Log of Computer Problem while traveling around the world

Computer problems I have had while traveling around the world
Read newsletter for whole story of trip. Andy the HoboTraveler.com

Log of problems:
Making Pages
Internet Cafes

The address of this page is:

I am “...traveling around the world! ”  with my computer. Hmm...?

March 18, 2005 Cuzco, Peru
I used a computer in Arequipa, Peru this computer change the words into capital or uppercase letters, now when I try to ftp to the site there is two files and it does not find or copy over. I am having to delete the whole folders and start over.
Note - The solution seems to be if I see the file directory full of capital or upper case letter I change internet cafes or computers, I adjusted the computer but it does not go away.

September 25, 2004 Bangkok again.
I for sure do not update this log when I should, I have had so many problems with computer that it is so normal I cannot write, but...

I think my problem are because of my new methodology of connecting my computer to the internet directly. This does allow me to download virus updates which presently I have no idea on how to do so without connecting directly. I am thinking of checking Macafee because Norton seems too controlling on  their updated. But another issue.

BUT I did them Microsoft updates the other day and download Microsoft Service Pack 2 which I thought I already had, but nonetheless I suddenly do not have a disk .. Error 1728 No Disk Controller. I could only randomly get the computer to start and load.

I did a restore to about 1 1/2 month past and I think it fixed it... but who knows...

The bottom like or the solution is I am going to stop connecting and doing windows updates. I am going to use my thumb drive that is only 30 megs. But...

I have also purchase 2 - 10 Gig external hard drives. Cost me 124 dollars here at Panthip Computer mall in Bangkok Thailand. I bought two because I want to have 3 locations for my data. The more copies the better and all my information is only 6 gigs presently, and 90 percent of that is duplication stuff.

These drives are plug and play and I can connect them in the internet cafe when they have a USB port which is becoming more normal than the 3.5 disk drive.

I CAN LOAD FTP, FRONTPAGE AND ANY PROGRAM I NEED TO MAKE PAGES ON THIS DRIVE. I could get rid of my computer and still work.

April 9, 2004 Bangkok, Thailand or Krung Thep Thailand.

I completely formatted the hard drive by using the 4 red restore disk in that came with my compaq computer.

March 31, 2004 Had Yai, Thailand


I needed to use the feature of Windows XP that restores the computer to former settings.

What I have done:
1. Installed Thai Fonts.
2. Had a directly LAN connection to the Internet here in Had Yai. I think that Microsoft tries to do auto updates.
3. I allowed Steve to connect up his Palm Pilot and utilize some features.

February 10, 2004 Kathmandu or maybe Katmandu, Nepal

Electrical Shocked in Internet Cafe
I have connected now about 3 times inside and Internet Cafe, but on this occasion when I connected and plugged my computer into a walk socket every time my finger slipped from the mouse touch pad to the metal parts I would get a mild, but very annoying electrical shock.

I really could care less about the shock, but I do not like this type of current running through my computer.

I checked:
1. The cord was not in water. I took the cord and strung it across wood desk.
2. The desk was wood.
3. The desk had only a monitor on it, that was plugged in and all of plastic and such.

4. I had rubber Reeboks on and lots of clothes.

OF course as is normal the staff did not believe me and told me I was not being shocked. I had to physically put their hands on the computer to prove it to them, and they the still were sort of denying it was shocking me. Sort of the head in the sand ostrich problem. They wanted me to change plugs, and I said,
"This is the same electrical line."

The did not understand. They had a conduit running along the concrete wall and they wanted me to change to just the next one down the line.

I suppose someone will say,
"The Electrical wire was grounded."
I suppose I know that, but how? I do not understand even if there is a ground problem how it jumped from the cord to the case of the computer? I will sit in a different location tomorrow when I use the computer inside the internet cafe.

December 18, 2003 Hampi, India State of Karnataka

I had my laptop computer only sitting half way on the table. The edge made the disk make a noise as if it is rubbing. I think it ruined the 3.5 floppy disk.

