I've had a lot of them lately and wanted to take some time to share a bit of what I learned recently along with some resources. Feel free to leave a comment about your own frustrations, solutions, and resources.
Monitor Replacement: Upon my monitor dying without warning I did some research and I came across this wonderfully well organized list of IPS LCD monitors that I found incredibly useful for comparing and finding out what's out there. If you don't know what an IPS monitor is, This article explains it pretty well. One of the things I was worried about was transitioning from a square format monitor to a widescreen. In my experience most widescreens I had used felt like I was loosing screen space off the top. My new monitor (a mid range HP IPS LCD) has changed my mind about this. This monitor is making much better use of my graphics card and has given me much more screen space to spread out and be more efficient as I work. I am loving it.
Internet/Lightning Issues: First of all, I am currently using DSL and lighting seems to hit the house's phone line almost every time there is a storm. There seems to be a wiring issue with the house that no one seems capable of solving. The latest lightning strike was one of the worst I've seen. It destroyed an APC battery backup, the dsl modem, some cords, the router, an ethernet card (not my computer), and the ethernet port on my motherboard. Luckily, my computer IT guy, Shawn Crisp (who I highly recommend if you live in upstate SC or nearby), was able to convince APC to honor their warranty even though they were reluctant to do so and help get things back up and running. I feel very lucky that the rest of my motherboard seems to be unharmed, but I am not taking the risk again. To play it safe, I decided to go with a wireless card and I get the added bonus of not having cords stretched across rooms! Also, I just want to say that I do think APC's backups are really great. The one I have on my computer isn't the one that failed and it saved my computer a few times back in graduate school when my room mates' computers were fried during a storm.
--------Shawn Crisp contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org -----------
Maya Licensing Issues: Apparently Maya uses your ethernet card's physical address in order to validate the license for use. Thus, when lightning destroys your card, Maya will no longer be operable. After installing a new card, Maya will still not function until the "aw.dat" file is updated. The Host ID alpha numerical number is the ethernet card's physical address which can be found by using the license utilities task.
More artwork and updates to come.