0722: "Computer Problems"

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mszegedy
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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby mszegedy » Sun Apr 04, 2010 3:42 am UTC

MSTK wrote:
merseyless wrote:the situation for your average windows user :D :

"You know this metal rectangle full of little lights running windows?"
"Yeah."
"I spend most of my life pressing buttons to make the pattern of lights change however it feels like changing"
"Sounds good."
"But today, the pattern of lights is more wrong than usual!"
"Oh God! Try pressing more buttons!"
"It's not helping!"


I honestly thought we had moved on past windows jokes as an internet society. I guess I was wrong =/


No, they are pretty much a bottomless cup of milking a joke.

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tastelikecoke
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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby tastelikecoke » Sun Apr 04, 2010 4:32 am UTC

Every problem you have in your computer is summed up to this. (except for speakers)

Next step: I'll open this compartment and put this plastic disc with a penguin label to see if the pattern changes for good!

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Squid Tamer
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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby Squid Tamer » Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:23 am UTC

What a coincidence... My computer is broken. I think it's either a motherboard or processor problem, so it's not easily fixable.

I'm currently typing from a temporary replacement computer: an old Pentium II, made in 2000. Youtube videos get a godly .5 frames per second. You gotta wait two seconds for it to change... :|
I'm at about 80% CPU just with a browser open.

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StClair
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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby StClair » Sun Apr 04, 2010 8:19 am UTC

"We have tamed lightning, and used it to teach sand to think."

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kernelpanic
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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby kernelpanic » Sun Apr 04, 2010 1:20 pm UTC

Squid Tamer wrote:What a coincidence... My computer is broken. I think it's either a motherboard or processor problem, so it's not easily fixable.

I'm currently typing from a temporary replacement computer: an old Pentium II, made in 2000. Youtube videos get a godly .5 frames per second. You gotta wait two seconds for it to change... :|
I'm at about 80% CPU just with a browser open.

What OS and browser? In 2000 there were definitely many browsers and none took 80% CPU, so if you decided to put in XP and IE8, you will suffer, but DSL and its default should work great (maybe not youtube, but at least more than .5 fps)
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10nitro
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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby 10nitro » Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:32 pm UTC

The Scyphozoa wrote:
Dynokate wrote:Oh. Suddenly my life feels small and meaningless. Should I push more buttons?

Great. Sounds like this is going right up there with "more cowbell" and "additional pylons".

But you can't build more pylons! You don't have enough Vespasian gas!

kernelpanic wrote:
Squid Tamer wrote:I'm currently typing from a temporary replacement computer: an old Pentium II, made in 2000. Youtube videos get a godly .5 frames per second. You gotta wait two seconds for it to change... :|
I'm at about 80% CPU just with a browser open.

What OS and browser? In 2000 there were definitely many browsers and none took 80% CPU, so if you decided to put in XP and IE8, you will suffer, but DSL and its default should work great (maybe not youtube, but at least more than .5 fps)

Yeah, the entire DSL OS is only 50 megs, so it loads the ENTIRE OS into RAM, which runs amazing on even the most ancient computers (well, except, maybe the VAX). Although, I don't think it has Flash Player pre-installed. But yeah, don't use bloated junk on old computers.
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Squid Tamer
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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby Squid Tamer » Sun Apr 04, 2010 7:00 pm UTC

10nitro wrote:
kernelpanic wrote:
Squid Tamer wrote:I'm currently typing from a temporary replacement computer: an old Pentium II, made in 2000. Youtube videos get a godly .5 frames per second. You gotta wait two seconds for it to change... :|
I'm at about 80% CPU just with a browser open.

What OS and browser? In 2000 there were definitely many browsers and none took 80% CPU, so if you decided to put in XP and IE8, you will suffer, but DSL and its default should work great (maybe not youtube, but at least more than .5 fps)

Yeah, the entire DSL OS is only 50 megs, so it loads the ENTIRE OS into RAM, which runs amazing on even the most ancient computers (well, except, maybe the VAX). Although, I don't think it has Flash Player pre-installed. But yeah, don't use bloated junk on old computers.


I don't want to drag this thread more off topic than I already have, but it looks like I accidentally lied.
I think that the little graph that I assumed to be processor use is actually memory. 80% memory makes more sense with an entire OS loaded into it, as well as firefox open with multiple tabs, including stuff with Flash ads and stuff. Sorry.

serrath
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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby serrath » Sun Apr 04, 2010 8:49 pm UTC

Randall Munroe! Did you seriously just mess up "me" and "I" in the hovertext of a webcomic? This appalls me! I have to let people know right away so they can all see what you did wrong! Then you'll try to be more grammatically correct in the future and that's important! It's worse that you made a grammar mistake after criticizing amateur grammar nazis because that means grammar should be important to you.

It's sorta self-deprecating to be sarcastically hypocritical. I like it.