December 4, 2003 Margao City, Goa State, India
I am feeling that the electrical connection between the computer and the outlet is weak. The prongs on the end of the plug keep sparking or getting burnt so I have changed extension cords. I also went to a higher gauge extension cord so I will have less resistance in the wire and freer flowing of the electricity. There is or there appears to be 2 types of plugs, but they fit into the same whole, but they are not the same. This is India.

August 23,2003 Arbi, Iraq (Kurdistan) Erbel or Erbil
3. 5 Disk. I have had less problems since I adopted the policy of trashing any
disk that even start or smell of a glitch. The 3.5 disk drives in computer of the
world can damage a disk. It is better to immediately trash a disk if you even
feel there is a problem. The time involved in going back and forth to the internet
and the cost is too small. Iraq has very high quality computer. But the Satelitte
internet system can cause publishing problem. In Sulamania I had glitches because
of the sattellite.

There is not good protection from virus. I cannot just download the updates.
I have stated to instantly format a disk upon returning from the internet cafe.
This is still a problem because I copy some files to my hard drive.
Any email that has an attachment is a problem. People like to send attachments.
I use Yahoo.com Mail to clean the up. It scans before I download. If I was on
a direct connection I would be in trouble now. The is a "Big" Virus or something
circling the world.

August 24, 2003 Arbil, Iraq (Kurdistan)
Blanks. I am publishing photos and files and they come up blank. There is a file in
the spot, but if you look at the size is small or a 0. I had this happen also in Cuzco Peru
but when copying my hard drive to a CD Rom. It looks good if you just observed the
structure, but in reality there is nothing there. Shooting blanks.

October 11, 2002 Pak Bara, Thailand
Labels - I am having problems the labels on the 3.5 disk. I am buying 3.5 disk here in Thailand. The brand is Maxell. They may be imitations or false. But the problem is the adhesive is not good. I put the disk in my camera and have trouble getting it out. This is also true with the computer. The edge of the label catches on the inside.

August 25, 2002 Ranong, Thailand
3.5 disk problem. I am not sure what happens. But I save pages to 3.5 disk. Sometimes this damages the disk. It puts a file on the disk that cannot be read, or it thinks is read protected. I tried to format the disk. I could not do this either. For protection of my information. I have made a self policy of discarding any disk for almost any reason.

South American had very big problems with the computers in internet cafes. They would damage disk. The same exist in Asia. But a lot less. If I find an internet cafe that the A drive seem safe. I return and try to use the same computer for the whole period of time.

August 13, 2002 Koh Phi Phi Thailand
I am still having the problem with the electrical switch:
I went into Kota Baru Malaysia. I went to 4 Hotels. None of them had an electrical plug in the room. I had to work in the common eating area. One guy recommended that I tap into the switch. All the lights in the room were the long tube type fluorescent lights, and I could not use the light bulb adapter either.

Here on Koh Phi Phi they have satellite access. I has now caused 2 problems.
The signal skips or jumps. When I publish photos, the quality has problems.
That happened in Koh Pha Ngan.
Here in Koh Phi Phi I cannot FTP to my sites yet. They have a proxy server, and I think it is blocking the signal. They do not speak English, and are sort of stoned acting. So I am still looking for assistance.

MALAYSIA had a new type of 220 plug. Supposed to be the same as England. I just purchased a small plug converter. The sell these so far very easily in all countries.

June 30, 2002
I am in Surat, Thani on the Southeast Coast of Thailand. I could my computer to turn on. I finally unplugged the fan, and it gave the computer enough electricity to activate the electronic switch.

USB PORT - I do not have a USB port. It is causing problems. I want to download pictures from my new Creative digital camera.

I purchased a small keyboard for my computer when I was in the USA, because the normal keyboard stopped working in Bolivia.

June 9, 2002

I am having problems with my start or power key. I think the electricity is to low and will not initiate the computer  to load windows. It just gives me a blank screen

I am having problems backing up my computer   hard dirve and will soon go to a new computer.

October 21, 2001 Indiana.
Stopping home before going to Ecuador. I have been checking old pages. I have discovered that Xoom.com that is not Nbci.com or something like that has decide to renig on the xoom promise of 500 megs of storage for life. I cannot find my page, and cannot log into their page with my user name. I am sad, because I may have lost lots of info and pictures, plus links in my topica.com newsletter archivies will not function.

