I don’t know if this is going to work, but let’s give it a try. I don’t do a lot of web-surfing. And when I do find a cool thing, I promptly lose it. (Please keep the jeers to a minimum.) Anyway, I’m going to try and copy all the links mentioned in the comments here so if you remember seeing it, but don’t remember where, hopefully you can find it here.
Also, any cool links I do happen to run into, I’ll post here, and just put a notice on my regular blog. I think I can organize that much.
On my USB problem:
From mikemike: There is a Live Linux edition tailormade for Windows troubleshooting. It’s available as a download for free. Only trouble is, it’s in German… http://www.heise.de/software/download/knoppicillin_download_edition/37894 To download, click on “Zur Download-Seite” (to the download page); the rest should be automatic. This is an ISO file which you would have to burn on a CD. Size is 236 MByte.
From Kroyd and mmberry: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/817900/en-us
From serenicom: This may be a slightly left field suggestion, but if you can borrow/download a Linux LIVE CD, it will boot and run from the CD drive without touching the C: Drive.
If linux sees all your USB ports, the problem is Windows. It is safe, running completely from the CD and a re-boot will take you back to the standard boot up again.
The most friendly is probably Ubuntu: http://www.ubuntu.com/
or Mint: http://linuxmint.com/
From emilyrin: http://www.eggheadcafe.com/software/aspnet/29406305/usb-ports-problem.aspx
Suggests: entering BIOS on startup, disabling USBs and then re-enabling them again from BIOS, same as Sandor suggests. Also gave warnings about registry cleaners causing trouble—better to manually edit/remove the specific problem entries than to use a wholesale registry cleaner.
Suggests: BIOS dis/enable again; if that doesn’t work, make sure you have updated versions of the BIOS and EFI files; could be a hardware failure with the actual USB controller chips or connections (which would suck).
(has a bunch of threads on similar problems; I just read one)
From Katoji: Not meaning to be the link queen, or anything… but I do have a favorite Pirate Hat Maker. He makes them by hand and he’s got some nice accessories, coat buttons, hat plumes and the like.
He won my favor when I bought something for Christmas from him and it got there in record time.
Plus, he’s a pirate. What’s not to love!
Neat Art stuff:
From katoji: Some incredible pen and ink graphic novel stuff
Digital cuteness http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=156271
Beautiful portraits http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=124532
Concept art http://www.conceptart.org/forums/showthread.php?t=151368
The Hot topic on downloads and piracy
Critique–really helpful, proud of my fellow artists on this one, just scroll through the pictures and see how the work changes with guidance
Me: And I increasingly like this autodesk sketchbook http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=6848450.
OrionSlaveGirl: I LUST for this sink:
Cool links from Lynn:
Sculptures out of old tires… http://www.sweet-station.com/blog/?p=9231
From WoL: And @zetta, I’ll call your cat video and raise you a webpage: http://theowlunderground.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/where-do-cats-sleep/.
From Zette: Oh, and you might enjoy watching this one: http://zette.blogspot.com/2012/04/blog-post.html