Man (Machine?) Down!

I have done something very stupid and royally hosed my computer. Without going into details I believe the technical term for what has happened is “some dickhead who can’t manage to keep a tractor running got under the (software) hood of a laptop and created mayhem”.

Some of me (like this blog) lives on in the cloud. The rest is toast. Expect a dearth of posts until I get this thing hammered back into shape. (Mrs. Curmudgeon points out that people who use “hammered into shape” should not be reconfiguring computers. She’s wise.)

If I’m never heard from again… you know why.

A.C.

P.S. The chainsaw did not vanish in a poof of virtual digits and it will be winter soon. I might chuck the whole thing and stack wood instead. YMMV.

P.S. 2. Yes I had backups. No they’re not helping. Shaddup!

About AdaptiveCurmudgeon

Adaptive Curmudgeon is handsome, brave, and wise.

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0 Responses to Man (Machine?) Down!

  1. Glenn555 says:

    Some days peanuts, some days shells, or the elevator/shaft. Good luck. We all hate when that happens. sigh.

  2. Sean V says:

    I hope that you are heard from again. I thoroughly enjoy reading what you put out there.

  3. Did you kill the HD? Can normally be retrieved. Sometimes at high cost. Hit my email if you run out of options.

  4. fjgumby says:

    You have a promising future at the IRS!

  5. MaxDamage says:

    I’m available to help, sort of do this stuff for a living, but all in all you’ve toasted a laptop. Big whup. Go to the library and download Ubuntu, grab that restore CD from the bin, buy a copy of Windows 2008 if you happen to be so despondent you feel like wasting money and enjoy self-flagellation. Get an OS running, the rest is just software and remembering accounts.
    Smart people in this situation install a new hard drive and keep the old in case contents like pictures, music, tax returns, and the like can be later retrieved. Smarter people consider if their tax returns were on that disk and place it next to a stereo speaker for safe-keeping.

    – Max

  6. Tim says:

    Come on, spill it. What did you do?

  7. PJ says:

    Well, it’s no good to claim you’re dumb, and then leave us guessing how dumb. Fess up! 🙂

    Just to get you in the mood for it, I was one day back in 1980 troubleshooting an intermittent problem in a memory card that we sold in our expensive systems. One way to do that was to vary the voltages the card was using, to get it to fail more consistently. This card used 3 supplies, 5v, 12v and -5v. So I was poking around with the O-scope and with my left hand had a screwdriver in one of the voltage adjust screws around back where the supplies were, and I monitored the voltage with a VOM I guess. Anyway I commenced to turning the screw and saw nothing happenning on the VOM. I should have stopped of course but without thinking I just cranked it some more. When it finally dawned on me what I had done (turning the wrong screw) I hit the power button, pulled the card, turned the machine back on and found the supply I had been adjusting was WAY out of spec (the adjustments were very coarse). I put it right and got the card back in and ran the diagnostic again, and almost every bit of every memory location was failing hard. This was a card we sold for over $50,000, back when the dollar was worth something.

    Well I sat there feeling sorry for myself for a while, and then ran the diagnostic again. Still lots of failures – but not quite as many. Waited some more, then fewer errors. Eventually the dang thing managed to heal itself and I went back to chasing the intermittent – this time being *very* careful which supply I was adjusting.

    Can you beat almost killing a $50,000 card?

    • Nope I can’t beat a $50,000 card. I run a $500 cheezeball laptop and I’m usually very happy with it. It’s about due for replacement but I insist on limping along a bit longer. Moore’s law has granted me computers about which I care little. I’m pleased with the “disposa’ computer”. Though I’m not a fan of tablets and they’ll eventually overrun us all.

      I dual boot with Ubuntu and find Ubuntu is usually perfect for my needs. That said, when you hose up Linux consulting the internet for a solution is a mess. It’ll bump you into nerds who like to take trips down the rabbit hole. I was looking for simple instructions like “click this blue button here dummy”. Instead I got deep nerdy advice like “compile the kernel with sudo -p /ninja –root -pourhotlead on /yourballs”.

      The same thing happens when I do things like fry my tractor’s distributor cap. I just wanted a new rotor and some old guy told me “that’s no big deal, you might as well rebuild the block while you’re at it”. It sure as hell is not big deal if you’re retired and can devote 80 hours to lovingly re-assembling a machine. It’s hell when the lawn is going feral and you’ve got a business trip to Guam the next morning. I was jealous and no closer to getting a mowed lawn.

      There are more details about my stupidity… which I’ll share later… unless I don’t.

      Also, when the computer breaks it’s God’s way of saying “step back from the keyboard and get outside”. I took his advice and cut firewood.

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