My solutions is this. I will not publish all infor to 2 separate servers. And burn a CD rom of parts of my Harddrive more often. I did the CD rom thing in Cuzco, but then learned that some pictures were not copied. So do not trust the CD rom copies. It also turned all the files into read only.

September 19, 2001 Ghent, Belgium.
My touchpad clicker has broken. There is a left, and right clicker. The left broke. I has been sticking, and I have been using the tap feature, more and more. My solution is to buy an optical mouse. The big problem with a laptop mouse is that you have to have a flat spot to put the mouse on. I do not have a table, and removes the ability to use it as a laptop. The optical is good because I can move it on any material. The ball refuses to roll on lots of materials.

August 9, 2001 Ghent, Belgium
Hello, It's been a long time since I entered any problem I have had with my computer. The constant question I have on this topic of computer problems is to trying to differentiate between what is just normal computer headaches, and what is noteworthy problem. I have numerous daily problems.

I have become worried about updating my Macafee anti-virus program. The program tells me the time on updates has expired, and I need to do something. If I was in the USA and had a direct connection with my computer. I would just click on the recommended link and follow the path until I understood what they wish to tell me. Instead I am thinking I will do an all or nothing method and in a few months. I will do a complete update.

My worry is presently I am receiving 5-10 emails a day from random email address's that looks like a Trojan horse. It tells me to review the enclosed file, or information. Prompting me to open the file. I do not open files that I do not know what it is.prior, and who it is from.  I am also hoping the internet cafe's will clean the disk for me.

Computer A drive said it could not be read.
I could not access my A drive today. I restarted the computer, and did a scandisk. This appeared to clear up the problem. But I am still concerned because this problem has popped up interestedly. The Compaq computer constantly has the problem of locking up when access the A drive. I have to shut the computer off, and restart it. It does a scandisk in DOS. This happens about 1 per day. I have seen the blue screen a lot.

Foxmail is not able to send through some computers.
I find that only some of the internet cafes in the city will allow me to send from my Foxmail Program. This also happened at home. My one internet provider would only allow me send emails. The other somehow blocked me. The want me to use their email box. I refuse to do this. It just causes confusion. I use my Yahoo.com, and appears to be the best system right now.


February 10, 2001 Maceio, Brazil
I was not able to access hotmail in the internet cafe. It was only on one machine. I could access all other pages. I think it was the "Proxy"

I accidentally changed the Foxmail ini file a little. It would not download emails, and would get stuck on one, and not download form the server. I would have to go on the page, and delete the problem email. I copied a clean ini, and solved the problem. When I am downloading, I  get a sign. Date Wrong, or cannot encode.

I am having problem with my electrical cord. I will bring an extra for Europe.

December 15, 2000 Ciudad del Este, Paraguay
I turned on my computer this morning, and the screen did not seem to work. It would flash the normal screen, with the image of my normal desktop view. But then it would just stop. I booted the computer with Ctr Alt Del, and it started over. It seemed to be running correctly, but I could not see the screen, or any data. Only a blank screen.

I shut off the computer, and started it, which makes it go to DOS and do a scandisk. Well, the long and short of this is that I play with if for about 15 minutes. Plugging it in, and unplugging, all sorts of variations. I was patient, and it suddenly showed the normal screen.

I then in my overwhelmed sense of panic. Decided I had to copy the critical information from my hard drive, to 3.5 disk. I just finished that. 10 disk. In separate folder on each disk. 

In a perfect world. I could zip the whole folder, and put in disk and copy all the information quickly. But I cannot, and do not trust that I can get 10 disk that will not screw up, or appear defective. So I copy one at a time.

If I understood exactly how to make a hard cable connection between my computer, and a computer in an internet cafe, I would download the data, then send it to a server as a backup.

There is about 15 megs of absolutely have to save data, that is not WebPages. The WebPages stuff is almost always already up, and backed up, in a fashion. I could loose, some current information, or updates, but nothing, real impossible to replace.

