back to article Render crashing PCs back to their component silicon: They deserve it

My computer crashed every five minutes this morning. Please can you check what's wrong with it when you get home? This text message does not surprise me in the least. Mrs Dabbsy's computer never goes wrong when I'm nearby. It waits until I'm out of the house. As soon as it knows I'm safely on a train heading off somewhere, it …

Anonymous Coward

While fixing the problem other usually reliable things mysteriously go wrong - like tank traps in your path. The USB CD or floppy reader doesn't want to work. The login to download a tool no longer works - so you have to re-register.. Then you find your broadband has decided to go TITSUP halfway through the download.

You can always tell when you are starting to win - the obstacles become less and less subtle. Like the power-on button breaking or even a power failure.

Finally you discover that the reason the obvious fix didn't work - is that little change you made during the first stage of diagnostics. Even worse if it is one of the minor distractions of "That looks wrong - I'll tidy that while I'm here. So simple there's no need to test it".

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TRT
Silver badge

If you look in the hardware block logic diagram of any IT device...

You'll note the absence of a particular chip which can be found on the motherboard. The undocumented component is known as the Criticality of User Need Threshold Supervisor circuit. It is vital for the smooth operation of the device that this circuit is operating correctly. The purpose of this supervisor is to monitor just how critical the operation of the device is at any particular moment. It does this through the use of a low level psychic proximity field, which will pick up on the anxiety of any human operator in the vicinity (it's for this reason that many data centres are located in the middle of, say, a swamp where no human in their right mind would ever venture). It was originally intended to prevent catastrophic failure of vital IT, much as the infinite improbability field was intended to prevent system failures on board the Starship Titanic, however a small slip up in the logic circuit which has never been satisfactorily resolved creates the effect of a NOT gate on the output. In short, the more vital it is that the computer works correctly, the more like it is that the CUNTS not going to work. It's an interesting fact that 99.99999% of both users and technicians are unaware of the existence of the chip, but due to the tiny amount of residual back-leakage from the psychic field, it often surprises the 0.00001% of people who do know about the device that the affected user is able to pinpoint the root cause of the defect when reporting an issue. "The cunts not working again.", they will say, and of course they are right. "I'm going to get a new computer because this cunts so unreliable." Is often the sensible resolution to the issue. The user's slight mistrust of their new system will be sufficient to prevent them trusting their new acquisition with anything vital for quite some time. However as soon as their familiarity with what is initially an ultra-reliable computer starts to breed contempt, manifesting as a failure to perform such practices as hourly backups, providing multiple levels of redundancy and superstitious rituals, such as always kissing the index finger whilst saying a silent prayer to Tyche before using that blessed finger to depress the startup button, then the CUNTS going to fail again, just like the last one.

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Pint

Re: If you look in the hardware block logic diagram of any IT device...

@TRT, Brilliant!

Beer! ...and I wish I could make it more than one

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Idaho

Use the machine until it dies, it kills itself or you kill it when it threatens you, then create a new version to serve you. Damn clever, these Tleilaxu.

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Windows getting its own back on you?

eh Mr Dabbs?

Well, using Orifice is IMHO just asking to be shafted where it really hurts.

Time to wean the Mrs onto A Penguin or Fruity system?

you know, just to keep the marriage alive if you know what I mean - nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

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Re: Windows getting its own back on you?

Her naughty computer is a Mac. Linux is out of the question due to compatibility issues with the Word and Excel files she is sent. Don't tell me there are Word-compatible applications on Linux - I've head it all before, they are not fully compatible. They send the formatting crazy, reflow the text, tear tables apart and balk at docx files.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows getting its own back on you?

and balk at docx files.

That's correct behaviour. ANYTHING should balk at .docx files, that's why Microsoft made them.

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Re: Windows getting its own back on you?

"Don't tell me there are Word-compatible applications on Linux - I've head it all before, they are not fully compatible. They send the formatting crazy, reflow the text, tear tables apart and balk at docx files."

IOW you were running Word. Perfectly possible with Wine.

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Re: Windows getting its own back on you?

Uninstall Krapersky. Really, all most antivirii seem to do is install some crashy kernel module and set up a local proxy which allows SSL connections to be easily compromised.

