TechSupport - Sometimes You Just Have to Role Your Eyes (1 Viewer)

Steve R.

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From the following post: Screen randomly blacks out. Have to reboot every time.

A person responding to provide help asks the person experiencing the problem to execute a diagnostic program to possibly determine what is wrong. The poster who was having the problem responded: "Why, when there's nothing to fix?"

So why was this guy posting for help? :confused:

Anyway, as usual, the diagnosis was: "More than likely, and possibly caused by an errant inter-galactic particle hitting the machine. If it keeps happening then it will need investigation."
 

Isaac

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It looked to me like the person saying " Why, when there's nothing to fix? " was someone other than the O.P., if I am reading the thread tags and signature lines correctly.
But that's funny on the diagnosis. Sometimes the answer is nobody knows.
 

Steve R.

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I re-looked at the post, and I understand better what was behind the comment. The attached screen image showed a very pixelated monitor, so there was nothing to see (fix). I found the posts to be humorous, but I probably reacted a bit too fast.
Over the years I have found that over 90% of computer problems are "fixed" by simply rebooting.

There is an interesting implication to the comment: "More than likely, and possibly caused by an errant inter-galactic particle hitting the machine. If it keeps happening then it will need investigation." Our electronics get ever smaller (nano-technology). At some smallness level, radiation may actually disrupt the ability of some electronics to function reliably.
 

kevlray

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Of course I am in the opinion that un-reproducible errors are caused by gamma rays.
 

The_Doc_Man

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We have to remember something about modern electric circuits. They cannot possibly work - yet they somehow do.

Current flows based on Gauss's laws and Kirchoff's laws and a few others. All of them bear a basis in statistical mechanics - the Gaussian bell curve. Your circuit does what it does because of the influence of a "gang" of electrons exerting mass pressure (electromotive force) on a certain component or area. But if we look at those modern ultramicro chip circuits, they do what they do based on .. not microcoulombs but NANOcoulombs or even picocoulombs. The statistical behavior of an electrical current is based on statistics and we are getting down to the point where we are leaving the realms where the "law of large numbers" make sense. A picocoulomb is something like 10^-12 coulombs which is 10^7 electrons. The square root of that is a few thousand electrons. If you go by the "3 sigma" rule you would realize that we might have 10,000 electrons variations in the influence of that picocoulomb, which means in practical terms that you would have a lot of variance, on the order of 1%. If the circuit, which is often made up of components with 5% tolerance, has just a little more fluctuation, you can have some really weird stuff happening.

A cosmic ray striking the right part of a circuit could cause a cascade of electrons to be discharged and bingo - static noise. So @kelvray, I will second your comment regarding gamma rays.

HOWEVER, we can never forget the PICNIC rule for customer service. Sometimes it's the phase of the moon; sometimes it's a stray cosmic ray in the gamma range; but sometimes you just go out for a PICNIC... Problem in chair, not in computer.

:giggle:
 

Cronk

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Or an ID Ten T error
 

Uncle Gizmo

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Tech Support ... The Internet Help Desk - 4th Emergency Service!

 

The_Doc_Man

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I used to be a 3rd-tier responder for our Help Desk. The 1st tier could handle most problems because they were about reservist personnel transactions. But the 2nd tier guys could do a little more. When the person's account was totally hosed, though, they had to call in an admin to unhose things. I gave them ways to unlock passwords and such so that 2nd tier could help a little. However, when they screwed up their certificates, or entered the wrong password 3 times in 5 minutes, it was hopeless.

The only reason I ever asked any of them to go on hold was so that I could put on my headset because I didn't wear it most of the time. (I was doing sys admin or DB stuff.) In fact, as 3d tier, there was only one reason I could ever put someone on hold and that was to call the project manager to inform him that his user was a true chowderheaded, thumb-fingered, hopeless technically challenged dolt. Which I was careful to say only on the second line 'cause the dolt.... I mean customer was still on the first line.
 

kevlray

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Of course the programming (especially at the OS level) is extremely complicated. There always the chance that an input to a particular routine was not handled correctly. Thus there is a cascading effect of failure due to unexpected values.
 

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