Thursday, August 25, 2011

Do you believe in Gremlins?

Sometimes things run so smoothly in the computer lab and then there are times like tonight.
  1. A teenager told me her mouse and keyboard weren't working. I fiddled with the mouse, rebooted the machine, unplugged and plugged in USB cords...the light shone in the mouse again, for awhile. 10 minutes later the teen was back at my desk again with the same problem. I turned off the machine and logged her on to another one.
  2. A patron was trying to log on to a computer using her library card number but when striking a number key, it displayed the character above the number instead of the number. No, she wasn't holding down the shift key. The keypad wouldn't work at all, and yes, Num Lock was on.
  3. A man had a 62 page print job. He put in $6.20 but only got 6 pages and a paper with an error message on it. I have never seen that before. I had him send it to the printer again and I bypassed the payment. Same result. Next he skipped the bad page and printed pages 8-62 and got three more pages, so he skipped page 11 and printed 12-61. Finally he got the whole document printed minus the error pages (which by the way were all similar with tables and dollar amounts).
  4. All night long people put their money in the printer, the printer gobbled it up but would not spit out their prints or even give them back their money. Sarah and I were continually bypassing the coin machine to print each person's papers for them.
  5. We had two computers that were on and displaying the standard screen message "Available for use." But on the control computers these two computers appeared to be off. Since they were off, according to the control computer, no one could use them. I rebooted both of them which restored their on status with the control computers.
  6. A lady registered at the control computer, it assigned her a computer, she went to sign in at that computer and got the message, "You are already logged on another computer." She came to the desk and Sarah checked, she was reserved for computer 20 but computer 20 was not going to cooperate. I don't even know how Sarah resolved that one.
There were other examples and here is why I'm not going to add the rest. My computer just freaked out, stopped working and would not let me close open programs or shut it down. My blogpost disappeared in compose view but I could still see the html version (thank the Lord for autosave). I did a hard shut down, not knowing if the computer would come back to life.

I got out my lap top and had a race between the two computers. Who can boot up first? Who can open the Internet first? Who can display blogger first? The old desk top won. I'm going to get this posted before it freaks out again. I'm quite sure it will because the Gremlins seem to have followed me home.

I'll shut down the computers for the night hoping the Gremlins will take their mischief elsewhere.

1 comment:

Mari said...

Sometimes printing to PDF before printing to a real printer can help resolve any issue w/ a table coding not wanting to print. Not sure if it would have worked there, but maybe.

When it rains it pours...