Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Loans Pending review

Oh boy. What a day. Got up this morning after a thunderstorm and my computer wouldn't boot, went to the other computer and couldn't connect to the Internet - cable modem is out.

I'll tell the story later. Here is today's stats, things are definitely looking up. I have reworked the stats going forward. From today I'm reporting on the average age of the loans in the pending review queue. That is a more accurate indicator than the number of days for the oldest loan (anyone can work that out by counting!)

ETA: just saw a typo in the chart. The oldest dated loan for yesterday's stats is 12/7/2006.

So first get the cable modem sorted out. call Tech Support. No, no problems at all on their network, they'll send out a tech - somewhere between then and 7pm. :(

OK, so I start thinking the thunderstorm knocked out my cable modem and my computer - I can't boot and I can't even get into the BIOS - password error.

I can't live without a computer, so by 8:45 I'm in Office Depot looking at new computers (I would have gone to Fry's, but then I would be too far home to make it back if the cable guy called for his appointment).

Anyway, Office Depot had a very nice selection of desktops and laptops. What first caught my eye was a Desktop from HP with a wide screen and Windows Media Edition, good specifications, including an Intel Core Duo. But the package (incl. screen) was just over $1,000, so I looked some more. Next I found a really nicely spec'd Lenovo (the new IBM in PCs). Really nice machine, AMD 64-bit X2 chip, big HD and plenty of USB ports in a nice, compact design. 19" widescreen included in the $700 package.

I wandered over to the laptops. Again a couple of Lenovos caught my eye, not the iconic ThinkPad, but the new 3000 model range. Best of the lot is a Core Duo with 1GB, 120GB drive and a 1280x800 14.1" display. Nice thing, it comes with a fingerprint reader for security. Wow, how cool is that? All for $800. Sold.

I never spend large sums of money until I have thought things over, so I wander off to Office Max (they only had a couple in boxes, nothing to look & touch), then Best Buy (just a bunch of crap). Off to Starbucks to ponder my options (I still have 4 spec sheets from Office Depot to look over).

I got to wondering whether I'd find a better deal on the Internet, so I decide to drive by the Library and check out a few places (Froogle being my favorite). The Lenovo website doesn't have the same specs for nearly the same price, Newegg carries it for a couple of 100 more (the laptop that is). I scratch around on the Lenovo website and come across a tech note of entering BIOS by using the Supervisor password. Smack my forehead - that could be my problem, I'm used to entering the power-on password, but to get to the BIOS I have to use the supervisor password.

But I can't go home, I promised my daughter I'd help out on Games Day at the school. So I'm in a gym full of screaming 1st graders, helping them run a relay race, but all I can think of is to get home to check out my computer. Salvation in the form of my wife appears - she's decided to come and check out Games Day. Within minutes she finds herself roped into taking my place while I bail out to go home.

Get home, nice! The cable modem has all the lights working. Power on the laptop, still won't boot, but I manage to get into the BIOS using the supervisor password. Strange, no mention of harddrives anywhere in the BIOS. I'm completely flummoxed. When I boot up, the computer spins the harddrives, but doesn't boot and the power-on menu doesn't offer the usual F11 option of restoring from the recovery system. Just as if there are no harddrives.

Out of desperation I choose the F12 option to "Specify temporary boot device". The list appears and the harddrives are on it. I select the main hard drive and press Enter, hoping for the best. My trusty laptop comes through! It boots from the hard drive, and when I shut it down and power it on again, the disk option is back in the power-on menu and boot happens as normal.

Phew! And I nearly spent $800 on a new laptop (but that Core Duo is still pulling my heartstrings).

So dear reader, if you've stuck with me this far, that is why I haven't posted the promised bidding stats. I was so relieved that all my problems got sorted out that I promptly went to bed and had a nap. When I woke up after 4, it was all I felt like to gather up the stats for the loans in pending review (above). The bidding graphs and spreadsheets are uploaded, but the verbiage to go around it will have to wait till tomorrow (or tonight if I can't sleep).

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