Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Funniest Damn Thing Happened to me tonight

...  I was working on my computer, shifted to an alternate website, and when I tried to navigate on that website the connection didn't work.

Damn.  I hate that when that happens!

I tried alternate websites ... I couldn't go there, either.

Eventually, when I realized that I couldn't go ANYWHERE other than where I was when I locked up, I began to explore other possibilities.

Checked my internet connection.   Yes, it was all in the green (modem indicator lights).

Checked my mouse; yes it would move the icon from one part of the current webpage to another.

Checked ... oh, well ... HELL!  I checked every-damn-thing!  I even ran some tests on my keyboard;  I could navigate up/down, left/right on the current active page, but not much more.

(Yes, before you ask .. I DID reboot.  Cold boot, in fact; the computer came up just fine, but internet and other connections?  Not accessible!

By my notes, it took me from 2018 to 2030 to check the least logical obvious problem:  my mouse.

I replaced the AA batteries in my mouse about 3 months ago, it seemed unreasonable for them to have died so soon.  Looking at the indicator light at the base of the mouse, it still glowed green (as an indication that there was power in the batteries).

So what the hell!  I replaced the damn batteries "anyway", and kiss my sweet patootie if the connection from the mouse to the computer didn't start working,  EURECA!

 I So Smart!  (okay; slow ....)

My diagnostic process was all back-assward;  as a (retired) Computer Systems Analyst, I expected the problem to be in the most complicated link in the chain; the CPU.

Dumb ass me, I forgot the Number One Rule of Systems Analysis:

Look for the easy solutions FIRST! (Don't Mess with my Coffee Break!)

After  (check the log) 23 minutes of chasing the rabbit down the wrong warren-hole, I finally (FINALLY!) remembered my training and looked at the simplest possible solution:

That's right, it was the mouse.

Specifically ... even though the mouse had never done me no wrong, and the indicator light was shining bright green ... when I replaced the two AA batteries everything started working again!

Lesson Learned (again):  Don't trust indicator lights.

Don't trust "I replaced the batteries 3 months ago; how can they be dead???"

The batteries in the mouse were dead DEAD DEAD!!!    well, dead enough to count.

Yeah, yeah,  I hear you;  "Geek, you of ALL people ought to know better!"

Give me a break.  I'm old, I've been retired for (TooCloseTo) ten years.  So it took me 22 minutes to analyze the problem, find the problem, and fix the problem.  Does it help if I mention that (in the words of The Hobo Brasser) "Alcoholic Beverages Were Involved"?

The Good News is that I don't have to dismantle my roll-top desk so I need not drag the computer innards out and pay the Professional Geek Down The Street a hundred dollars to tell the Ex-Post Facto Geek that he's stupid and the problem isn't in the software, but in the hardware!

This started out being a really negative article; "How I Screwed Up My System In One Easy Step"
-- but instead it turned out to be a reasonable "don't go there" article;  check the cheap shit first!

Gene Wilder would have appreciated my situation.
He also had some small issues with mechanisms.

In fact, he made me look good by comparison with his *(Young Frankenstein)* movie, and I'm grateful.

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