This past week has seen a few common events that we all have to face, but can be a challenge.  I upgraded an older PC (about 7 years old now) and all the growing pains that go it.  Had to get my car inspected, but the “check engine” light was on (instant fail) and I had to get my haircut (which has become “a thing” since my hair is longer).

I have upgraded this PC before with additional memory and reinstalled the OS.  This time around I took the RAM to its maximum 2gb, upgraded the video card with EVGA GeForce 6200 Video Card which was a challenge to find since the motherboard is pretty old and can only take the AGP interface.  Finally, I added Windows 7 since it has gotten past it’s awkward beginnings and is a little faster than XP.  All totaled, I spent about $100 on it and it should last another year or two before I get something more powerful as a media center.  The only real trouble I ran into was reinstalling the printer which apparently does not play well with W7.  It was a bear trying to uninstall and W7 has made it a nightmare to locate and install driver manually.

 Next, I needed to get the car inspected to appease the highway overlords.  The trouble is, my car has a charcoal canister as part of the emissions system and the sensor has decided it’s time for a new one, which is a mere $500 installed.  Being a cheapskate…er…thrifty, my mechanic told me a little trick about Camrys, at least for my year model.  When the tester plugs your car into the blackbox, it reads for items and at least three have to be active and ready.  For some reason, the Camry’s emissions system takes a while to cycle.  What that means is, if the system is reset, by say undoing the battery cable, the computer will reset and start cycling through all its checks and for a month or so, the check engine light goes off and I have a window to get my car passed.  So far, this has worked twice.  The only real trouble is, I don’t have the alarm key, so you have to do a special combination of key turns and button pushing to override the anti-theft.  And unless you undo the horn first, it will blare the whole time.

Finally today, I went to get my haircut only to find my usual person had up and quit.  It took a while to find the right person to get my hair right and now I have to start over.  The girl today did a pretty good job, so I may have gotten lucky.