Sunday, February 25, 2007

Wekend Assignment #153 - Computer Bugs

Weekend Assignment #153: Share a story of true computer horror. Your computer blow up just before a big presentation? You forget to take down a compromising picture before the in-laws come over? Ever thought you were IMing with one person but in fact were IMing someone else? Share! You'll feel better. Really.

Extra Credit: So, ever actually hit your computer in frustration?

   Many many years ago, when computers were less complex and I was more sophisticated, and I had just up-graded my new TRS-80 Radio Shack computer from a 4 MB system to the new, grand 16 MB RAM, I noticed that from time to time I would get a missprint in my read out.

   Even though I was a better typist then than I am now, I thought maybe I was making typos and not realizing it.  So I blamed myself, not my TRS-80.  Yet, weird things happened from time to time.

   Eventually I noticed that when text scrolled past a certain spot on the screen it would change -- sometimes.  I finally pinned down that particular spot. Using a chart I figured out that a certain byte in the Screen Display was intermittent.  Further, by noting what it was changing the data FROM to TO, I was able to rationalize that the third bit of the 1653rd byte of the Screen Display was working and sometime not. 

   I took the computer back to Radio Shack and complained that "The third bit of the 1653rd byte of the Screen Display was intermittent."

   They looked at me as though I were nuts.  Nevertheless they took it back, replaced the chip with the ONE faulty transistor out of the hundreds of thousands on that chip, with a new chip.

   Case closed.

   Extra credit: Did you ever HIT your computer?  No, what I did to demonstrate that I actually knew what I was talking about was to carefully construct a sentence, which when scrolled up the faulty screen display, would prove my point by changing the text as itscrolled past the faulty transistor.

   The sentence I composed was: "On performing a vasectomy on a wealthy patient, be careful not to cut the patient's balls," said Dr. Moneybags.

   When that sentence scrolled past the faulty transistor, the text became a more honest  "On performing a vasectomy on a wealthy patient, be careful not to cut the patient's bills," said Dr. Moneybags.

5 comments:

madcobug said...

LOL, maybe it was doing an auto spell check. Helen

garnett109 said...

That was funny! Thanks!

mavarin said...

Priceless!

monponsett said...

I'm too small to hit mine... it hurts me more than the computer.

nemokat05 said...

I used to live in Dayton, Ohio then I moved to Orlando, Florida on 9-9-07... I didn't like Ohio and wanted to see what the world had for me but then Ohio....