Fixing God’s Computer

Being a guy who works with computers, I’m called upon by friends and relatives to fix technical issues. This also makes me the unofficial PC technical support for my mom’s church.

computer repair cartoon

Today my mom called me saying their main church PC wouldn’t boot. I took a copy of Spinrite and the Ultimate Boot CD to the church, discovering the BIOS reported that the hard drive was unbootable. Spinrite couldn’t even see it, although the BIOS did detect it. None of the Ultimate tools worked. So I unplugged it, dusted it off, then plugged it in again, and it still couldn’t be recognized.

Next step: plug it into my own computer and see if I can access it and recover any of its data using Disk Investigator and other free tools. If THAT doesn’t work, then I’ll be taking it to PCMedic and see if they can recover any of its data.

It contained ALL the church members for newsletters and all that fun information that churches collect, and they had no backups, of course.

The H Is Shilent

letter h sign languageSilent H (Update: link removed because it no longer works), a description of its use and role in history:

A silent h can be put anywhere you want, precisely because it is silent. So for example, it is equally proper to spell it Gandih, Gahndi, hGandi and even Gandhhhhhhhi.

The silent h is very flexible. When I’m talking, I’ll toss in a silent h every third syllable, and no one seems to mind. I’m not trying to show off by doing it. I just like the way it doesn’t sound.

Little known fact: The original name for the stealth bomber was Hhhhhhh, where every h but the fourth one is silent.

“Excuse me, waiter, there’s a frog in my salad.”

Actually, I didn’t know it was in my salad until it jumped out of my salad.

Smitty's Frog Salad

It was a light-green frog about the size of my thumb, and it jumped out of the Cajun Chicken Caesar Salad I ordered at Smitty’s last night. For the record, that’s the Smitty’s restaurant in Mount Pearl, just outside St. John’s, Newfoundland.

I was there with my girlfriend and her mother. The frog jumped out of my salad a few minutes later — after I’d eaten some of the salad. It took me a couple seconds to realize it was indeed a frog, because who the hell expects a frog to jump out of their salad? It’s the kind of thing that doesn’t register immediately — not until the frog makes a beeline for the ketchup bottle.

I calmly said, “Okay, that’s it. A frog just jumped out of my salad. I’m leaving.” We left without paying. I’m just glad I didn’t stab the frog with my fork and put it in my mouth.
Continue reading “Excuse me, waiter, there’s a frog in my salad.”

Convert A Photo Into A Drawing

Photo to Sketch:

With this fast, easy-to-use program, you can convert any photo-not just portraits-into an interesting, folksy sketch. While Photoshop can also perform this function, Photo To Sketch does it faster.

The following is an example from a photo of my son:

iain photo converted to a drawing

The standard version displays an annoying popup occasionally and has limited functionality, but it works.

(via Lifehacker)

Should I Buy A Mantis Tiller?

Mantis TillerI’m considering buying the Mantix Tiller. It costs $500 Canadian. It would come with a Border Edger Attachment, a Kick Stand, and 100 Mixed Daffodils. But do I REALLY need it?


  1. We have a 8’x20′ garden, which we want to enlarge, in addition to creating other flower and vegetable gardens on our property. It would save a lot of time and effort.
  2. My wife and mother would be able to easily use it.
  3. I could rent it to friends and neighbors who needed a tiller; it’s portable and light.
  4. I like the free stuff included with the package.


  1. It costs five hundred dollars. Regular tillers cost around $300.
  2. I can afford it, but it’d be eating into our house-renovations savings.
  3. I could manually dig up the gardens, which I’ve been doing for the past 5 years; it’s good exercise.

I’d be buying it from, which is in York, PEI. It maybe cheaper for me to drive there than have them ship it.

Update: I rented one. See my comment below.