CobaltMouse
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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby CobaltMouse » Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:52 am UTC

pscottdv wrote:
Persona wrote:
CAGE wrote:Didn't find it all that funny.


Try pressing more buttons.


This thread makes the whole comic 10 times funnier!


GLaD to see I made a contribution.

Ctta0s
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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby Ctta0s » Mon Apr 05, 2010 4:15 am UTC

10nitro wrote:But you can't build more pylons! You don't have enough Vespasian gas!


Ahem: "Not enough minerals."

serrath
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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby serrath » Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:00 pm UTC

Yeah seriously, if you needed vespene gas for pylons, you'd be effed.

philip1201
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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby philip1201 » Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:22 pm UTC

To be fair, a power outage in a hospital is like this:

Panel one:
"You know the copper wires that electrons jiggle through that make machines go "ping!"? "Yeah."
Panel two:
"I spend most of my life looking and listening to the machine that goes "ping!", and then go let bags of mostly water slowly drip into someone's arm." "Sounds good."
Panel three:
"But now, the electrons stopped jiggling! The machine doesn't go "ping!"!" "Oh god, how about the carbohydrate burner in the basement!" "It's not working!"

Or did I just ruin the joke?

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phillipsjk
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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby phillipsjk » Mon Apr 05, 2010 7:21 pm UTC

I think to stick with the theme of the comic you had to say: "Oh God! Try more bags of mostly water!" or "Try looking at and listening to more machines!" "It's not working!"

Seriously, I have no idea what is meant by "carbohydrate burner." Is that referring to sugar burning cells? A specific person? A crematorium?
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javahead
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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby javahead » Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:09 pm UTC

Squid Tamer wrote:What a coincidence... My computer is broken. I think it's either a motherboard or processor problem, so it's not easily fixable.

I'm currently typing from a temporary replacement computer: an old Pentium II, made in 2000. Youtube videos get a godly .5 frames per second. You gotta wait two seconds for it to change... :|
I'm at about 80% CPU just with a browser open.

Kick off a download of Chrome and go start a family. By the time they're in high school you should be ready to go.

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BioTube
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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby BioTube » Tue Apr 06, 2010 12:07 am UTC

phillipsjk wrote:Seriously, I have no idea what is meant by "carbohydrate burner." Is that referring to sugar burning cells? A specific person? A crematorium?
He probably meant hydrocarbon.
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MarkSmash
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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby MarkSmash » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:02 pm UTC

obzabor wrote:"You know this combination of lights, sounds, smells, tastes and sensations we get all the time?"
"Yeah."
"I spend all of my life providing motor and voice outputs to make the pattern of sensations change however I want"
"Sounds good."
"But today, the pattern of sensations is ALL WRONG!"
"Oh God! Try moving around more or saying something!"
"It's not helping!"


Ah, someone who has read 'Understanding Media' by Marshall McLuhan. Technology is nothing more than the the extension of our senses and appendages, porn notwithstanding.

Well played.

Technical Ben
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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby Technical Ben » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:52 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:
kernelpanic wrote:But you're pressing buttons in order to change the blinking lights, and so that other people can press buttons to see how you made them change. The "things" you want to do are shown by those lights. What purpose is a computer that can, for example, simulate a universe, if it can't output the simulation? That simulation exists, on a subatomic level, in the pattern of electrons inside the computer; but if it's going to be of any use there must be some output, and that output is most likely a pattern of little lights.


I don't know about everyone else, but in the place where I come from, computers are used also to print lists of students in a college class, to move money around bank accounts, to control the operation of factories, amongst many other things. Lots of blinking lights there!

What bugs me about this comic is that, well, the fact that anything can look dumb when viewed in a certain way is nothing new, it has been done many times before with many things before. The comic merely reapplies that concept to computers, without any context, any meaning, any purpose or anything. Where is the humour in that?

It's particularly stupid to see this comic coming from xkcd, a webcomic that treats computing and technology like a religion. It looks forced and insincere coming from Randall.


You seem to have missed the point. It's not making it look dumb. Just simplifying it to it's core components. Then giving you a moment to think "wow, we really do just use ones and zeros/on and off lights on our PCs." In a similar way you can wonder at how amazing it is that everything is made out of little atoms. In fact it's further than that. As everyone knows a house is made of bricks, and these have a strong relation to how a house looks and works. But the ones and zeros (or lights on a screen) can have apparently no relation to the function or form of a fully functional computer program. If I showed you the painting done of a game in binary you can see it's an amazing piece of art. However you would have no idea what the game was.
Good comic IMO.
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headsign
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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby headsign » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:12 pm UTC

I rarely laugh out loud when reading a comic. This one honestly made me laugh out loud. It's so good and so accurate, it made me actually LOL for real! I mean, yeah, that's precisely what goes through my mind when I spend hours programming web pages.

