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Why doesn't anything work?

Why doesn't anything work?

My chair won't stay up any more. It's one of those gassy ones with the little lever and every time I sit on it, it sinks slowly to the bottom again; however when I stand up it defiantly rises back to the height I want it at. If you spin it around a bit and push down on the seat you can get it to catch, but it can take a while to find that sweet spot - especially, of course, if I need to sit down late at night, whereby I get no love from the sleeping members of the family who can hear the faint thuds and hissing of a pneumatic gas strut going up and down. I tried to tell them I'm building a robot, but I got caught once spinning around like a lunatic and had to come clean.

My Anglepoise lamp doesn't stay up either. All the springs are tight and there's nothing wrong with the arms, the damn thing just sticks its 60w white hot bulb on the end of my nose whilst I'm trying to work. Batting it out of the way just yields a burnt hand and a gentle 360° sway back into my face.

My PDA hangs, a lot. I won't go into the particular brand suffice to say I've had, oh... two, or three of them in my time. If I'm honest I use it mainly for wireless browsing and playing Bejeweled in the toilet (whilst I wait for them to pull their fingers out about the availability of the Blackberry Connect software) but there's nothing more annoying than taking it out of the cradle and having to soft reset it for the fifth time that day; plus it loses my Bejeweled score as well.

"When I'm printing a photo it also seems to harvest microscopic trained kamikaze bugs to willingly sacrifice their life so that my picture can be spoiled."

My hard disk in my NAS (Network Attached Storage) box is going 'CLUNK'. I spent two days building up a little server to keep all my CD's, Photos and generally "useful to have available" data somewhere safe and accessible. I got it spot on, absolutely perfect, it even backs itself up at night. I'm sitting there watching my pocket-sized prodigy with glee only to have it answer me back like a small child who has learned to swear. CLUNK, it goes… when I'm copying files to it. CLUNK… when I'm at 98% of downloading a 300Mb file. CLUNK. It actually sounds a little like "Junk". Of course, it all works fine right now but we just know it's just waiting for it's moment.

Also, my NAS box has no way of turning off the "Keyboard Error: Press F1 to Continue" irony-of-the-year error message, which means every time I need to reboot it or there's a power spike I have to find a keyboard from somewhere.

Keeping with the noise motif, my Inkjet photo printer goes Wheeeeeeee, Kshh during printing. It's completely random and only seems to do it under two circumstances; when I'm already late for an appointment and I'm trying to print out a map for directions or when I'm 2/3 of the way through printing an A4 photo picture onto my last sheet of highly expensive paper.

Actually, when I'm printing a photo it also seems to harvest microscopic trained kamikaze bugs to willingly sacrifice their life so that my picture can be spoiled. I think there are ones for each colour ink cartridge as they definitely have a preference for smearing a particular hue across the picture just as it's about to finish.

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Chris Caines

My USB devices have to be in a particular order to do anything useful. I was under the impression that USB worked like this:

Step 1: You plug something in and it works.

Any further instructions were completely unnecessary.

In my case, my mouse won't work if it's plugged into the keyboard hub, but the Bluetooth adaptor will (and don't even get me started on that). The Memory Card Reader won't work from the back of the Monitor, because there's not enough power, but it will work from the back of the keyboard alongside the Bluetooth Adapter. My printer won't work at all if it's plugged into one of the normal USB ports, however the same port will power and sync my PDA.

I have 512mb of DDR RAM sat here which doesn't work in any of my PC's. I'm sure there's a reason, but I'm far too lazy to find out. As far as I'm concerned if it fits in the hole then it ought to work.

My Mac keyboard doesn't have a working PrtSc (Print Screen) button on it. There's a button in the right place, but it doesn't do anything. What do you Apple graphic designers of the world do when you need to take a screen capture? Surely there's a button somewhere for this, as right now I'm stuck using the Windows On-Screen Keyboard, which you can obviously imagine is no use if you want to take a shot of the active window. (Grab util comes built-in! - Mac Ed)

"As far as I'm concerned if it fits in the hole then it ought to work. "

I'm trapped in a world of half usable, teetering technology which 'sort of' does most of what I ask of it, so long as half my time is spent sitting there geeing on whatever it is I'm waiting to happen, in the vain hope that somehow blind faith will coerce the cogs, bytes, springs and droplets to do what I want them to.

To quote one of my favourite lines from Office Space, have a comment which I think we can all apply to some piece of stubborn technology during our technological lifetime:

"PC LOAD LETTER? What the F**K does that mean??"

We all know what it means, just like we all know why our printers jam or our hard disks fail... we just get fed up with having to deal with it some days and wished things just, well... worked.

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