2020.03.14

28 Days Later Big Ben stylized pandemic
Pandemic


Two weeks ago it was uncertain how this covid thing would play out. I don't think much has changed. I get the feeling we'll look back on this as either the biggest overreaction since terrorism or the epic disaster we absolutely could have avoided.

Leaders have struggled with messaging - even when it's something simple like "be careful but don't panic".

Donald Trump Anybody that needs a test gets a test CDC

To which, several days later, Congressman Lynch dragged the head of the infectious disease institute over the coals. The reply was telling. The test/accounting snafu and varying reports of information limitation feels a lot like "3.6 roentgen".

CDC Coronavirus covid cases reports yes

But the feeling of this crisis(?) has been very mixed. Sports and entertainment have shut down and workplaces have taken some pretty drastic measures, yet nothing feels especially disrupted. And then you look at China and Korea and think that the US surely can do almost as well at surviving this.

Coronavirus covid hoax car sign 5G cell tower

Of course, this is the era of facebook and the gram. It's like a perverted version of "if it bleeds, it leads" where everyone's feed has to be as dramatic as possible and it also has to be about you, even if your crisis is nothing more than people stockpiling bottled water and toilet paper. Case in point: back in January people seemed convinced that the Iran thing would be a world war. If there's an up side, it's been the memes.
Memeing

Meme Titanic band coronavirus memers

Covid has been pervasive enough that it's occupied most of everyone's waking hours, but it's not so bad that it can't be the subject of some light gallows humor.

Coronavirus beer bottle

Certainly most folks being sent home from work has affected the post volume.

Coronavirus chat and memes

The majority of social commentary has been shaming hoarders.

Coronavirus meme work we ride at dawn bitches Big Bird

Being essential, on-site kind of sucks.
Stonks

Eric Trump tweet stocks great time to buy

Source.

Infection rates seem to typically resemble a normal curve and by all accounts we're not very far up it. If the increased social awareness means this thing fizzles, the true lasting impact seems to be the financial one.

Mike Pence meme precautions wash hands buy puts investing

After my earlier discussion of inverses, we've experienced a couple of covid- and oil-attributed wall street plunges.

Sell DOG weimaraner
Self-quarantine: video games

PUBG cruising Miramar in Mirado nice towel wrap and PPE

The socially responsible thing to do, naturally, is self-sequester and play video games (ensuring one's character has proper PPE).


The PUBG squad has had some good runs but not yet tried out the panzerfaust.

Borderlands 3 Tyreen the Destroyer Infinity Pistol

Me and J finished our second character (Zane, Moze) TVHM main quests. I really dig the Zane shield build. Adding cold/freeze status to critical hits makes him excellent at controlling the chaos.

Motherboard bootloop


The quarantine/gaming situation looked grim for a brief few days: my rig began bootlooping at the BIOS splash screen (is this POST nowadays?). Here's how it went down.

Boot would pass the video card banner and then move to the BIOS splash where it would reset, even while mashing Del, End, or whatever else.

1. Disconnected hard drives, yanked gaming mouse.

No luck.

2. Pulled RAM and CMOS battery - RAM sometimes breaks things and the power interruption will clear any corrupted flash.

No luck.

3. Connected the BIOS reset jumper (while powered down).

No luck.

4. Later than I should have, I dug out my old PC speaker, re-soldered the pins, and plugged that in.

Single beep as it was resetting. No angry error code beeps (typically associated with bad RAM, CPU, HDD, etc.).

5. Downloaded Q-Flash utility to update BIOS, but this requires catching a keypress during startup which I had not been able to do.

Ugh. Sit-rep:
Either the BIOS is supremely boned, or the power supply is maxed. Weird, the power supply should be good quality (EVGA), not old (few years), and there have otherwise been no major changes (just added an SSD at xmas, nothing else).

6. Dug out the multimeter and probed various pins for loaded voltage drops on a disconnected VGA 12v and the back side of the main power connector to the mobo.

Voltages appeared normal (12.1v, 8.0v, etc.).

7. More and more googling, of course Gigabyte was completely worthless on this. The bottom right of the boot screen had some numbers that seemed to be status (error?) indicators. The computer would reset on "99". Apparently these show device initialization, 99 is SuperIO.


Thank you, youtubeer.



Checking my otherwise stripped-down setup (no HDD, no sound card, no mouse), indeed my USB extension was still plugged in and on the other end was the flash hub. Disconnecting this, everything went back to functional. Wow.
Photoshoot

Photography photo shoot cave La Jolla

Birthday photos. I've gone no UV filter and am not looking back.