After one of my friends, I decided to bite the bullet and get DishTV (a direct-to-home [DTH] satellite based TV subcription service) installed for the home. Did not take much effort to convince folks at home, especially since we were all equally fed up with the hopelessly sub-optimal quality (and value) of the CableTV offering.
So, the fellow comes and installs the dish, and everything seems to be working fine, till it starts raining! Then the signal strength drops to less than 15%, and everything freezes. No TV.
Now, it is beyond me why they fail to mention this anywhere on their web-site, brochures or manual – the usual tactics of misguiding people seems to be in play here. Sheep we all are, especially us early adopters.
Anyway, I’ll give them a call, and try to find a solution to this. But I’m not expecting much out of it, since a friend informs me that their CableTV operator always harps on the fact that their connection will never go down, some rain, sleet or snow. Of course, having optical fibre connections help, but this is just too lame.
Otherwise, the quality is good, though a CRT is not the best place to judge that. Also, their Movie on Demand encryption is sort of screwed up, cause I am able to view all the movies without ordering them. On second thoughts, the whole on demand thing is slightly rigged, since it isn’t on demand as such, four channels play the movie staggered at 45 minute (or now 1 hr, since they do two movies) intervals, so you can tune in to the one just about to begin.
My primary machine was having a serious issue with, ahem, processing. Well, it worked fine for normal tasks, like movie watching or browsing or office work, but it would randomly lock up when entrusted with a slightly more challenging task, such as MP3 encoding or DVD ripping (when the processor temperature as reported by the motherboard sensors would exceed 68-70 degree Celsius). Which is quite frustrating. So for a few months now, I was treating it like a sick child, not stressing it at any point.
Today I decided to finally dismantle the processor (Intel Pentium 4 Prescott 2.80 GHz / 1 MB / 800 MHz / Malay) and the heat sink arrangement, since my email correspondence with Intel required the processor serial number. They were not willing to proceed with the warranty business till I got them that. So it had to be done.
The usual clean up followed, in which the heat sink contributed thick black sooty carbon of unusual proportions. But I am no longer surprised by that. I did note down the complete details on the back of the processor case.
Later on while connecting the heat sink back on, we noticed something strange. The levers that lock the heatsink onto the bracket won’t do their thing. I remember having faced this problem last time, so I mentioned it to my friend. He saw the reason this was happening: The heatsink was part resting on the bracket. Which means that it was not touching the processor on one edge.
So maybe that explains the random locking up. It was a Sherlock Holmes moment.
After fiddling with the bracket a bit, we were able to get the heatsink in properly, and it is working fine since then. Stressed it out, 100% processor utilization, and no lock ups. Temperature even exceeded 72 degrees, so the problem seems to have been taken care of itself.
In the end, I’m happy. At least for the time being.