Blog : Posts tagged with 'broken'

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Brokenness

In which things go wrong in hard-to-diagnose ways


We go away for the weekend. We come back. And the house is cold. Turn on the hot water tap: freezing. The boiler has given up the ghost.

I turn on the PC this morning: and that refuses to come on, too. Which, to be honest, is a recurrence of a problem I was already aware of. Sometimes, on start up, it gets partway and loses contact with the disk drive. Or, sometimes, if you ask it to do too much disk-thrashing just after booting, the same thing happens. On the other hand, if it starts up all its services and is fine for 15 minutes, it will probably stay fine until it’s switched off.

All that points to something like a loose contact somewhere, if you ask me. As I say, it’s been happening for months now; but today I was in the mood to sort it. The computer now has a new hard disk cable. It booted up first time, and it’s still running. Let’s see if it still works in the morning.

The boiler might be suffering from something similar. The gas engineer came out, poked around at it, and fixed it. The chap wasn’t sure what the problem was, or how he fixed it, but fix it he did. Maybe. It’s working now, but we still have to see if that, too, will come on again come tomorrow.

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Frustration

In which things always go wrong … unless FP wants them to go wrong


Or, A Work Story.

We need a new printer. The MD says: “Order a new printer!” Our manager waits until he’s out of earshot, then says: “get Spare Printer X working and use that instead.”

So, I find Spare Printer X out, and do manage to get it working. I test it. It seems to be fine. But then, a strange thing starts happening.

I give it a page to print. Let’s call it Page A. It prints it. All is well.

I test a different page. Page B. The printer happily prints another copy of Page A.

A third page to the printer? Out comes Page A again.

Let’s try a four-page document. I get: four copies of Page A.

Switch to a different application. It works! It prints what I tell it to – Page X this time.

I print Page Y from that application. I get Page X again.

Go back to the first program. Still printing Page A.

Let’s reboot the printer. Let’s print. Oh look, Page A.

OK, it’s not the printer. Let’s reboot the printer, and the computer, wait ten minutes, turn them back on. Check there are no files spooled and waiting. Print something. Out comes: Page A. Now this, surely, is physically impossible.*

The boss pops down to check how I’m getting along. “It’s borked,” I say. “It only ever prints copies of the first thing you told it to print. It’s useless. Look.” I repeat my last, failed, print request. It prints perfectly. Arse.

“Looks fine to me,” says the boss. “Put it in, and see if they have any problems.”

Of course, I know it’s never going to work now.

* or at least, extremely improbable, if you follow Sherlock Holmes’ philosophy.

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