The Italian hackmeeting is really awesome. There’s a bunch of cool people, and the building is awesome. It was apparently built by some guy with mafia ties as a fancy house in the city, but was confiscated by the government before construction was complete. It sat empty for years, but now it’s a squatted social center. I only wish I spoke Italian, because it’s tough to follow the presentations.
Sadly, my computer is now totally dead. The hard drive had been behaving much better, lending further creedence to the loose-connection theory. However, today, it started freezing during bootup at the “Checking NVRAM…” stage of the POST. It’s completely unresponsive. Even more bizarre, if I try to enter the BIOS, it prompts for a password, and I’ve never set a BIOS password for this machine.
I’ve been in touch with tech support via email, and they claim there’s no easy way to reset the BIOS, no reset jumpers like on a desktop. The machine is still under warranty, so I’m hesitent to start tearing it apart and shorting EPROMs based on suggestions from the internet (or Italian hackers). Tech support keeps giving me variations of, “just bring it down to the store”, despite the fact that I’ve told them I’m traveling.
I’ll see if I can get them to pay for repairs at a computer shop here. Alternatively, I may wind up shipping it back the US for warranty service, and then just buying the cheapest thing I can find here, since I’ll be looking at a least a month round-trip. The ASUS eee PCs can be had for around €250, and they’re kind of trendy so I’m sure I could re-sell it easily if/when I got my machine back.
Ugh, super frustrating. If anyone has ideas or suggestions, I’m open.