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Checkups for Myself and Computer… And Using Linux

After hiding from them all that time, having more and more that mental image from back when I was in school and not going because I was too scared and ending up pacing in front of the door, dressed to leave and with the keys in my pocket, and freezing whenever I heard those keys and thought they were dad’s and he was coming home and will be angry I didn’t go again and kept getting more and more terrified by both going and staying with every passing moment, ended up calling dad to my room last Wednesday evening, so not that long after posting the previous personal post, and ranted for over an hour about all sorts of stuff. And did that in front of the open window, didn’t really realize it, and some of that stuff sure wasn’t what you’d want all neighbors to hear. But the immediate result was a decision to go for an ultrasound the next morning, so with him, not with Ada, which felt even more rotten after all that mess and her offers and my quite senseless rant asking if she really meant it.
Can say it was a good doctor though, explaining and showing at length, even drawing a little, recommending tests and treatments and changes, not just doing her part and sending you away with only the results. She’s only there for two hours per day though, in which time I assume she can only fit two or three patients, and with this quality of work and the lack of appointments I’m surprised there’s no queue in front of her door, but it was just me and dad waiting for quite a long time for her to finish with the person who was already inside when we got there and then there didn’t seem to be anybody else after me. But she really doesn’t seem to have heard of the concept of doctor-patient confidentiality, since after explaining most things to me she asked me to call dad in and leave the door open, supposedly because it was hot, and then she also told him everything she had already told me and then continued from where she had left off for both of us. So she didn’t just specifically tell my dad everything, but also talked about my health and lifestyle and shit, literally, with the door wide open!
Either way, she didn’t see anything that bad, though the ultrasound is for organs, not intestines, and she did mention an endoscopy and/or colonoscopy a few times, but didn’t actually say it’s really needed and so I ignored that part. Found a few grains of sand in my right kidney and a fair amount in my left, but no stones. As for the issue that brought me there, she said she saw inflammation, a lot of fluid that seems to be stomach acid reaching even the duodenum, and microlesions on both my stomach and duodenum which, combined with what she assumes is chronic gastritis and the hyperacidity, may occasionally cause some blood vessels to rupture, causing that bleeding in my stomach which results in the black shit. Clear risk of duodenal ulcer, but there’s no such thing at the moment, nor anything else more concerning. Said a lazy gall bladder is also a possible cause for the hyperacidity, but at first she said it may just be a case of some bad days, stress, anger, anxiety, since we all get some of those from time to time, at which point I meant to tell her to try every single moment, all of it.
Did say I should have my crap tested, but while I assumed it will be tested more thoroughly, including to tell me how much blood really was in there and anything else they may figure out from it, she just wrote down to check for that bacterium that causes ulcer and that’s all they did, since the results I got on Tuesday said nothing except that said bacterium wasn’t present. So I guess next are the blood tests she recommended, but dad was told it will again be something limited and if I’ll get blood drawn again for the first time in many years I’m thinking I should at least have full tests done. And most preferably also make use of the fact that, since I show up as being employed, I have a right to such tests for free every so often and never made use of it, so it shouldn’t be paid either, even if that’ll mean going through a certain procedure I have no idea about and likely catching the brief window of time when funds are available to cover such tests at the start of each month.

The issue with that is that, while dad will definitely have to sort out anything that needs to be done before the actual tests, as I have absolutely no idea what to do or where and couldn’t handle any of it even if I did know, I really didn’t want to go with him there as well. Then again, even he said he just has an idea about who my doctor may be, assuming he signed me up for one when I got thrown back here ten and a half years ago, definitely not knowing for sure, and I definitely never went there, so it may be quite a mess anyway, but if he will figure it out and considering that offer and how messed up I am and that message I sent her and everything else, as insane as it is, I did rather want to go with Ada at least for this. I mean, I definitely don’t want to go at all, but if I must, then it seems the least terrible option, yet one that’s no longer on the table as things went sour starting last Friday and really crumbling for good over the weekend.
The reason was the usual one, my stance on breeding, but it struck unusually late, seeing as this tends to happen from the beginning when the issue comes up with someone I’m talking to and I’ve been talking to her for some time now and she actually messaged me first, so one’d assume she knew it all very well. But apparently not, and that seems to be the end of having anything to do with the only person I was talking to that I could and was also sort of thinking I actually wanted to meet since Jen cut me off completely several years ago. Sure, met Andreea a few times before that went sour, and twice more after, when we just happened to bump into each other while attending the same event, but when we met intentionally it was because she wanted to and I felt terribly awkward, so that doesn’t count. This time I was sort of starting to dare to hope I may have something of a friend around here, especially since, as I said, she was the one initiating contact, and so much for that… And I guess it serves me right for daring to think there may be anything to hope for.

