Monday, June 27, 2005

Migraines, Stress, Allergies, and Bluescreens. This is the life.

I've been nursing an insanely bad migraine for most of the day. One of those "every movement hurts" migraines where by the end of the day I can't even open one eye because the pain is too great.

Maybe running out of my allergy medicine last week is a contributing factor. Maybe it's due to the fact that I was essentially laid-off-but-not-really some time last week. Maybe it's the fact that I have quite a bit to do before I move into my new job and the pressure is getting to me. Maybe I just had a bad headache. When there are so many possibilities all at once, none of which can be immediately removed, how do you diagnose which one is responsible by the traditional process of elimination? Beer. That's how. Beer and huge-ass horse pills of ibuprofen.

Speaking of the process of elimination, I was finally able to play a solid 2 hours of Battlefield 2 this weekend without the dreaded bluescreen of death that I've been getting. I probably should have been more slow and deliberate in my elimination of possible causes but I wound up disabling DEP on my machine, disabling unused SATA channels, slowing my memory settings from 1T to 2T, disabling my unused serial port, and disabling my unused Floppy Disk Controller in the BIOS (hoping to free up some IRQ channels in case what I was experiencing was an IRQ conflict). One or all of those seemed to do the trick but I suspect the new 2T memory settings are having a detrimental effect on gameplay, with the occasional stutter when switching from zoomed to non-zoomed mode when using the anti-tank missile for example. I guess since I wasn't slow and deliberate in my elimination process I'll have to be slow and deliberate in my re-introduction process, changing at least the memory settings back before trying again.

...Of course, knowing my luck, it'll bluescreen just fine even with all those things removed.

Incidentally, a really useful toolset I found for analyzing memory dumps after a bluescreen was Debugging Tools for Windows from MS themselves ( I guess they throw us a bone every now and then ) with pretty good 101-level instructions here.

Oh yeah, and today is Ed's birthday. What a great guy. One of the most charitable and generous people you'd care to meet. Even though he's a freak. He's our freak and we love him.
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