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 Forum index » Taking the Puppy out for a walk » Misc
Our Dumb Mistakes
Moderators: Flash, JohnMurga
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p310don

Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 689
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Wed 23 Jan 2013, 21:49    Post subject:  Our Dumb Mistakes
Subject description: Puppy and Otherwise
 

Hi all. After spending a lot of time working on the intricacies of a problem this morning only to find a super simple solution, I thought it'd be fun to share some of the dumb mistakes we have all made over the years while trying to set up Puppy, or other PC or tech related things.
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p310don

Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 689
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Wed 23 Jan 2013, 21:53    Post subject:  

This morning I was trying to share my Puppy's printer with my girlfriend's Win7 laptop. I made the necessary changes to SMB.conf and then setup the printer on her lappy.

I clicked print, and the printer spat out an error page instead of what I wanted.

Anyway, a few pages later, and all I was getting was errors. I tried changing to HP-PS drivers on win7 as suggest by rcrsn1 on his sambatng thread and nothing at all was happening. I tried the Samsung drivers (samsung printer), nothing happened. I googled lots of CUPS errors etc, and nothing would make this printer ever fire up.

Then, I looked into the paper tray, and found it empty! Grrr!! As soon as I put paper in, it spat out plenty of pages of tests etc. Turns out I got it working with the right driver about an hour ago.
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p310don

Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 689
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Wed 23 Jan 2013, 21:57    Post subject:  

I have recently had some issues connecting wirelessly to my network. After fiddling with the settings in Frisbee to no avail, I find my modem doesn't like the heat we have been having, and switches off the wifi.

1/2 hour of puppy based fiddling with no results, less than a minute to reboot the modem and its fixed.
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 10954
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Wed 23 Jan 2013, 22:40    Post subject:  

I once spent about a week doing all kinds of stuff, up to and including reinstalling the OS and the drivers, trying to get the speakers to work, only to discover I had plugged them into the microphone jack. Mad
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p310don

Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 689
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Wed 23 Jan 2013, 22:55    Post subject:  

Haha Flash, almost the same, I spent ages trying to get audio to work in ubuntu after an upgrade only to discover it started with the volume turned down!
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starhawk

Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 2778
Location: Everybody knows this is nowhere...

PostPosted: Wed 23 Jan 2013, 23:31    Post subject:  

I've done a couple of doozies that I can think of... here's my best two...

(1) messing with Ubuntu (early linux experiences back in probably 2007 or 08 )... said to myself, "Hey, what's this 'system bus' thing that it's talking about? What happens if I turn that off?" Uncheck the box, get told to reboot, I reboot and all of a sudden the HAL doesn't work. System won't boot. Oops! (I reinstalled and kept going...)

(2) my main system still runs WinXP Embarassed 'nuff said, right? (particularly given that I've been on this forum for ~2yrs!)

_________________
Loving X-Slacko 1.1! Get the PetGet patch on pg8; it's important.
Next system will be an HP MOCA-AR + Core2Duo in an innovative case... if I ever get off my butt and build it Razz
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rcrsn51


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 8937
Location: Stratford, Ontario

PostPosted: Wed 23 Jan 2013, 23:38    Post subject:  

@p310don:

Just out of curiosity, what Win7 printer driver ended up working for you?
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p310don

Joined: 19 May 2009
Posts: 689
Location: Brisbane, Australia

PostPosted: Wed 23 Jan 2013, 23:55    Post subject:  

rcrsn51 - the HP laserjet PS driver (standard in windows) worked. The one you recommended HP colourlaser PS or something like that, gave me a setpagedevice error.
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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2422
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu 24 Jan 2013, 03:18    Post subject:  

So many times I've saved files to sda2 or sdc2 (whatever) and never been able to find them again because I had not mounted the destination partition first...
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 10954
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Thu 24 Jan 2013, 10:20    Post subject:  

You'd think an important job of the OS, or the program that's doing the saving, would be to check that the destination it's being told to save to exists and is ready. Confused
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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1255

PostPosted: Thu 24 Jan 2013, 13:21    Post subject: dumb booting + hot and bothered  

I just had a frustrating experience with a system I had carefully backed up before experimenting. (I used Acronis True Image, which knows all kinds of useful things about Windows systems I would rather not know. If there had been no Windows system on the machine I would not have needed this tool.)

What never even occurred to me was that it might not assign the same partitions the same entries in the partition table on the restored system. At some point I had deleted a partition, then reused the free space. The result was that partition sda1 was actually the second physical partition on the disk. I can't tell you how much time I wasted, fooling with my multi-boot setup, before I thought to check on why it kept giving me errors about partitions where I had just edited menu.lst. I was editing the wrong file in another partition.