As for the computer issues, a brief e-mail exchange with the support department of the store I got it from didn’t help, since they just said I should bring it in to have it checked out and that they can’t help me in any other way until I do. So, seeing how issues seemed to be piling up, I eventually gave in and did that on Monday, taking out the HDDs, DVD drive and TV tuner but leaving the two additional fans I had installed. Also wrote a note that filled an entire page at font size 9, mentioning the lack of the HDD and the addition of those two fans and explaining both the new and the old issues, including one that appeared at first but then seemed to just go away on its own, and asking for everything to be investigated and whatever the real problems and causes are to be sorted out, though in case of those CPU warnings I said I only want it replaced if they’re signs of an actual problem and the new one won’t be similar or worse, considering what I found about it being a known issue that can safely be ignored and others experiencing even hundreds of such warnings per day instead of the few I had.
Annoyed at myself that I forgot to take a screenshot of the mouse statistics just before turning it off then despite reminding myself several times to do that as the last thing, since these drivers keep track of clicks and scrolls and distance covered and I wanted to see the wear over time. Granted, I’ll have been missing this period now either way, seeing as I didn’t even dare to try to install those unofficial Linux drivers that exist, but if I can’t get back on that system without reinstalling Windows I’ll be losing all the time since the end of May 2015. And it is double clicking at least on some buttons, and now I’m seeing that the wheel also seems to tilt left if I scroll down hard, which wouldn’t normally result in any noticeable effect before and therefore I have absolutely no clue when it started happening, but which on Linux seems to return the window to its initial state, so if I scroll quickly down a page I end up thrown back to the homepage. Most notably, this means I try to avoid scrolling down whenever I’m writing something, in anything.
The bit about being unable to get back to that system without reinstalling is due to the fact that I think you need to reinstall Windows if the motherboard or CPU are changed, right? So if they do that, I’ll be forced to reinstall… And I have no idea how that will work, with how Microsoft is messing with older versions to force everyone on that fucking Windows 10, with updates taking a long time and recently seeing reports of being impossible to perform on new installs, and them only being available as a cumulative patch as of next month and with older ones about to be gradually added to said patch, making it impossible to avoid those you don’t want to install, whether because they break something or because they force “telemetry” or something about Windows 10 or who knows what else down your throat. So if I’ll need to reinstall, I fear I either won’t be able to anymore, in which case I have no idea what I’ll do, or that I’ll be forced to even take the bad updates I had avoided and hid. But this latter scenario is very likely from now on even without reinstalling, so no clue what to do about it. I just know the computer is the one thing I was still sort of controlling and doing anything with and now that’s also being taken away, at first because I literally had to give it away due to the problems but obviously even without that, due to what’s happening with software in recent years.

