Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ovens and Laptops

What do they have in common?

Minds of their own.

Actually, I personally believe all machines do, but these two are plenty of examples for tonight.

After finally getting home and taking a walk, it was time to try keeping the oven hot enough to bake the squash. See, 350 is just not hot enough to keep the oven interested, and higher temperatures only hold its attention about 10 minutes or so before it starts wandering back down. In fact, it's so bored that it doesn't bother changing the temperature reading on top.... just leaves that for un-smart people to figure out, you know, the people who don't open their oven to check the temperature every 5 minutes.

So, you ask: you can tell exactly what temperature the oven is by how it feels? Nope. I just observed that turning the heat up to 400 - to see if we could move the squash along for the 2nd hour in the oven - seemed to make the oven realize, "oh, it wasn't actually at 375... it was really down to 360 but, if that's what she really wanted, it could start climbing again..."

In between these jogs to the kitchen, I continued messing around with Stacey's laptop to see what had been killing it lately. Continued trying out some of Daddy's suggested tests to see if one of the memory cards was bad. First I had taken out the right-side card and the laptop didn't really die... then I had replaced the right and taken out the left, which successfully killed it twice, albeit over about 3 days (which is a long time to remember what you're testing, how, and even why).

The obvious conclusion from the above exercise: The right-side memory card must have problems, so let's put that one in my computer and see if I can kill it!

Unfortunately, here we are, an hour later and still kicking. In fact, directly after this switch, for the first time in about 6 months I suddenly had a "Good" Internet signal instead of "Low" (which is plenty adequate), but that's not funny and also beside the points. The points are that:

1) If you have 1 of 2 memory cards in your laptop, it will run at a decent rate but apparently just slow enough to not grab the Internet.
2) If you have 2 of 2 memory cards in your laptop, and one of them is not locked all the way in, your laptop will run like it has chronic fatigue syndrome but will pick up the Internet... if you can keep from screaming during the 5-minute wait for a clicked button to indent.
3) If you try switching the cards between right and left sides, they may just lock in, get the computer booted without freezing or dumping the physical memory, get the Internet running and even defy your friend's efforts to tire out the memory by looking up heaps of online photos.

Well, that's enough fun for tonight.


Anonymous said...

ok, give me another call sometime about this problem!

Sharon said...

Except that now I can't find the problem at all.

Ma Hoyt said...

I'll just hafta say....that technique of computer repair--complain and then it goes away on its own--has never worked for me.

Sharon said...

Next time, after the complaining, try pretending to repair the computer. That seems to accomplish a lot.