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Insane in the Membrane - trinalin thinks things through — LiveJournal
Insane in the Membrane
My dad tells me that one definition for insanity is "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." Well, today I had first hand experience that computers are responsible for insanity.

I actually got 3 rooms done today (yesterday's goal was 2). Well, I say done, but one room has a newish computer with a dead power supply, so I have to wait on the replacement for it. Another room has an oldish computer with a bad power supply (more about it later) and we'll have to order a replacement for that one as well. And the third room I need to reset most of the computers to send print jobs to the right place (I was too tired to rectify that before leaving today). So yeah, 3 rooms done today. :-)

My first example of insanity has to do with Clean Slate. In a room of 21 computers, all cloned exactly the same, 15 gave a blue screen of death when shutting down, 2 gave a blank screen with cursor, and 4 shut down properly. Funny me for figuring they'd all act the same, seeing as how they were all identical...

OK, you say, "identical" isn't the best way to describe any two computers. There are lots of little variances here and there which could cause them to behave differently. Yeah, yeah... I've got more stories where that one came from.

Today's new and exciting problem was a computer that decided to have a Himem.sys error on start up. Indeed, it had the error twice in a row. So why did I bother turning it on yet again? Well, cuz the third time it worked! Did I do anything differently? Nope.

I used the same sort of "well, might as well" behavior concerning the second bad power supply of the day. This power supply doesn't seem to be giving enough juice to things. Case in point - the computer was actually on when I came into the room and I didn't notice. For one thing, the numlock indicator wasn't on, and this particular batch of computers has that on if the computer is plugged in (doesn't even have to be on). The fan on the processor was running, but the fan for the power supply wasn't. (So that's why I didn't notice the machine was on.) I actually unhooked the harddrive from it! No beeps or anything. (I didn't discover the "on" thing until later when I went to put the harddrive back in). Cloned the drive in another room, brought it back, hooked it up (and went "ooops!") but nothing happened.

I later stuck that nicely cloned harddrive into the machine next to it and then had its drive cloned (it was being a bear too, but for other reasons). After I installed this second HD into the misbehaving computer, I turned it on again, just for grins. (Cuz I am, after all, insane!) And guess what? Everything came on. The P/S fan, the CD-ROM, the HD - as if nothing was wrong. So I access the computer and change the name of the machine to suit it's computer number and room number, and it reboots... But of course, doesn't come on. Gah! Well, I'll get a replacement P/S and hopefully things will be OK. (Though I'll probably have to change the computer name again - it tends to revert back if it doesn't get a proper reboot.)

So today, don't talk to me about computers. I'm not in the mood. They're making me CRAZY, I tell ya, CRAZY! :-p

Current Mood: crazy crazy
Current Music: "Utne Wire Man" by Blue Man Group

10 comments or Leave a comment
elsaf From: elsaf Date: July 27th, 2004 02:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Even if the manufacturer told you that all 21 computers were identical, you must have some differences if the same software acts differently.

Sometimes manufacturers use different components for different versions of the same motherboard. And CPUs have variations.

So, no, computers don't always act the same under the same conditions.

If your computers have powersupplies that are outputting slightly different levels, that could cause identical motherboards and CPUs to behave differently.

The bottom line is: Quality control in the computer industry sucks.
trinalin From: trinalin Date: July 27th, 2004 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
The bottom line is: Quality control in the computer industry sucks.

Gah! Don't I know it! You remember my tale of the Seagate harddrives, yes? Well, we just recently got 3 more replacements for 3 dead ones. It's been over a frickin' year now, and they're still dying. They've all been replaced at least once and they're still dying! Needless to say, any new computers we get right now have Western Digitals.
judiang From: judiang Date: July 27th, 2004 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh, I feel like that *without* messing with computers. Welcome to KrazyWorld. :)
trinalin From: trinalin Date: July 27th, 2004 06:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
You can have it - I prefer "LazyAssWorld" myself. :-)
dark_pheonix From: dark_pheonix Date: July 27th, 2004 10:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
*hands you the banana of ultimate patience with maddening peices of technology*
warinbabylon From: warinbabylon Date: July 28th, 2004 05:45 am (UTC) (Link)

Computers make me crazy too.
From: (Anonymous) Date: July 28th, 2004 08:48 am (UTC) (Link)
Sometimes I wonder if I'm the secret lovechild of the Charlie Chip man . . .
trinalin From: trinalin Date: July 28th, 2004 09:32 am (UTC) (Link)
LOL - it's true that I take after father more than you... ;-)
drox From: drox Date: July 28th, 2004 06:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
Funny me for figuring they'd all act the same, seeing as how they were all identical...

(snip other sad tales of woe)

I think it's because computers don't work by logic. Oh, they *say* they do, but they really work by magic. And sometimes, for the magic to work, you have to do the same thing over and over before it finally works right.

trinalin From: trinalin Date: July 28th, 2004 06:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
I believe you about the Magic. I know a very important incantation that keeps most of the computers afraid of me, so that they behave when I'm around. It's amazing what a little "format c:" can do to scare a computer sh*tless. :-) The teachers are always amzed that the problem they'd been having suddenly stops when I enter the classroom.

During the summer, however, the kid gloves come off and they all treat me like I'm just another l-user. ;-)
10 comments or Leave a comment