Computer troubles

Today’s comic is not really aviation specific, but I’m sure most people will be able to relate to Hans. Personally, on the spectrum from luddite to tech wiz, I am located somewhere in the middle. I can solve around 95% of my computer problems on my own with some common sense and Google fu. The annoying part are the 5% that are left.

And I actually love the occasional challenge and opportunity to learn and improve. It’s just that those computer troubles usually arise at the worst possible time, when you’re under pressure already. Then you first look for quick fixes that just allow you to keep working, and after a while, you end up with a mishmash of workarounds and patches. For example, I had the exact same issue as Hans has with his Mac in this strip, which no doubt inspired it. After years of trusty service, the thing randomly shut down. Usually in the middle of rendering a video (when it’s 90% done). After the situation got worse, I actually took apart my iMac and cleaned it thoroughly. And it worked! For a few months …

So now I write this from my new machine. Which I somehow managed to turn into an agglomeration of quick fixes and workarounds already after only a few short months, which I blame on Apple, because they don’t want to sell 27″ iMacs anymore, so I had to compile my system with various components. I could go on, but I’m sure other people’s computer issues are about as interesting as what they had for lunch!

I had Pasta, by the way.


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3 comments on “Computer troubles
  1. Klaas says:

    The common cause for most problems is PebKaC:

    “Problem exists between Keyboard and Chair”

    Computer technology is too complex for most users. They want the options to use stuff they cannot use or don’t need.

    But given the choice between something simple and something complex, most users will pick something complex because they think they need it and think they can handle it.
    And will blame anyone else for their mistakes.

    Almost feels like computer users are similar to pilots or managers…

  2. DeanRW says:

    I agree with Klaas on the PebKaC empirical law. Besides, most people usually don’t buy what they need, but what some marketing fellow persuaded them to buy. In short, they probably buy what they do for the wrong reasons.

    Those fancy iMacs, with everything packed into a slim monitor case, look as if they were designed to die from overheating, dust build-up (unless you can open them up and clean them) or, eventually, software obsolescence (although in many cases a Linux system can be installed on them, to extend their useful life to many years).

    A traditional computer configuration (a well-designed case that can be opened any time, with large fans, quality components, a good monitor and input devices, and everything connected with cables) is the reliable solution, in my opinion. On the software side, as far as I’m concerned, I steer clear from Bill’s BS legacy.

    Anyway, I was surprised to see Julio indirectly defending unreliable-by-design and unrepairable-by-design computer products, inducing Hans to blame the powerless employee, not the manager in charge.

  3. Karel A.J. ADAMS says:

    My doctor today had to manually prescribe my medicament, because his computer’s software would not create a prescription to my name – though it had been done before.
    Luckily he had a plan B, like all IT users should. And, equally, by the way, all pilots.

    I agree with DeanRW about the right infrastructure: standard components, well overdimensioned both in dimensions and in capacity, as little wireless as can be managed. As for staying away from u$ stuff: Windows is easily avoided today, but I’ve yet to find a viable alternative for Excel. There are clones but their quality is lamentable.

    NB my lunch was a fish caldeirada.

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