Coming Up For Air

Hi friends! I had mentioned on my chat box (WOW, just thought of this, I could call it my CHATTERBOX!!!) that I’d be doing some computer work and might not be seen for a little while. Well…that’s what you’re going to read about now!

I have 2 laptops, both HPs, and I love them both. One is a Resolve, one is an Envy. The Resolve is much smaller/lighter and has been my go-to laptop for several years, since I bought it refurbished. The Envy I always loved but then it stopped getting online, just refused to connect to our wifi no matter what I did or tried. That’s when I bought the Resolve. But I never stopped missing the big heavy Envy…

MS is updating their TOS, effective in a few days. I wanted to stop using Windows before that time. Frankly, I’d only been using Windows out of lazyness since I got the Resolve, prior to that I’d always had Windows but never let it have access to the internet, and ran one or another Linux version for many years; I just never bothered to add Linux when I got the Resolve. But now…well…time was getting short, since I didn’t agree with the new TOS, so yesterday I backed up all of my files (forgot my passwords – oops), today I got my flash drive ready to install Linux and reset the little Resolve to factory settings, not allowing internet access of course. But then – THEN! – when I went to the BIOS to set it to boot from the USB, I couldn’t! I’ve never seen a BIOS like this one, but trust me – I tried to figure it out, even searx’ed endlessly. I won’t go down the rabbit trail of why, so let’s continue…

A few months ago I’d taken my beloved Envy to the shop to figure out why it would no longer get online, and apparently everything tested well, modem working, etc. but I had a lot of bad sectors on the 10+-year-old hard drive. So he replaced it, and left it without an o/s as requested; I brought it home and installed Linux Mint (only because Pete already had the CD ready) and thought I was ready to go. But it still wouldn’t get online…so I set it aside until today.

Once I’d messed around for HOURS with the Resolve and couldn’t get the whole BIOS thing, well, RESOLVED (see what I did there?), I pulled out my old heavy, bulky, beautiful Envy…all loaded up with Linux already, and tried something. I had noticed a long time ago that my phone had a setting to allow other devices to access its hotspot via bluetooth, so I wondered…YES!! IT WORKED! Very slowly, but IT WORKED! So I knew I could get online at least!

Then I tried to think outside the box a little bit. My Envy networking settings would only allow a wired connection; it couldn’t see my Realtek wifi at all. (Further research told me that is very common with Realtek – in fact, Pete has a beautiful MSI laptop that has the same problem!) Our internet here is a small cellular hotspot that gets a low signal and is very slow – it doesn’t do ethernet, which is the “wired connection” that always came to mind…but it does have a USB-C port…and in looking through the menu system it showed 3 devices connected via wifi, and 0 connected via “wired connection”…so I hooked it up via USB and WOW, I’m not only connected, but this is a faster connection than I’ve ever had using the wifi!!

I’ve condensed many hours of toil and trouble down to a few paragraphs. But anyone who has been more than a casual computer user will get it. Many times I’ve reminisced about the good old days, I was a single mom of a preschooler with a part-time job who went to computer shows to buy boxes of parts, bring them home, and put together a few computers to sell to make ends meet. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then. I fought against a GUI and hung onto unix as long as I could, and have never liked windows. Now that I’m done with it, as of today, I will likely never have it darken my door again. And my next eviction will be android from phone and tablet…but that’s a topic for another day.

I will miss some things about the Resolve: the touch screen, being able to flip the screen around to show Pete something, and fold it down to use as a tablet, the much lighter weight, just to name a few. But since I retired and don’t have to take my computer with me during working hours wherever I go, my Envy is fine! Plus it has great audio where the Resolve had almost no volume without headphones, an optical drive, and MUCH more screen! It’s prettier too.

I’ll get my Resolve cleaned up and sold soon (remind me to change the BIOS password back to admin) to add some $ to my Yamaha Genos Hope Chest, and move forward with my beloved Envy.

Now I’m off to load up my preferred software, thanks for reading!

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