26Jul05 (Monthenor): Hoooooly crap. I'm glad I had
the comic done before Monday. Here's what happened, right?
- On Saturday I went through the Fark
thread with Half-Blood Prince spoilers, and came upon a link to a
fansite named Dissendium.
- Dissendium has an unofficial Quidditch game for
PC that looked fair awesome. I downloaded it on my iBook and stowed it away
on the PC for later.
- Sunday, I tried to install and play the game. It would launch to
a black screen and just sit there, forcing me to kill it manually. The
forums said this problem was likely outdated graphics drivers...fair enough,
my card is pretty old.
- I went to NVidia's site and downloaded the latest set for my
card. I discovered that my current drivers were about two years old!
It was definitely time for an update.
- Upgraded drivers. Played games and watched TV on the computer as
usual Sunday night.
- Monday morning I woke up to a black screen. The computer had
crashed at some point during the night...no big deal, it's Windows 98.
Rebooted and up came...a black screen. Rebooted again. Panic sets in.
- There followed four hours of emergency repair to the video
card drivers. It was a breathtaking journey through a place I like to call
Colorbook Fantasyland -- 640x480 resolution at 16 colors.
- I keep almost everything I install archived for just such
emergencies. I found the old driver packages and tried to downgrade. Then I
tried the newest ones again. Then I tried downloading generic NVidia
drivers, rather than card-specific ones from Asus. Everything failed.
- Not that things weren't installing, mind you. At one
point I had three different video adapters installed at the same
time, named "Standard VGA Adapter", "PCI VGA Display", and "". That's right,
a blank name.
- At one other point, after installing from Asus drivers (again),
I managed to get the correct card adapter (Asus V7700 GTS/Pure 6.1c)...and
another adapter, for a Voodoo3. I have not even owned a
Voodoo3 in four years. I have no idea how that driver got on there but I am
guessing it was some form of ritualistic black magic, possibly derived from prehistoric
- And then, when I tried the two-years-old generic driver package
yet again, it worked. Why it worked that time as opposed to all others, I
This entire process took four hours of my life.
Four hours I could have been surfing the web or playing Diablo II. Four
hours, gone! But some good did come of it. In the process of tearing
apart my room looking for the card's original driver CD (which I never
found), I found a lot of junk that could reasonably be thrown away. Not the
trinkets like my Slinkies...those can stay. But do I really need the
original Prima strategy guide to Diablo I now that I have the Internets?
I say to you: no.