So now I have to go back to Iguacu, in Brazil. Take my computer to the internet cafe. Copy the 10 disk to the hard drive. Then FTP, or I may emails them to a not sure e247.com email, that will take up to 100 megs of emails. I would like to FTP the information, but I am afraid. It should be in a Password protected file. I have not been able to get the one for Virtualave.net to work.

Scary, not because the loss of the computer, but because I have been working on a list of affiliate programs. I now have 235 affiliate contacts filed. This took probably 30 hours to collect and categorize. Plus I had to pay a lot to collect the information off the internet.

I was just laughing to myself. There are people, that work on their computer constantly, buy could walk away form their computer, and never miss a thing.

I am not sure what the problem is, but I am going to format my hard drive again, and get rid of my virus's.

December 11, 2000 Foz do Iguacu, Brazil
I have started to take my computer to the internet cafe's when I want to transfer a lot of files from my computer, to the internet. I uploaded the basic files of Hobohints.com yesterday. Could be a historical day, I think it is, the start of a important, website. hehehe is it an entity at conception, or when it can start to interact? hehehe. Wade Vs roe problem

December 11, 2000 Foz do Iguacu, Brazil
My Electrical cord, or the transformer from 220 to 19 Volts, appears to be malfunctioning.
I thought I had a connection problem again, but I saw the light just flash on and off on my computer. I picked up the transformer while still connected, and the light on the computer came on, and indicated that I had power. I sat the transformer on edge, and it worked fine. I have been doing this now for the last day. It seems to work good. But there is obviously a circuit bad in the transformer, and I need to look for a new one.

December 11, 2000 Foz do Iguacu, Brazil
I was told told yesterday by a friend in Argentina, that I am sending 2 emails. I know that I have some virus in my computer, and am prepared to format my hard drive, to clean them away. But I may be infecting others, so I appear to have an ethical need to   clean it now. I am almost totally protected, so I am not afraid of the loss of information.

I tried to download a virus program yesterday. 2 of them in fact. The one would not work for reasons, I do not know. It kept saying that it was missing a parameter file. But I could not get it to load in over, or in the right directory. I believe that if a program does not load easy, that it will not run easy, so stopped.

The second loaded, and etc. But needed authenticated, and updated with an internet connection. I never have a direct internet connection, so I am out of luck.

I would like to download Mcfee and put on my computer, but I think is about 15 megs. The quality of the disc here, cannot be consistent for that number of disk. i.e. Winzipped. So that will not work.

My best choice appears to be to buy a program, and download the dats.

November 23, 2000 Punta Arenas, Chile
I noticed that if I plug my computer cord into the same plug, as my electric hotplate, that the transformer on my computer gets very hot. I am not sure. I burned up the one in Arequipa, so I am very careful now. 

I am going to buy another of these 3 way plugs, that plugs in with round 220 plug, but then allow me to plug in with the flat type plugs. My computer has flat type prongs, and are polarized.

October 5, 2000 Cuzco, Peru
Lots of problems with internet cafe's and 3.5 disks. I went into one, and I put a my disk into the computer A drive. The drive started running as usually to load my foxmail program. But it never stopped running. I moved from the computer to another computer. The 3.5 disk would not work, on them. So I downloaded the program from the internet. It still would not work on these computer.

I went to check the ini file or configuration file on my disk. I found out the exe file had been changed to vir. ...something. and damaged. I also could not open my ini file in the computer there with notepad. NO machine in the place had notepad. I changed to wordpad, and opened it.

Confusion, and more confusion. I got the program downloaded on one machine. It started to load the whole program, onto the machine. It said it could not because it needed note pad. I hit continue and it loaded it anyway.

I then copied the ini file from my disk to the other computer. I changed the setting to leave a copy of messages on the server. I download all messages. It did not leave the message on the server. It did not save them in the normal mail folder. It made new wordpad ones. I copied the inbox files and left. Never to return to this place.

It is the first place I have every been, where they did not have notepad. I am not sure what happened there. It is the most basic of programs. I use it a lot. Because I can access it on any machine. I thought.

