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Real Life Debugged » Internet debugging advice

Tag-Archive for ◊ Internet debugging advice ◊

So I got a new job doing embedded systems forensics - debugging medical devices that have possibly Gone Wrong.  Turns out my Phone on Fire book was an excellent calling card, as the position requires the same problem-solving brain twists as my own technical mysteries!

Pretty cool when your potential boss has read part of your book.

Anyway, we’d been working towards a Final Written Offer Letter for a little while.  I got a Verbal shortly after the interview, a Tentative Written Offer Letter a while later, and over the next couple months I completed two pretty comprehensive application packages about 1/2 a ream thick.  It would have been less stressful if Microsoft would have let me open my own thesis, but it got all registry passive-aggressive on me.

The final weeks we ramped asymptotically to 99.999% Goodness with the Tentative Official Offer Letter.  (My language, not theirs.)

So, happily, I get The Official Call from HR and I’ve passed all security clearances, have garnered the last 0.001% and am now officially 100% approved as a new hire!

… and (baited breath) shortly there after the long awaited Official Official Offer Letter arrives via email!  I double click, excited the day has finally arrived …

… and I can’t open the document.

 

Click to view

 

 

 

 

Gaaaaaa.

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Simple task - a job application requires the abstract of my PhD dissertation.  So I find the file, double click, and … ERROR.

Huh?

(Yes, I hear you cry!  I knew where the files were!)

You see, about 5 years ago I spent a couple days pulling stuff off boxes of floppies before the data puddled into magnetic goo.  Surrounded by mostly 3 1/2’s and many 5 1/4’s (and several disk backup tapes), I found my dissertation and with mixed memories (yes, the terror does fade with time), I tried to open the files.

Back then, Microsoft presented me with a different, although more frightening message when I attempted to open the files.  Something about not being able to read the old Word file format at all (Yikes!).

Had the ghost returned?

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Let’s Debug It Live: Recovering My Hacked Blog
Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 | Author: lisaksimone

I’m writing this post in Word because I can’t access my blog. It was hacked this weekend to provide you dear readers with low cost designer shoes and a delightful Trojan virus thrown in for free.

It appears the Wordpress and Network Solutions combo had a design flaw, and Network Solutions sent step-by-step instructions to recover (most) of our content. Like a good engineer (ahem) I followed the directions carefully. Didn’t work. But according to Network Solutions tech support, I am a special case. (Oh, the irony.) Alex expedited my request and then Elmer prioritized my case and now I’ll receive help in 1-3 business days. Grrr.

Thing is, I dug around on the server and found some strange goings-on with my blog files. I think the current account hack fix upset the carefully balanced apple cart Network Solutions built during my last trouble ticket mess.

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After waiting forever for pictures on my laptop to load to show my family, I finally decided to upgrade my RAM from 1GB to 2GB.  I was ready for SCREAMING fast performance.

Then the Windows Shutdown “Hibernate” option stopped working.

“System Error : Insufficient system resources exist to complete the API.”

Now, I live to Hibernate.  Or, I should say I don’t reboot my laptop unless I *have* to.  The computer gets to Hibernate whenever I take it with me so I can resume with all windows and programs exactly where I left them.

I love Hibernate.

But suddenly Hibernate and I were plunged into a Jr High school relationship of drama and fickleness.

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I had an mind-boggling problem yesterday. I belong to a Yahoo group and I registered with one of my Gmail accounts.  I was able to participate in the group for a couple weeks, but now when I send emails from that Gmail account, they’re rejected back to a DIFFERENT Gmail account.

Huh?

Okay, to be specific.  I registered with a Gmail address, let’s say, watchmefixthis@gmail.com (fake). My main Gmail address is lisaksimone(at)gmail.com (real).

So I posted as usual to my Yahoo group by sending an email from watchmefixthis@gmail.com. It was rejected back to me at lisaksimone(at)gmail.com.

Again, this time with more feeling.

Huh?!?

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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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I wrote most of my book on a little Dell Inspiron 700m, carrying it in my backpack all over creation. It’s a lightweight little thing with a great screen and 5 hours of run time on the extended battery. Delayed flights, no problem. Writing on the patio, no problem.

Sweet.

But sometimes when I’m pursuing a life outside the office, it spins into overdrive, cranking the disk and fan up into a frenzy. And when I return, the CPU Usage is pegged at 100%.

What the heck is it doing, I wonder? Is it more productive than *I* am? Well, could be when I’m surfing icanhascheezburger, but when I look away it may be stuck on the home shopping channel.

Does your computer misbehave behind your back? Today I decided see where my computer wanders, using a little deduction and some pretty simple tools.

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More helpful advice from product manuals and company websites to meet all your technical needs.

Symptom: No sound.
Try this:
Increase the volume.

    [REF]

    Let’s Debug It: Hacksaws are Your Friend
    Sunday, December 21st, 2008 | Author: lisaksimone

    Clearly, all good things go bad when least expected. I was playing CDs extremely loudly one night and my fun came crashing to an end when the CD player began emitting disturbing grinding noises. Not at all in sync with the beat. In fact, there was no more beat.

    Okay, I thought, I’d just inserted two new CDs before the grinding began. Maybe, like a DVD or CDROM, it didn’t quite seat right in the tray - let’s redo.

    Wrong. Not only could I not eject the CDs, I couldn’t stop the grinding noise and couldn’t turn the unit off. It finally stopped when I pulled the power cable, but sadly resumed said grinding after power cable reinsertion.

    Okay fine. Bag the music for the evening; let’s watch TV. Ah, nice try. Audio for all our electronics also goes through this system.

    It’s either Grind-Grind, or silence. Some folks on the internet suggested 1) throwing it on eBay or 2) throwing it off the balcony. Shall we have a go at it a bit more nicely first?

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