Friday, 26 September 2014

Friday 19th to Sunday 21st September 2014 3 days off Pont-a-Bar

Friday 19th September 2014  Day off Pont-a-Bar
Hot and sunny. We did some shopping at Carrefour in Charleville.  A large tjalk called Parelion had come down the next lock and moored on the end of the quay by the VNF workboats. After lunch I found my laptop wouldn’t switch on. Dead. Mike checked the power supply and the battery, then put the Internet on to find out what to do. None of the tricks they suggested worked. Still dead. Really annoyed as I was hoping to get the log, blog and photos up to date while we were moored here with a good Internet connection. Fed up. Found a repair shop in Charleville via yellow pages, but it was only open afternoons on Saturdays.
Saturday 20th September 2014  Day off Pont-a-Bar
Hot and sunny again. Chores in the morning. I phoned Tesco to inform them that my laptop had died and I might not be back in the UK before the warranty ran out. The young man said that was OK it was recorded that I’d reported it. After a bite to eat we set off to Charleville in the car to the PC repair shop, which opened at 2 pm. The young man did the same checks we’d done and told us that it was most likely the motherboard (la carte mére) that had failed. I said it was a problem that must be repaired under guarantee in the UK as the laptop was less than twelve months old. I said I couldn’t get at my stuff on it which was going to cause me big problems, then he showed me a box that I could put my hard drive into and it could then be plugged into another PC to read or upload the contents. We paid him a paltry 20 euros for the gizmo and went home. Mike extracted the hard drive and took the side brackets off it so I would fit in the box. Then I realised that it wouldn’t do any good as Mike’s PC (Harold, who works on XP) wouldn’t be able to read all the Windows 8 stuff on it. The only solution was to get another PC on Windows 8 that would read it. We went to have a look to see what they had on offer in Carrefour. Didn’t think much of the notebook they were promoting by offering 50 euros off the normal price, but found an Acer laptop similar in spec to mine. The demo model was the only one they’d got so I asked for a discount and had 120€ off the asking price of 429€. Got persuaded to buy extra insurance on it and I picked up a Bluetooth speaker. At the checkout our purchases were given the once over by a security woman, that’s the first time that’s ever happened. It was 7.45pm by the time we got home. For speed, I cooked steak and onions in the pressure cooker and then after dinner we set to work getting the new PC working. At 1am we went to bed shattered having just managed to get it into English by downloading a language package from Microsoft. I’d changed the keyboard to a UK one but, as I never learned to type properly, I will have to remember which keys are which – like press A and you get Q!
Sunday 21st September 2014   Day off Pont-a-Bar
13.1°C Heavy showers. On with the jobs. I got on with setting up the new Acer laptop while Mike started to sort out a diesel leak he’d got in the engine room. After emptying he bilges of 4 litres of diesel (to be filtered and added to the central heating tank – waste not, want not!) he still hadn’t found out where it was coming from. Had an hour’s chat with Yvonne on Skype, really good connection and audio very good on the new laptop, didn’t need the new speaker, finished around 12.15pm. I was very glad to find that the gizmo worked and I was able to load all the stuff I needed from the old Acer’s hard drive on to the new one. Finally got set up to catch up with the log and blog, a long, long way to go. Mike went for a nap. I struggled with the azerty keyboard but managed to get the log up to date. Then the photos, but I hadn’t been able to find the CD to add Paint Shop. A loaded Dutch péniche called Shiva went up the canal around 3.30p, followed by a VNF man in a van. I carried on editing the log into blog versions. Mike watched the F1 GP from Singapore. I managed to catch up just one day on the blog.

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