Friday, September 12, 2008

Hardware is Confusing

Although I always liked computers and programming, I never understood computer hardware or any other electronics. I can configure software but when there are hardware problems it drives me mad. I still don't understand the difference between Amperes and Volts and I don't want to understand it (that's basically why I left the college after two years).

Knowing all this, you can imagine my terror when my LCD monitor suddenly went blank in the middle of websurfing. No, the computer did not accidentally reset. The monitor went back on in three seconds, with my Ubuntu desktop intact. I was relieved but cautious.

About 30 minutes later, the exactly same thing happened. The monitor went black and, after 3 seconds, the desktop appeared again in all its glory.

That pissed me off. Will I have to buy a new monitor? Will I have to buy a new videocard? How to diagnose this when it happens only once in 30 minutes and lasts for a few seconds? Surely this cannot be software related...? This has to be another ugly hardware problem!

Yes, it was hardware based.

Albert was sleeping under the table, warming his ass at the exact spot where the video cable was plugged in too loosely and occassionally wagging his tail...

p_2008-09-12_17-10-36.jpg

8 comments:

beecher said...

Hardware is less confusing than software, it's working or not. You try the probably-faulting part in different PC and you can very easily detect the correct faulting piece. Task for an hour? At maximum.
But with software even you do have code, the debugging will take in most cases more time. ;-)

#13 said...

You know what? I hate both software and hardware problems. They've ridden me mad already :)

But this really was a third-side problem, wasn't it? :)

Anonymous said...

Hardware is less confusing than software, it's working or not. You try the probably-faulting part in different PC and you can very easily detect the correct faulting piece. Task for an hour? At maximum.

That got to be the most naive comment I've read in years. Hate to break the news to you, but HW problems can be nondeterministic too and determining the faulty piece when its the interaction of components that fails is no fun at all.

Anonymous said...

Franta, your english is pretty czech!

#13 said...

Gosh, I meant to say "driven me mad", of course.

Takkyu said...

brrr, Franto you really should arrange those cables inside the case. It will give you peace in mind... and look at the carpet! god it needs cleaning! :-))

Anonymous said...

That got to be the most naive comment I've read in years. Hate to break the news to you, but HW problems can be nondeterministic too and determining the faulty piece when its the interaction of components that fails is no fun at all.

Thank you. I couldn't agree more.

mop said...

Is it a fan the size of the dog or is it just an airy case design?