Must our computers be this "posessed"?

'Chris Harris' B. Harris
Sun, 21 May 1995 16:40:25 -0700 (PDT)

When I got this new linux machine, I thought all those "weird computer 
things" -- those unexplainable happenings that only happend to you, and 
that no tech support guy can explain -- would go away.  After all, moving 
to a memory-protected, multi-user environment from a wimpy little Mac had 
to improve something, right?

Well I'm afraid I've been a bit disappointed.  This new machine is 
starting to feel just as "posessed" as my old one.  Granted, it has yet 
to crash on me, but crashes are far from everything.  Today, for example, 
I went to print some rather important documents, using the same technique 
I've been using since day one.   But instead of finding my printer soon 
humming away, ghostscript just sat there, not printing, not giving any 
error messages, just idling.  A bit of experimenting determined that none 
of my ways of printing -- including the generic ASCII dump to the 
parallel port -- were going to produce anything more than a blank stare.  
I tried rebooting, checked the printer's power, all the connections (all 
which were fine), and still nothing worked.

After enough playing around, I finally gave up.  While I'll admit I have 
less than ideal knowledge of linux, as far as serial ports and printing 
go, today I just don't have time to learn all that.  And I do have a way 
(however wonderfully inconvenient it may be) to print the stuff at 
school.  But even if I'm not going to loose out here long-term, why does 
this need to happen?  Is there some unwritten rule that all 
programs/OSs/subsystems must act "posessed"?

Well, okay, enough complaining.  But the point all this goes to 
illustrate is that TUNES, should it ever emerge into existance, _must_be 
stable_!  TUNES objects and subsystems should provide good error 
messages, be able to better diognose which of their dependencies is at 
fault, etc..  TUNES (as with technology) has a lot of potential. But if 
we end up not being able to trust such basic things as printing, then 
what _will_ we be able to trust?


"Be careful lest in casting out your devil you cast out the best thing 
that's in you." --Nietchie %% Me = Chris Harris (
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