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Devil

I've said it before, I'll say it again

Artificial Intelligence is in its infancy, but Artificial Bloody Mindedness was perfected years ago ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I've said it before, I'll say it again

I think it is more Artificial Stupidity on the part of the anti-virus (and other) software

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Re: I've said it before, I'll say it again

Sorry - not stupidity, that's accidental. This is deliberate and malign !

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Happy

@Putters "Artificial Bloody Mindedness was perfected years ago ..."

So true and so profound, a subset of Murpy's Law I believe?

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Hmm. Looks like Aleister Dabbs must have used the wrong incantation a couple of weeks ago...

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Black Helicopters

and those updates too

Empathise fully, as well as that "vital/critical" new install that requires a reboot when on-site and hourly billing - so you re-boot and MS decides there's eventy hundred updates to install and it's oh so slow.

All whilst the client asks "I'm not going to be billed for this, am I"?

Because you can't say - "well, you should have let the Criticality of User Need Threshold Supervisor circuit install the updates rather than just clicking the "postpone" message" can you and you can't slope off for a crafty pint/drink/smoke becasue that just doesn't look good although having to retrieve an "essential tool" from the car works a bit better

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I have blue eyes

Would they be blue eyes of death?

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Don't forget to put Still by Geto Boys on your iPod for when you take the old computer out into the field.

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My mama always said...

... that Things are malicious.

There must be Gremlins in them.

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Re: My mama always said...

In this case, it is probably a worm.

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" like the way your bank waits until you are abroad...."

My bank seems determined to sabotage my holidays , or maroon me somewhere - every time they get a whisper I'm out of the country they decide to freeze my money , presumably in the hope that I wont make it back and they can keep it.

When i eventually get back , after living rough for days , clutching several IOUs , now owing favours to criminals and loan sharks and stagger sunburned into the bank asking what the bejeesus are they playing at? I get the reply:

"Security. Its for your own good sir"

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Re: " like the way your bank waits until you are abroad...."

Time to get a new bank. I had an issue like this a few years ago. I went on an extended trip abroad, and had to phone my credit card company at least five times to have the card unlocked, only to have a locked again a few days later due to "unusual activity". They claimed that it was impossible to flag my holiday on their automated security system, or to set it up so that human intervention was required before blocking the card. Time for a new bank.

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Re: " like the way your bank waits until you are abroad...."

@LPCollier

Was it HSBC/First Direct by any chance??

EVERY time I told them I was going abroad they would block my cards, I got stuck in France, Portugal, Russia and Hong Kong - then I forgot to tell them I was going away (Dubai), and everything was fine, even though I drew right up to the cards credit limit one night (£3k doesnt last long in Dubai).

So I stopped telling them.

The next year I spent 6 months in China, using the cards and making large cash withdrawals in 3 different provinces (and Hong Kong), and never had a single issue with either of my cards.

(Cash for my wifes visa, because the UK embassy only take cash, and lots of it; and cash to buy my wife off of her family in the first place).

BTW, Dont let those Mastercard and Visa signs in the shops fool you; they only accept cards issued by a mainland Chinese bank.

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Re: " like the way your bank waits until you are abroad...."

Here in the US you don;t even have to leave the country for that to happen. Just cross state lines and use your bank card at a gas station.

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Paris Hilton

They're as sneaky as a Bene Gesserit's G-string.

Sheer genius, that.

What is Paris listening to? Why, some Toto, of course!

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Anonymous Coward

Ah bless..

>I think it has something to do with Kaspersky?

You still use computers that require antivirus? Ah bless..

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Paris Hilton

Re: Ah bless..

I wonder how an antivirus for a Mentat would look like.

"Ah, Dr. Kaspersky? I have been expecting you..."

"Certainly Mentat. Now, this won't hurt a bit (unpacks gear)...."

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MrT

"...taking it out to a lonely field at dawn and kicking the shit out of it..."

Love the Office Space reference \m/... Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta

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Re: "...taking it out to a lonely field at dawn and kicking the shit out of it..."

More effective than a gom jabbar, less hassle with the fallout from using the family atomics.

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You get that look. . .

Me

Tieing a hard drive to a tree and preparing to empty a 1911 at it.

My Wife

"What the hell?"

Me

"Help me find the shovel; still have to dig a shallow grave". . .

