...making Linux just a little more fun!
By Mike ("Iron") Orr
I wondered if you'd like to include this in your series. This is a true story of a not too techie mate of mine. He had two Windows machines that he had networked, and they had stopped working. I went to see if I could fix the problem for him.
I checked and re-inserted the network cards but the machines still had trouble talking to each other. I used the 'Control Panel' to display a list of the drivers present, thinking that perhaps they were using different protocols. My mate was keenly watching everything I did. Then he asked me what 'genericide' means?
Totally baffled, I followed his eyes to the screen. He was looking at the Hard Disk Driver: "Generic IDE".
I told him it was when a drive crashes.
P.S. I found out later why his network cards wouldn't talk to each other. He'd run the cable across the floor and used to roll his office chair across the cable to access whichever machine he needed at the time. The co-ax gave up after a few weeks of that treatment.
The stupidest thing I've ever done with a computer, I havn't done once, but repeatedly. If it weren't for these idiotic mishaps I would have an AMD Athlon XP 2.2 by now, but alas my Duron will suffice....
My next keyboard was donated by a friend, but with a PS2 connector instead of an AT. so I removed the cable from my dead keyboard and swapped it around (4 pins, 16 combinations, eight nails and some particle board), and voila! The keyboard was complete and working! It looked better without the plastic cover on it (an old one with a black metal lump and an exposed circuit board), so I left it as is.
The next incident happened about 2 years later. Stupidly I was sitting at my computer, on the back rest, not the seat, while talking on IRC with one hand and untying my shoe laces with the other. I wear Doc Martins, 10 hole. While slipping the first boot off I tipped, and so did the chair. My other boot left the chair, kicked my desk, and the keyboard flew about 8 feet from the computer, along with the coffee and the ash tray, and all three hit the back wall. The keyboard was not destroyed, however. It continued to work for another week, then a cascade effect emanating from the Print Screen key finally caused its death.
A fair few keyboards in between, I now use an M$ natural, and my RSI has since cleared up, I'm looking after this keyboard carefully after way too many accidents!!!
Update 31-Oct-2002: Just as this article was going to press, I spilled water on my natural keyboard and it survived!!!! I havn't had it apart yet because I'm scared of the mini Bill Gates that sits inside its huge posterior. I havn't had any real problems, apart from once when the lights flickered and the up arrow seems to cease up every once in a while. Normally while playing MOHAA or AVP2 as a LAN game!!!!
[If you have a story about something foolish or ingenious you did to your computer, send it to email@example.com. -Iron.]