had a secret case of the hiccups.  I wasn’t sure if I hadn’t noticed it before, or if it was some problem from the intervening two weeks between when I got it and when I started to use it.  Like just moving my mouse really fast in a circle would cause the computer to freeze up and garble the sound.  It didn’t show up as a performance problem, the little performance-meter that Windows comes with said everything was fine each time it happened.  I searched on the internet for bugs in Windows 7 because this was a new computer with pretty good hardware and it shouldn’t be breaking because I’m playing Minesweeper, let alone moving my mouse.  I couldn’t find anything after two weeks of searching punctuated by AEGHAEGHAEGHAEGHAEGH.  My computer didn’t want to be touched.

After giving up on the search, though, I did stumble onto a solution.  I decided based partially on a whim and partially on a note I’d seen somewhere during the searching that I should try to turn off my wireless card.  If that hadn’t worked, I would’ve gone through the computer turning off every device one by one, not really knowing what they did.  It’s logical, though, and computers are logical, so it seemed like a fine thing to do.  And like an underpaid illegal immigrant to the United States, it worked.  Suddenly my computer was fine.

But this wasn’t a long-term solution.  I needed that wireless card to work because I need the internet because I fucking need the internet, don’t question it.  I also didn’t feel like buying a new one, which might have been the best solution.  However, if I had bought a new one and it hadn’t worked too, then the problem would be with the computer.  That seemed like it’d be tougher to fix, so since I didn’t want to run into a tougher problem I decided to stick with the apparently simpler one of figuring out how to make this one particular wireless card work.

So I took off the side of my computer and started to mess with the card.  First step was to wiggle the antennae.  That wasn’t helpful, so then I tried poking the card with my finger.  Turned out it slid a bit in the slot, so I moved it back and forth in an effort to find a sweet spot.  As I did these operations, I swirled my mouse furiously with music playing.  That was the best way to make the computer hiccup.  I couldn’t find a sweet spot after a couple of days trying, so I despaired.

But I’m not one to be conquered by despair all the time, and this was one of those times when I wasn’t.  In a feat of truly creative and ground-breaking thinking, I decided to flip my computer from lying on its side to standing up the way it should be.  I’d had it lying down to better fiddle with the card.  And somehow, somewhere, they’d decided that this computer could only work standing up, because the second I got it upright it was fine.  I was victorious, and victory tasted like the sweetest candies of the world wide web.

When I put the side of the computer back on, though, it started janking up again.  So I took the side off and things seemed to work fine.  Since then, I’ve had it continue to flip out for no good reason.  I’ve employed a variety of solutions:
1. Hold the wireless card up with tape.
2. Prop it up with a penny.
3. Take off one of the antennae.
4. Wiggle it a lot.
5. Machine off part of the bracket and the computer chassis so that it can actually fit in the right way with all the parts attached, then screw it into place.
6. Flick it.
7. Point the antennae in all sorts of stupid directions.
8. Threaten it.
Each works for a short amount of time, but only when the side of the computer is off.  Whenever anything is working and I’m shouting eureka, if I put the side of the computer back on everything is ruined.

I don’t know if I’ll ever find a permanent solution even without the side.  If I do, I’m pretty sure I’ll still have to learn to live with a nudist wireless card.

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