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October 20th, 2003


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08:07 pm - Oh I didn't mention...
My life seems to be going to crap. My car has some kind of problem with the charging circuit that my dad says should be easy to fix - the problem is that as a college student, as opposed to an adult, I have no idea how to do things like actually giving a car to someone to fix without being ripped off.

That and my $600 computer managed to blow a $15 CPU fan - I caught it in time, but the fan in question is remarkably hard to find a replacement for, and what with the car issue I don't want to do any unnecessary driving to find a new one.

That and my current CSE 421 project requires the old project which I didn't finish to be finished, so now I have to finish the old one for zero credit, which is just plain dumb. However, there is no way to force a computer to run code that doesn't exist, and just kind of "skip over it". In math you can do that - we "assume this is true, and use it to show that." If computers could do the same, I'd save a lot of time... but my odds of getting a job out of school would be pretty low :).

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[User Picture]
From:discipula_vitae
Date:October 21st, 2003 07:09 am (UTC)
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Re: the car. You have two options

1 Buy the appropriate Chilton's or Haynes manual and do it yourself. (with the help of a knowledgeable friend is even better) Many Universities have places to rent tools. (Or, don't know how close you are to the military base, but if you still have an ID you could use Sprockets, they have everything)


2 Pay someone else to do it. If you know any car-smart people in the area, ask them for the name of a good mechanic. Otherwise, take it to a couple of different places for quotes and, if possible, watch how they come up with the quote.
For an electrical problem like you mentioned, they should start the car once or twice, then (with the car off- duh) check the battery, starter, and alternator. They will also (usually before touching the car) ask you to describe the car's behavior in detail. Try at least three different places, and go with the one you have a better feel for (not neccessarily the best price, but don't get your wallet bitten either).
Having a lot of business is a good sign, too. If you see another customer or two around, discreetly ask whether they've used this mechanic before. If so, what do they think of him/her? If not, how did they hear of him/her?

As for your CSE 421 assignment, hop to it! A big part of your problem is getting intimidated by the tasks ahead so much that you make them worse by not attacking them at the get-go.
[User Picture]
From:pakaran
Date:October 21st, 2003 07:42 pm (UTC)

thanks

(Link)
I don't have an ID, I don't have, nor have ever had, anything to do with the military. In fact, I don't even know what branch Sprocket's belongs to, sorry.

I am probably going to go with a mechanic, just because I don't feel comfortable with the whole thing.

Thanks for all the advice, though. My solution in the past has always been to ask my parents to fix problems for me, but I know that won't always be possible, nor will I always want to.
[User Picture]
From:pakaran
Date:October 22nd, 2003 09:47 am (UTC)
(Link)
Oh by the way, I'm like 80% sure the problem is a blown alternator. The last time I drove it, it was very slow in gaining speed, and the radio and lights were working rather intermitently.

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