I can change HTML script in it.

September 24, 2000 Arequipa, Peru

My electrical cord to my portable Compaq Presario burned up. or stopped functioning. I took it to about 7 computer stores, and they basically knew nothing. I got on the Compaq site, and looked for service, or a place to purchase. Nothing.

I went with a friend Linda, where she got a 220 converter fixed. I talked with him, and he open the transformer with a small hacksaw. He kept telling me the words I wanted to hear, so I decided to allow him the chance to repair. Knowing that I could always buy a new one. Plus he only wanted 3 dollars to fix it. He did it.

Note this is the second person that said they could repair it. The first one had if for 2 days, and did nothing. I took it back from him. It seems like people that can really do something, do it fast. The others just talked.

September 16, 2000 Arequipa, Peru.

They have exceptional service here. But for some reason, and I think it is because of their LAN: Local Area Network. My Amexmail.com account will not open, because of "intrusion" warning.

I also want take this time to complain about mousepads. The terra.com.pe advertising mousepads slip. That is they move on the table. I hate a mouse pad that moves. I think that is the reason for a mousepad, is to have a surface that does not slip, than the cheap material they have slip.

August 18, 2000 Friday
I am having a real problem with bad 3.5 disk. I bought 20 IMATION disk in Otavalo, Ecuador. New, and in plastic packaging. everytime I turn around the A drive says it is not able to read. I than do a format on the disk, and they show bad sectors. I throw away all these disk, because I have to work, in internet cafe's and cannot afford the hassle.

August 9, 2000 Wednesday.
I had my computer stored in my backpack. As I got it off the back of the bus in Cuenca, Ecuador the driver dropped the bag because it ones so heavy. My heart stopped, because I knew the computer was inside. I should have grabbed the bag myself

July 15 I publish my banner to my page. Everywhere on the site, my " around a quote on the top of my page turned into a 1/2 sign. I think I used a Spanish keyboard, and it changed the problem. I am still working on the problem

June 28 I loaned my computer to a graphics guy. He was going to help me, by putting on a graphic program, and make a hobo. He found out the program was only a demo. He left my computer sitting in the internet room, while he went to eat. Than he changed the configuration of the lower bar.

June 25, 2000 Sunday. Quito, Ecuador.
I find out that CompuHelp has removed my CD ROM Encarta Encyclopedia form the drive. Now I have have to go get it back. I hope. Another 3 hours wasted.

June, 24, 2000 Quito, Ecuador.
I got my computer fixed. I went first to the Compaq office, that I got off the internet. Than he recommended a place called CompuHelp, that repair my machine in one day. I cost 25 dollars US for the work, and 3 dollars for the parts. The told me the price before I had the work done. Very good.

June 22 Quito
I find out that I can not access my telephone numbers that I download from the internet, because I need Microsoft works, and they will not go into excel.

I also did not save my file correctly in text form.

June 14, 2000 Wednesday. Iquitos, Peru.

I lost complete use of my computer. The electrical socket on the back, completely broke inside the machine.

June 13, 2000 Tuesday. Iquitos, Peru

I am still having trouble with electrical cord to machine. I cannot locate a Compaq service center, or it would require that I stop for 2 days, or more.

May 23, 2000 Tuesday. Callao, Venezuela
I have not table, and working on shelf. Too low and make my back hurt.
Electrical cord is still broke on back of my computer.
Went into safe mode, because

May 21, 2000 Sunday, Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela
Went to internet cafe, and was closed on sundays

Prior to starting this time line log: Andy

  • I loaned my computer in Pie de la Cuesta, or charged them to access the internet. The people complained, and it was not worth the money.
  • The default color suddenly turns to white, and I cannot see any of my typing, or letters
  • The cord on the back of my computer, has bent the inside of the connector.
  • Windows Explorer 3.O would not allow me to upload my topica.com newsletter names. In Platypus in Bogota, Colombia
  • No electrical plug,or light bulb in room in Gran Hotel Imperial, in Costa Rica
  • Batteries do not stay charged
  • Charged me more money to use disk in internet cafes.
  • In Pie de La Cuesta they had very large waves. This creates a big problem with salt air. Anytime you are close to the ocean, you need to cover your equipment

Prior to starting this time line log: Friends

  • Friend in Costa Rica dropped her electrical cord in the water of a lake. Did not work anymore.
  • Friend had camera destroyed in the moisture of Amazon River area.

