Some Thoughts

Musings on working and debugging computers. – John R. Abaray

I was trying to get the bugs out of my new Leadtek 7350KDA and it was kicking my butt big time. A thought entered my mind “How frustrating this would be for a first time builder”. Perhaps a youthful aspiring enthusiast with an old E-Machine, a gift from Xmas a couple of years ago. Someone trying to recycle a few parts and no backup to even get online to look for help.

I can just getup and walk away. I always have two working machines and a couple more in various states of disarray. I have a desk in my bedroom with whatever machine I’m calling Old Reliable at the time. I can check FAQ’s and surf the forums, and if nothing else, find out if others are having the same problem. I find myself smiling when I read some of the suggestions but there are times when I might try one if nothing else is working.

After reading one of my articles, a unix systems engineer sent me an e-mail. He said he likes the way I stick with a problem till I stumble on the answer, because that’s the way it happens. Stumble? Well, I guess the word fits, but I like to use serendipity or perhaps SWAG. (for those of you who don’t know “Scientific Wild Ass Guess”).

I found myself thinking about the first time I went into the BIOS of my 286 Packard Bell. I was terrified I would do something to screw up the machine. I remember going into the registry of Win 3.1, screwing it up and having to do a reinstall more than once.

I began building my own machines long before the big PC boom. It was a time when people thought you were God if you could build a PC. It doesn’t matter how good you are or how good you think you are – you will make mistakes, you will screwup, and you will be led astray into believing something that doesn’t even resemble the truth.

There were times when, in my arrogance, I would think how I was light years ahead of the average user. And then there were times when I would be humbled by someone who was light years ahead of me.

I was born in a small town in New Jersey, across the river from Manhattan. At an early age I was told, “Don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you read”. As skeptical as I am, I still find myself getting sucked in by rumour, innuendo, half truths, and sometimes outright lies that prevail in the computer world. It doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen.

I got an email from a reader asking me a few questions about building computers. This is part of what I told him, “Building a computer is easy. Getting it to work may be another story. Experience is the best teacher. Different boards may have different quirks. The more you work with them the easier it gets.”

Just a few thoughts.

I do not work for anyone or get paid for anything I write. Everything I write about I pay for out of my own pocket. Everything I write in articles or say in emails is Public Domain for the reader to do with as they wish.

John R. Abaray

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