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PC Witchdoctor

/ Faithhealer / Exorcist
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(+7, -1)
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Every once in awhile, my windows box will go into fits that have no real logic or pattern to them. Upon boot the thing will throw itself into tantrums, and only when I threaten it with garlic and crucifixes and engage in religious chanting does it come back to normal life. Just last night, after I had taken it apart for a nice dusting and tried to put it back together, it threw itself into a rage of BIOS issues, non-boots, and random spasms. After trying various things and 30 reboots and only after I had completely given up all hope, did I once more hit the reset key, just on a whim. To my amazement it came back alive, sortof, for no particular reason. At least I got a screen again. It knows exactly when to 'behave' again. It's testing me. In short, my PC needs an exorcist, or a faithhealer, or maybe a witchdoctor. But how to find a good witchdoctor who is also an expert hardware specialist?

Expert IS network repairmen should wear primitive headdresses that identify their skill and social status at handling network issues, perhaps made of old CD's, floppies, old SCSI cards, and dot-matrix ribbon. The oldest and wisest should have punchcard necklaces and a staff with a figurine of Bill Gate's shrunken, disfigured head on top. Tribes could gather for 'boot-dances' around the mainframe to resurrect the failing hub.

Alternatively, the Mac Exorcist should don the traditional understated priest garb; black robe, collar, and wooden 'Happy Mac' crucifix. Holy water to be used only as a last resort. Mac Exorcists are very rare and usually work alone, as a truly possessed Mac is a rare thing indeed; but watching the Smiley Mac spin its head around 360 degrees makes for a good show.

And let us not forget the PC Faithhealer. Finding a good one is difficult, as the market is flooded with wanna-be's. Usually a faithhealer's reputation is measured by the heighth of his greased-back hair (must have something to do with Samson), and the age of his polyester jumpsuit -- (indicates years in the business). Faithhealers invoke their craft by placing their fingers in awkward places, praying exessively loudly, then giving the ailing box a good shove.

Having trouble with your computer? Hire a witchdoctor. Have garlic and salt on hand, and be sure and ask for references.

RayfordSteele, Sep 09 2002

modern superstitions http://www.halfbake...ern_20superstitions
[phoenix, Sep 09 2002, last modified Oct 05 2004]

(?) Computer Voodoo Toy http://www.giftmani...item.html?theId=951
Found [bibimbap]'s toy. [Detly, Sep 20 2005]


       "the reset key" - you sure that's not a Macintosh?
DrCurry, Sep 09 2002

       After 7 hours of shear terror thinking I had trashed the processor in my mainenance duties, I was so frustrated with my homebrew PC by that time that I would've been overjoyed if it had magically booted up with a Mac symbol. I'm tired of fighting the ridiculous chaos that defines the PC industry.
RayfordSteele, Sep 09 2002

       What is the idea here? That PC repair people should wear headdresses?   

       Is "shear terror" a fear of scissors?
bristolz, Sep 09 2002

       Nah, a fear of large, hydraulic, steel-cutting machines.   

       Mostly commentary on my 'shear' amount of pain, and dumbfoundedness at how it resolved itself with no changes right at the point of exhaustion. Probably serves me right for trying to get a free copy of Pro-E. Thinly disguised as an idea to combine the world of the computer technician with the superstitious / religious, since in most lay-people's eyes they're basically one and the same anyway.   

       I'm now going to swear off playing with BIOS updates, drivers, and plug-and-pray nonsense, since none of that did the trick, and don a hula-skirt, some war paint, a white collar and some hair grease, just to cover all the bases.   

       Maybe if I used a voo-doo doll...
RayfordSteele, Sep 09 2002

       I have a little computer voodoo doll sitting on my desk right now. It's in the shape of a CRT with attached keyboard, and has little messages printed over it, like "Insufficient Memory", "Spill Coffee on Keyboard", "Software Documentation in Foreign Language", and "What's That Smell?"   

       It came with white pins and black pins. Apparently the white ones are to prevent the meaning of the text stuck into from occurring to one's self, and the black ones are for inflicting such occurrences on others.   

       It was a present, so I've no idea where you can buy it, but I'll have a google hunt.
bibimbap, Sep 09 2002

       I've often thought that the PC / Mac dichotomy is uncannily similar to the NYC / LA one.
General Washington, Sep 09 2002

       So I should check for ectoplasmic goo, then?
RayfordSteele, Sep 09 2002

RayfordSteele, Sep 09 2002

       I write code which I play with in front of live audiences, which can be hairy because things absolutely *have* to work otherwise you end up with egg all over your face (and don't get paid). I swear that sometimes code (and machines) exhibit "stage fright" - some totally simple bit of code or part of the OS decides to play up about an hour before showtime, only to resolve itself for no reason after precisely 59 minutes of frantic, sweaty tinkering. It's just the machine's way of letting you know who's in control.
bumhat, Sep 09 2002

       // I write code which I play with in front of live audiences //   

       How much money do they pay per show? Do they take comedy acts or poetry readings as well?   

       "Live, at the Improv, it's Perlscript-night"!
RayfordSteele, Sep 09 2002

       My favorite error to date:
"Error 2-something: Keyboard Error
Press F1 to setup, F2 to resume"
nick_n_uit, Sep 09 2002

       We do wear headdresses...'telephone headsets'.   

       Having had to use a mac for several months when my CPU went tango-uniform, it is not a replacement. The mac OS seems to not just be a pain in the ass, but to actively fight attempts at working on things. I crashed it six times in one day, just trying to install an operating system update, and the mac evangelists always say it's impossible to crash.
StarChaser, Sep 11 2002

       I'm going to bronze StarChaser's 9.10.02 annotation.

Since the beginning of time, all the Mac folks I know have employed the "it never crashes" defense for their cool little machines. Heh.
iuvare, Sep 11 2002

       I own three Macs (two older and a newer pbook) and 20 crashes per day on Mac is not at all unusual. My kids refuse to use them. They have never been a paragon of stability. That said, I still would love to own a new G4/G5 with OS X Jaguar. That really looks great.   

       My favorite machine is a Dell C640 laptop with XP. I can't remember the last time it crashed. My XP desktop at home is a different matter but that turned out to be a combo of a bad stick of RAM, a flakey (new) hard disk and a bug in MSN messenger, but was really, really hard to diagnose.   

       The most stable machine I have ever spent much time with was an HP workstation running HPUX, which ran for an entire year w/o reboot or crash. It probably would have run longer except HP wanted it back (was on loan). The only thing is that the software catalog for the machine was pathetically teensy (that and they wanted $8,000 for 128MB of "certified" RAM without which the warranty is void). .
bristolz, Sep 11 2002


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