+++*

Symbolic Forest

A homage to loading screens.

Blog : Posts tagged with ‘computing’

Friday

In which things are uncompleted

We had a computer that was working fine. We switch it off. We move it. We plug it in. And it doesn’t work. At all. So dead, there’s nowhere to start looking for what to fix. God knows how we killed it.

Things I meant to do and didn’t this week:

  • buy clarinet reeds
  • write more blog posts
  • finish designing Symbolic Forest tshirts
  • book my upcoming holiday
  • do more on my secret DIY project

Things I did do:

  • buy a new bag.

So, at least I’ve done something.

Predictive

In which we thank people and skim over a few other things

Well, I was glad Gordon Brown did take my hints on a couple of things.* I’m just disappointed that he didn’t single out blue cars for rebates.

Current small reasons to feel pleased with myself: I’ve managed to completely avoid watching anything at all to do with the Commonwealth Games, even though one of the medal-winners is a teacher at my old school. Hopefully I’ll manage to keep avoiding it until all the fuss is over again.

Current small reasons to get pissed off: the computer keeps crashing, usually at the most inappropriate moments. I know what the problem is: a very obscure bug in the disk controller driver which very few people have come across, and nobody seems to know the cause of.** Bah.

On the other hand, I do have a large box of biscuits on my desk at the moment. But not for long, I suspect. Hurrah!

* although, to be fair, everyone else in the country had already vaguely guessed the road tax changes.

*** it only comes up if you have a Promise SATA disk controller, a Maxtor SATA disk, and are running one of some Linux 2.6 subversions. But not all – the problem apparently disappeared in one revision of the driver, only to come back in the next.

Have you tried turning it off and on again?

In which things are true to life

New Channel 4 comedy series The IT Crowd starts tonight; being a big geek, of course, I had to watch it. And, overall, it’s rather good.

So far I’ve only seen the first episode, and I think you have to give the first episode of any new series a little leeway. It takes a lot of time to make sure the characters are all properly introduced, after all. Nevertheless, it seems to hold up rather well.

In writing this, I’m trying not to take the easy route and start comparing it to Father Ted. It’s written by one of that show’s writers, it has a similar production style, and it has a central trio of characters. Moreover, both have a small kernel of darkness which is occasionally revealed. It might not be as gloomy and despair-filled as, say, Peep Show, but the darkness is there.

Of course, the main reason I like the show is probably the comedy of recognition. The writing isn’t particularly technical, but they do have a ZX81 lurking in the background,* not to mention the Perl Camel stickers and Flying Spaghetti Monster posters scattered around the set.** I don’t get beaten to a pulp by the non-technical staff on a regular basis, but only because they think I’d probably enjoy it. And, of course, there is that stalwart technical advice of IT staff everywhere. “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”

* Unlike my own, modern, up-to-date IT office – our last 1980s computer in service was retired last summer, and the last one on the spares shelf was sent off to long-term storage a few weeks ago. Scarily, I’m not joking here – until last summer one department did rely on a mid-80s PC running MS-DOS 3 and with Windows 1.0 installed on it

** Update, 4th February 2006: another thing I’ve noticed in the background of the set: a poster of Hokusai’s Great Wave off Kanagawa