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Real Life Debugged » Let’s Debug It!

Archive for the Category ◊ Let's Debug It! ◊

So my faithful little Dell Inspiron 700m laptop finally waved the white flag in the face of burgeoning memory requirements from many  programs that shall remain nameless, rude programs, Microsoft saying What The Hell to a zillion instances of the same program, and ramping memory leaks from other commonly used programs.

If I leave my computer for a while, that whole glacial crawl thing happens, and I finally got sick of apologizing for the wait when attempting to show pictures to my family.  Horrible.

So, how much memory can you put in an Inspiron 700m?  I didn’t realize it would be a difficult and contentious question.

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My evil car knows I get cold easily, and it purposely screws with me when I desperately need hurricane winds of hot toasty air. “No heat for YOU” in its best Soup Nazi sneer, armrests crossed and headlights rolling in the air. “I just don’t feel like it right now.”

Northbranch Park. When I was *prepared* for the icicles.

Last spring, I jumped into my car, damp from a light afternoon shower and jacked up the heat. It was overcast but about 70ºF outside. Brrr - I was chilled! But when when I maxed out the temperature (90ºF) my car refused to emit the anticipated waves of warmth. Grrrr.

The gas tank was full, car nicely washed and detailed, clean air filter and sated with meandering drives in the country: she should be happy and content. But nooo, she’d gone bipolar and my car insurance doesn’t cover mental health.

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Let’s Debug it: The Tastiest Bug Fix of All
Sunday, August 02nd, 2009 | Author: lisaksimone

After seeing this unintended oops a zillion times for real, it’s great to see it done on purpose! (I think.)

And the bug fix? Well of COURSE! Get rid of the evidence! :-)

My Blog Server(s) is Sentient and has Dementia
Saturday, June 20th, 2009 | Author: lisaksimone

What happens when you create a new user profile on a website and then it magically adds your picture to the profile? Do the servers trade stories after work over SMS martinis? Compare notes and plot random “Your Registration Has Expired” warnings to evil users?

I have a couple blogs with an elusive entity called “Wordpress.” I found out the hard way that massive social networking servers are as temperamental as Paris Hilton looking for a new BFF.

Apparently, according to Wordpress, I am 3 different people, but really only 2½, 2 of whom share the same face. Who had to be introduced to one another through a server matchmaker.

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When I didn’t duck my head low enough this morning, the people-eating mangroves ripped off my hat and some hair, snagged my Jet Ski’s tow line and skidded me into the jail-like root system. Then the engine wouldn’t start. Gah gah gah gah. And I was WAY to far into the twisted passages for my husband to reach me by boat.

Gah gah gah gah. I was to get very familiar with this sound.

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“Lisa, you’re wrong and your technical claims are absurd.” So when do you throw in the towel? Especially when you keep debugging (for free)? I’ve hammered on this BitDefender “License expired” and now “no updates happening” problem for 14 days. I posted a few days ago about my BitDefender debugging - since then, I’ve provided additional updates on the BitDefender forum and then been awarded an extra year for free. And then attacked by a moderator.

Reward? Or bribe? Ahhhh well. Let’s ride the debugging train just a little bit further, shall we?

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I suspected my antivirus/firewall software had a virus. Ya see, out of nowhere at 7am over a nice cup of coffee, BitDefender screamed at me, “Your system is NO LONGER PROTECTED!

Huh?!? I renewed it last month. It’s been running fine!

BitDefender further admonished, “The specified key is not valid. Please enter a valid license key.” After much cajoling and growing ire on my part, it refused to yield, and dragged me way down the rabbit hole.

This is one of those debugging scenarios where you DON’T get access to the source code. OR access to any tool to debug it faster than real time. So, we’re stuck debugging by permutation, with the results of our testing presented as snippy little error messages. But pictures are so much fun, so let’s have a go at it.

(And one of those big hints… Party Like It’s December 31, 1969.)

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Christmas Tree Worms

Christmas Tree Worms

Photographers who drag electronics underwater tempt fate. Camera equipment requires special attention; gentle words of encouragement. I’ve had problems which occasionally prevent me from taking pictures, but one nagged me at the start of our Alaskan dive trip.

When we arrived, I was shocked to find beautiful colors and corals in Alaska that dwarf the beauty of many Caribbean sights. One of the few times I’ve see that many vivid colors in once place in my life!

But while attempting to capture this beauty as I was being swept along a steep wall, my strobe (flash) went temperamental and decided to flash only when it felt like it.

“WHY NOW?!?” I screamed through my regulator. “I NEED PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE OF THIS BEAUTY! No one will believe this is Alaska!”

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I wrote before about my computer wasting CPU cycles by phoning home to HP.

I also wrote about my cat deleting important files and emailing government agencies in my absence. Josie-the-Editor’s subterfuge continued in her quest for increased thermo intake courtesy of my oh-so-toasty keyboard. But yet again I forgot to “retire” my computer for the evening, granting her leave to further exploit my foolishness.

I awoke last week to find my computer at a near complete standstill. Oooooh no. But Type A that I am, I scrambled for print-screens, suspecting a repeat performance of HP’s Calls to the Mothership. But the system was so clogged it took me 15 minutes of patiently moving the mouse 2 inches, waiting 20 seconds to see where it landed, readjusting, etc., until I was just over the button to frantically SAVE!

The little voice in the back of my head nagged, JUST REBOOT AND CUT THIS CRAP OUT!

I refused.

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Subtitle: Awarding Jobs to the Lowest Bidder

For years Verizon has subtly questioned my ability to use my own two-line phone.

It came to a head when the kids moved out, we trashed DSL and switched to cable modem. No longer needed two phone lines. So I called Verizon on our main line to turn off Line 2. Finally (I cheered internally), the end of 10 long years suffering through Verizon’s insistence that in fact, Ma’am, you are calling me from Line 2. I’d given up arguing the “Line 1 vs. Line 2″ nonsense, but now that I wanted Line 2 turned off, I figured it was a good idea to “confirm” somehow.

So for the zillionth time I responded, resigned, “No, I’m calling from Line 1. This is the phone that rings when people call our main number.”

“No Ma’am, you are calling from Line 2.” (Unspoken on her side I imagine, “This lady is an idiot.”)

Sigh. “Cancel Line 2.” I confirmed the telephone number. Fingers crossed. Five days later, Line 2 was truly dead. “dee Dee DEE, The number you have dialed….” Amazingly, Verizon actually turned off the right one.

But now Line 1 rang busy. Forever.

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