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photo

Ignoring the article, whoever took that stock photo should be shot.

There is no way that anyone would have punched through anything with their fist in that position....

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Trollface

Re: photo

It was an accident.

Je was just doing morning stretching exercises, and the laptop ran into her outstreched fist, gireviously hurting itself.

Always in a hurry, those laptops.

Yes, it happened at the local police station. Why?

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Rinse and Repeat

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

All the while rhythmically smashing the recalcitrant PC into ever smaller pieces with a 15lb mash hammer.

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Dune?

Riots and comedy are but symptoms of the times, profoundly revealing. They betray the psychological tone, the deep uncertainties... And the striving for something better, plus the fear that nothing would come of it all.

"Appendix II: The Religion of Dune"

- Admit it Dabbsy, all those Dune references were merely a preamble so you could declare a Butlerian Jihad at the end.

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Devil

The Sleeper Has Awoken.

Up for 36 hours straight & about to leave for the airport from home & my aged TC4200 decides its going to invoke the BIOS HDD password (from no where) & then freeze (this after fighting a bloody pain in the ass printer to get travel docs printed out earlier).

Thank Oh mighty Shai-huludKeeper of balance, that I had a almost as old T60 prepped with Windows 10 that was almost ready to go (once data transferred from somewhere else & a 1GB stick dropped in).

The sleeper has awoken & is going downstairs for breakfast!

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Terminator

Its in CNC

machines too ,no not the command and conquer games but the things us metal bashers use.

It does a very complex operation when you press the start button and take various inputs such as the stress level of the operator, the anger level of the production manager, the number of times the customer has rung up and been fobbed off with excuses by the owner, then produces a malfunction in proportion to these inputs, which yours truely has to go and sort out.

Its no use trying to transfer the job to another working machine because all the machine communicate via a secret network and the breakdowns then spread as the stress level rises, until finally, yours truely goes outside , breaks another branch off the tree in the parking area, and runs back inside shouting "work your ****ing thing or I'll give you a damn good thrashing!"

The site manager has wondered why that tree seems to be getting smaller over the years........

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Silver badge

Re: Its in CNC

We solved that issue by moving 1 machine to our Shuzhou, China plant. We now tell the rest in a very friendly and not at all menacing tone: That Yazda? It failed to meet tolerances, so we moved it to China. In the unairconditioned part of the plant. Running the non critical jobs. I'm sure Xi will get around to cleaning it sometime next month... Now here's a shiny new facemill for you.

The systems are now behaving. A bit of "frequency response measurements" helps too (ie. Whacking it with a hammer)

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Coffee/keyboard

Project Manglement

The equation is also applicable to how many overseers there are on a single email chain where you are forced to provide a technical explanation to a simple issue and proposed fix.

The overall number of CC'ed participants in a 'project line', don't ask me, is directly proportional to the chances of something going awry in the first place and inversely proportional to the time it will take to fix any issue.

I pine for the good old days when project managers were promoted from a solid technical background and their face didn't blue screen when presented with understanding the difference between client and server.

I would happily jockey a Maker through the agile workspace screaming Muad'Dib most every day of the week, if nothing but to end the suffering sooner.

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Silver badge

We had the Photoshop one over a decade ago...

It was linked to the networks Admin software. If they activated it while Adobe software was open, it crashed the entire Mac (hard locked).

I assume it was to do with the render engine, and it not playing ball with the remote desktop software. :/

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"Private Idaho?"

*sigh*

It is by puns alone I set my jokes in motion.

It is by the brew of coffee that wits acquire speed, the wits acquire groans, the groans become a warning.

It is by puns alone I set my jokes in motion.

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>> This weekend, I will be transferring its data to a new model before celebrating the old one's obsolescence by taking it out to a lonely field at dawn and kicking the shit out of it.

Does it really not even slightly occur to you to simply avoid buying another computer with Microsoft Windows on it, which is the actual root cause of all your (and most other people's) computer problems?

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Switching setting

Your cogitator has a temperamental machine-spirit, and your wife probably angered it by not performing the proper technoarcane rituals.

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WTF?

The music! The hairdos

The article is fine, but the embedded music video is a horror show in its own.

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Silver badge

Some equipment has an EIV detector fitted.

