Fang Talks

Six years!
10 06 16

Moving parts

Another day, another batch of “help my computers are falling apart”.

When something on your computer (or the whole system, because suffering is limitless) breaks, a first reaction can be disbelief. Things don’t just randomly break, now do they? You didn’t change anything major, you didn’t do anything dangerous, so why must you be punished like this? But if you take a step back and look at the simultaneously bigger and more detailed picture, you’ll realize there’s just too many moving parts for things to stay reliably stable.

It may be wise to take that a step further and say it’s a miracle of engineering computers run as well as they do. Modern software more or less manages itself, lots of them don’t even prompt you to update anymore, they just do it. (For smaller things this can be a good thing, but Windows 10 can eat a stinky dick.) But they do that without being aware of all the other cogs in your machine, for knowing all that is impossible for an application, let alone understand it and react accordingly. So some thing is bound to accidentally kick something over sometime, and in rare cases this can cause a whole slow of other problems to cascade into action.

And sure, there’s always a root cause, but the complexity of our systems doesn’t make that easy to track down or fix for the average user. Quite the contrary, even tech support usually doesn’t bother with a proper solution and just reinstalls the entire system if they can’t find a quick fix.

It’s kind of a sad state, but also very understandable. Great power being hard to manage and all that.
~ Fang


  • 13/06/2016 (1:59 PM)

    Computers are pretty good at handling themselves. Which is great because I’m terrible at it. I have dropped my computers more times than I care to count. They are also a perfect example of a machine. Each individual part focuses on itself, takes care of itself, and adds to the process as a whole. Kind of like gears.

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