And yes, I mentioned Linux above, and that’s because I’m now back on the old computer and, while the old Windows install was untouched on one of the HDDs, I chose to throw Mint 18 (Xfce) on it, even if my only previous experience with Linux was about a decade or so ago, brief and leaving me feeling more clueless than I was when I first started using a computer. I mean, theoretically I could have just connected that HDD, but there was the updates issue to consider, seeing as it’ll have to recover all the time since May, if not even April, of 2015, and also that I’ll have the antivirus and firewall and a few other things to update as well and doing all of that without reinstalling may have even been more likely to cause problems, skipping ahead so much at once. So I just did this, installing Mint on the old IDE HDD left in this computer and not connecting the main ones at all, leaving them there in a corner so nothing that may happen on this system will affect that one once I’ll get it back. Copied what I also occasionally backup on the USB stick to this one, but keep my edits and changes to a minimum and plan to send myself an e-mail with them in plain text to just make them again, so there won’t even be a single file from this one moved and, normally, no chance of infection.
And that’s because, no matter how much people keep saying Linux is very safe, I feel very unsafe without a good antivirus and, perhaps even more importantly, a powerful, highly customizable and reasonably easy to use application-level firewall. And there sure seems to be a serious lack of this for Linux, and if there’s one main thing really making me once again pretty much completely turn my back on the idea of perhaps switching someday, preferably before the official support for Windows 7 will end or it’ll otherwise become unusable, it’s this. Few solutions seem available and having a look at how to install and use them makes me forget about even considering trying, and the community’s attitude whenever the issue seems brought up in the discussions I found, namely that such programs are not needed on Linux, gives me little hope of a change and just tells me I could never belong here, because for me they are absolutely mandatory, first for system monitoring and control, even before actual security.
But back to this old computer in itself, it started just fine after sitting in a corner since the end of May of 2015, even remembering BIOS settings and having the time exactly right, though I thought the BIOS battery was low even then and completely expected it to be dry by now. Don’t have the power saving software it ran all along and without which it quickly overheated, since that has no Linux version, but I installed BOINC anyway, even on the first day, when I just had the CPU fan, the two other old ones which had come with the case still being wherever dad had thrown them after asking me for them when I replaced them. That meant it really smelled like hot metal and burning dust and I could feel it heating up the room, and I had to increase the temperature it starts beeping at from my conservative level to a more normal one. Also meant the poor CPU fan was at the highest possible speed and particularly loud, so much so that I did have to turn it off when I went to bed Monday night.
Dad found those fans the next day though, and after fixing the rear one with just two screws, since I couldn’t find what I needed to hold the other two in place, I did something with the front one which I should have done all along. I mean, that serves quite little purpose in front, so instead of putting it back there, I placed it upright on the video card, so it helps cool both the CPU and the motherboard’s big heat sink. It’s held in place with two of those little plastic things for holding cables together, one hooked around what I think is some unused power cable and the other around the rear fan’s cable, plus its own cable pulled under others. It’s not pretty and not particularly safe, but shouldn’t normally fall, and after doing this and with the case open the temperatures are very fine despite the lack of power saving, and the CPU fan is also sticking to much more normal speeds, so not much noise either.
Otherwise, one obvious problem is that I can’t get my TV tuner to work on Linux. Didn’t expect it to work at all at first, but then I started looking around, found some potential solutions, tried one program, then some script which supposedly used the Windows drivers in some way, then another program which others said is the only one which works with this tuner, then editing some file others were saying should be edited, but I’m not getting anything. Yes, Zapping seems to see it just fine and it even detects the signal through it, as setting it to Romania and telling it to scan for channels finds 42 or 43, seeming to alternate there, so missing just a couple of the 45 I should have, and checking a few of the listed frequencies against the list on the provider’s site tells me it does find them correctly. However, I get absolutely nothing else. No picture, no sound, nothing. And since I’m not doing much of anything else here, nothing to try to play, not keen on seeing how to download something to watch, not editing files, rather staying away from even entering passwords in too many places and doing too much on various sites, I rather miss that option of maybe finding something to pass the time with…

But this sure was a long post again, so let me just finish it here by also saying that this week’s run was yesterday and I finally managed to get back under 35 minutes. Took pretty much everything and stuff in my abdomen hurt all day, only getting better at night, but the total time was 34:52, with sector times of 4:33, 5:17, 5:59, 4:35, 5:18, 6:10 and 3:00, making for lap times of 15:49 and 16:03.
Was also saying I’ll be going out more these days, since I’m doing even less than usual here, but the weather hasn’t been nice, autumn deciding to come very suddenly after we got over 30°C even last weekend. Pretty sure I won’t even attend the march I was considering to attend tomorrow. Still definitely not in any sort of state that would permit it, plus that it’s that one organized by and focusing on cyclists, and after an initial message also inviting pedestrians and stating that they should be able to keep up at a light jog, more recent posts only talk of cycling and other similar means of transportation.


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