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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby uncivlengr » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:19 pm UTC

Technical Ben wrote:"wow, we really do just use ones and zeros/on and off lights on our PCs."
Precisely - we use them on our PCs.... they're a tool used to do the stuff that actually matters to us. Nobody is manipulating ones and zeros for the sake of manipulating ones and zeros. They aren't concerned with the fact that the ones and/or zeros are "wrong", they're concerned with whatever purpose the computer isn't serving.

Even when I'm well aware of the fact that my computer is merely a collection of plastic and metal assembled in a particular manner, it doesn't change the fact that when I can't use it to run a spreadsheet I need for work, or connect to the internet to send an email to my family, or watch a video for entertainment, that's a problem that extends beyond the mere operation of the computer, which is only the means by which I perform those actions.
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Technical Ben
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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby Technical Ben » Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:11 pm UTC

But can you compare a fully crafted machine to a list of ones and zeros? That's what the comic is doing.
If you made a computer out of lego, you would have to be heartless to not be awestruck by the concept. Or if it was made totally out of water wheels, or marbles, or food, would it be different or funny? Most people have no concept of how the computer gets an image on the screen, or how electricity works.

"They aren't concerned with the fact that the ones and/or zeros are "wrong", they're concerned with whatever purpose the computer isn't serving."
I suppose that's what the comic is making fun of. That the pc is a glorified "lights out" machine. But no one realises it. Or a take on the older jokes.
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uncivlengr
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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby uncivlengr » Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:32 pm UTC

Technical Ben wrote:But can you compare a fully crafted machine to a list of ones and zeros? That's what the comic is doing.
If you made a computer out of lego, you would have to be heartless to not be awestruck by the concept. Or if it was made totally out of water wheels, or marbles, or food, would it be different or funny? Most people have no concept of how the computer gets an image on the screen, or how electricity works.
I don't think it's working off the concept that all the simple little parts of a computer add up to something far more significant (which is something I've obviously been arguing this whole time) - rather, it seems to be mocking the notion that people are consumed with something that only amounts to a blinking light generator.
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BioTube
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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby BioTube » Wed Apr 07, 2010 12:48 am UTC

Technical Ben wrote:But can you compare a fully crafted machine to a list of ones and zeros? That's what the comic is doing.
If you made a computer out of lego, you would have to be heartless to not be awestruck by the concept. Or if it was made totally out of water wheels, or marbles, or food, would it be different or funny? Most people have no concept of how the computer gets an image on the screen, or how electricity works.

"They aren't concerned with the fact that the ones and/or zeros are "wrong", they're concerned with whatever purpose the computer isn't serving."
I suppose that's what the comic is making fun of. That the pc is a glorified "lights out" machine. But no one realises it. Or a take on the older jokes.
The same process is at work with a car - few people appreciate the hundreds of gears, bearing, etc that go into turning a myriad explosions every second into the force required to move a ton of metal, plastic and fleshbags at over sixty miles an hour. Hell, most people probably don't realize that the speed of a vehicle is so closely tied to the rate the engine turns over that it's possible to slow several tons of truck by by sabotaging some of the explosions(the jake brake; gasoline engines can do the same trick by just letting off the gas, due to the greater engine drag). It's a sign of how advanced we are that we can take this for granted.
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Raptortech97
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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby Raptortech97 » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:03 am UTC

uncivlengr wrote:Nobody is manipulating ones and zeros for the sake of manipulating ones and zeros. They aren't concerned with the fact that the ones and/or zeros are "wrong", they're concerned with whatever purpose the computer isn't serving.

I disagree wholeheartedly and am upset that you assume that nobody changes the ones and zeros for the sake of changing the ones and zeros. I use my computer only to change those, and the keyboard and mouse are only devices that aid me in doing so, and the screen is merely to show how I'm doing. i want my ones and zeros as they are and nobody better touch them!
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CobaltMouse
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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby CobaltMouse » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:42 pm UTC

StClair wrote:"We have tamed lightning, and used it to teach sand to think."


EPIC YES

obzabor
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Re: "Computer Problems" Discussion

Postby obzabor » Sat May 01, 2010 4:33 am UTC

MarkSmash wrote:
obzabor wrote:"You know this combination of lights, sounds, smells, tastes and sensations we get all the time?"
"Yeah."
"I spend all of my life providing motor and voice outputs to make the pattern of sensations change however I want"
"Sounds good."
"But today, the pattern of sensations is ALL WRONG!"
"Oh God! Try moving around more or saying something!"
"It's not helping!"


Ah, someone who has read 'Understanding Media' by Marshall McLuhan. Technology is nothing more than the the extension of our senses and appendages, porn notwithstanding.

Well played.


Hehe :-) Actually more like "Three Dialogues ..." by George Berkeley -- the true inventor of WYSIWYG! Reality is just a combination of highly structured and correlated experiences, nothing else exists.

My text is similar to Randall's in that they both present the raw data (real world experiences / shining pixels on the monitor) and omit the model that makes this data structured (matter, laws of physics / text, images). Actually re-reading that, it takes all the fun out of the comic. I'll stop.


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