An EIV detector is a special piece of kit that can be remotely triggered causing problems that mean you HAVE to call in support at shitloads for a call-out. The EIV detector then senses the Engineer In Vicinity and the machine returns to functioning normally until the company charging for the engineer need some cashflow. The support company only needs people who can drive and carry the EIV transmitter with them so no real training needed.

Sometimes the EIV detectors fail to reset and the machine will perform faultlessly until the engineer drives round the corner out of sight and will not answer the phone until it counts as a complete new call-out.

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Linux

You wish!

"...piss about for an extra five minutes during startup or relaunch..."

You're dreaming!

Configuring updates. Please wait.

...and wait... ...and wait... ...and wait... ...and wait... ...and wait... ...and wait...

Number of times I had a customer there to see something on their machine or to pick it up and we got that happening... Even more odd was Win 7 that would do this sometimes despite a) not having had an internet connection for a few days and b) having been turned on and off several times in those days - why suddenly decide to install updates so late in the piece?

And FFS MS! Linux/BSD/OSX etc have for many years done updates in quiet little background task that stays out of the way except maybe to change an icon colour to let you know there's updates available. When you tell it to, you can ignore it unless and until it says a restart is needed, which you can ignore unless and until you want to restart (it won't do any more than change an icon in most environments I've experienced but I don't have OSX experience in this regard). The update process does everything, so that when you stop using a program (or your machine) the old code is unloaded and when you next start the program/machine the new code is loaded. None of this often 45+mins doing update crap when the machine is shutting down and an equal amount of faffing around when the machine starts when all you want is to unwind by killing shit in a virtual world (rather in the real world which can get dicey legally, though maybe if we went after the person who thought this updates-when-restarting stuff was a good idea when mostly people choose "Restart" because they want to try a quick fix for an issue, not a 1.5hr minimum festival-of-fucking-around waiting for something that should take less than 5 minutes!

</POR>

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"300 million miles away"

Which comet (or other space dwelling object) were you visiting?!

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Paris Hilton

Laser printer toner

I have a Dell colour laser which, like every other printer (HP I'm looking at you in particular) has a sneaky way of making you change your toner/ink. Most inkjet chips can be reset to get all the ink out, although the last time I looked hp's couldn't. My old Brother mono laser has a mechanical fungle which rotates with every print -this is easily reset to continue until toner exhaustion. The Dell colour laser time-out is gotten around by going into setup on the network connection and changing the toner cart type from Dell to generic (or whatever it's called, can't remember now) and lo and behold the cart is no longer empty. This is the strange bit though, when it thinks it has a Dell cart it will show you an ink level remaining on the interface and will not print until you change the cart that is "empty". When you change to generic cart, that display just shows a ? and it carries on printing, but, weeks or months later, it will announce that the cart is empty (and it is).

As for Dune, I wonder if Sting ever regrets appearing in that turkey?

Paris : Doesn't have to turn on the red light...

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Re: Laser printer toner

> As for Dune, I wonder if Sting ever regrets appearing in that turkey?

I remember that he said that we would never again play someone who will use violence to reach his goals (i.e Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen).

Note that Sting was a bit on the old side to play that particular nasty brat. Even if he carried good genetic material and managed to entertain a harem at 15, it was time to release the water (or some saying like that).

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Alert

Re: Laser printer toner

I use my printer so infrequently that the toner carts are past their "expiration" date. Seriously, it's fucking dry powder in a sealed cartridge! How dies it expire? It's like the expiration date on bottled water--is it expected to revert into hydrogen and oxygen?! The printer (Canon) will grudgingly ignore this and print if I acknowledge the 'error' on the display, and quality is the same as ever, despite the printer admonishing me that "quality may be compromised", but really this shouldn't ever be an issue with a laser printer. Assholes. I'm going to use the toner until I get the last few grains out of it.

I hope the manager or developer that included that 'error' message is using a condom past its expiration date and a voice continually booms down telling him "quality may be compromised" as he attempts to proceed.

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I threaten to reprogram mine with a fire-axe.

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Windose

Obviously a big problem for the poor user. Most of you probably deserve the pain, but really they are your friends. Putting windows on a computer is about the same as turning your dear friend into a sex doll.

No wonder they hate you.

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