Notes on what to do and not do:

Do not:

  • Do not work with computer on lap, will break the cord connection eventually in the connections to the back of the computer.
  • Do not let people use it to access the internet


  • Us Foxmail as email client ( This has stopped working. Authenticasion problem)
    The new Foxmail works. I put a copy on my server so I can download. Their
    site is very bad.
  • Get lithium battery for your computer
  • Save as a location of all Compaq service centers in all major cities.

DO: Make a CONTROL PANEL PAGE for all your favorites or pages you use all the time. For instance I find configuring the FTP from the browser line a pain. I have all the different variations for all my different domains in one place. On my control page.

Carry with you:

  • Brush to clean computer
  • Extension cord 14 foot or more.
  • Plug converter that makes one socket into 3
  • Converter that makes light socket into a light with 2 plugs
  • Cord with light bulb socket on the end. and switch in the cord
  • Holder for 3.5 disk
  • Holder for CD ROM's
  • Padded bag to hold computer
  • 16 3.5 disk
  • Copy of FTP program on 3.5 inch disk.


  • Have pop server available (yahoo is best right now)
  • I open 2 or 3 Hotmail windows of same account. I "Save As" the letter. While one is saving, the other is loading. The minute it is saved to a disk, I go to the other.
  • Have email for Mother, and Priority people. Separate from others.
  • Have newsletters sent to different box. i.e. Hotmail.
  • Have a Yahoo, account that will serve as pop server
  • I have yahoo to download as extra.
  • I have Amexmail.com to use as main. or USA Net
  • I have Hotmail for mother, and for Newsletters, because I can safe on Disk better than USA.net
  • I have my hobotraveler.com account to send emails.
  • I have topica.com to send newsletters.
  • I have 1 disk for newsletters configured
  • I have 1 disk configured to send pictures
  • I have 3 blank disk with Foxmail to download.
  • I go to my account on Amexmail.com and delete junk. Than download making sure they are sorted by date.
  • Store all your address in notepad, or works database.
  • Do NOT keep passwords in small password programs
  • Keep all your important information on notepad, and safe on internet, either in email box.

Internet Cafe's


  • Have MP3 stereo's too loud in headsets, to use internet telephone, or just too loud to use internet telephone
  • No FTP program
  • Have 3.01 version of windows. Will not let me upload or import to topica.com
  • Proxy that will not let me publish pages.
  • Sharing connection with too many computers. will no allow me to send emails, because it times out.
  • Sharing one telephone line with too many computers
  • Will not let me use 3.5 disk in machines.
  • Owners are just plain stupid
  • Do not have there email client configured so when people click on a link, it will send e-mails.
  • Children playing games.
  • South America the 3.5 disk or A drives will destroy disk.

Best ones have:

  • Direct connection to T1
  • Good headset to talk on net telephones
  • Booths for net telephones
  • Offer free use of hottelephone, and dialpad
  • Has an account that they only get charged for wavelength for local telephone service, or long distance.
  • Window 98
  • Explorer 5
  • Scanner
  • FTP already on a computer
  • Net to phone
  • Signs with cost posted,
  • Signs with how to make AT sign on Spanish Keyboards
  • Virus protector, or virus checker for 3.5 disk
  • Tape across 3.5 so you cannot use without permission.

Software to take:

  • Reboot, or re-establish original connection software
  • Encyclopedia software
  • Atlas of world CD ROM
  • Translator software
  • FrontPage 98 HTML Editor, or one of your choice.
  • If you can put these on net. do so.

Store on NET:

  • Everything
  • Hotmail.com has started to delete any unused email account. Not good for storage. I purchase space on Yahoo.com for 30 dollars a year. Very good idea.
  • Geocities.com

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