I didn't figure it out until I was running Gparted, and preparing to trash all my data by reformatting the drive.

-----hot and bothered-----

Having unburdened myself of my own error, I feel I can now warn others of a possible naive computer user problem without being obnoxious. (You can think of these people for whom I maintain computers as customers, although I am not doing this for money.)

We had a series of mysterious failures on one machine, which certainly sounded like overheating. I did replace a power supply and a video card. (Added: I forgot to mention two motherboards.) I also did the usual business of vacuuming out the places where the case and fans accumulated dust. I had the machine working perfectly on my bench before I returned it.

It began the same sequence of mysterious problems as soon as I left. I made another "service call" to check it on-site, finding nothing wrong. When I left, I found I had left my car keys on the table next to the computer, and went back.

While I was standing there with my keys in my hand, looking at the machine, something in the back of my mind started telling me it looked different than it had when I first walked out. It wasn't much of a change, but the alcove in the desk where it sat now had a binder I had not seen when I came to work on the machine.

A little more thought, and I realized this case had a vent on the side with a duct bringing outside air directly to the processor. When the binder was in place, it blocked that duct.

My friend had helpfully removed all extraneous material before I arrived, so I would not need to move her things to work on the machine. Every time I left that file folder immediately went back, and the problem returned. Shocked

Imagine a technician who did not come to the house trying to find this problem. This probably wouldn't bother GeekSquad, since it would likely enable BestBuy to sell a new machine.
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linuxbear

Joined: 18 Apr 2009
Posts: 621
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

PostPosted: Thu 24 Jan 2013, 16:02    Post subject:  

The most recent dumb thing I have done is deleting the ringtone directory on an Android phone. This will cause the phone to use one extremely annoying ringy-sound for everything. Fortunately I had all the files backed up, but it took me hours before I remembered that I had a backup.
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Colonel Panic


Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 1502

PostPosted: Fri 25 Jan 2013, 07:35    Post subject:  

When logged in as root on my Pentium 100 running Basic Linux, I tried to erase a directory using the rm command and wiped the whole drive instead. I make full backups to USB drive and DVD now (I didn't then).
_________________
Stone Pentium IV (2.4 GHz), 2 GB of RAM, 160 GB hard drive running Puppy Carolina 1.2, Puppy EmSee v2.1, Puppy 4.31 Workhorse, Legacy OS2 LTS and Puppy Midnight Sun 003.
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thane

Joined: 26 Mar 2009
Posts: 112
Location: Waipahu, Hawaii USA

PostPosted: Sat 26 Jan 2013, 04:39    Post subject:  

A couple of years ago I was rearranging the living room, so had to power down and disconnect the PCs, router, and modem. Got everything hooked back together again and powered on, and no internet. Went through the usual bit of checking all the connections, plugging and unplugging modem and router, rebooting, etc. Still no internet. Finally called the cable company system status line and found out the internet service had gone down while I was moving stuff around.
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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1255

PostPosted: Sat 26 Jan 2013, 12:35    Post subject:  

thane's story fits a whole class of problems I would describe as "oh, we don't need to test that!" It helps to start debugging from some point you can confirm is working before you test anything suspect. This may also verify that test equipment is working.

I learned the hard way that people who call for outside expertise have already tried the things they consider likely causes, while steadfastly ignoring others. It took me a while to learn to ask "how do you know it's working?"

A subset of this is the claim "it was working fine before we started debugging, and we haven't touched a thing." What I was expecting in his story about rearranging the livingroom was a different change nobody considered, not a coincidence.

In one case where people had a real rat's nest of wiring, I asked for a light I did not have to hold while I rerouted cables. This brought me a lamp plugged into a wall socket. At a much later time, I reached a box which had been working fine, but was now dead as a doornail.

It seems the lamp had been unplugged from another wall outlet with two sockets. The person who unplugged it had used a wall switch controlling that outlet to turn off the lamp before he unplugged it. He never considered things plugged into the other socket, including the cable box.

----

I just pulled a good one concerning a machine with a rather old Intel desktop board (D201GYL). Convinced I knew the standard arrangement of Intel front panel connectors, I had failed to get any signs of life after I set it up. I couldn't read labels silk-screened onto the board. Intel's site has stopped interactive support. Eventually, I found a technical information sheet showing that this board was an exception to Intel practice. Even then I couldn't get it to work.

As it turned out, at some time in the past I had shoved two wires into a shell borrowed from a defunct machine with a "turbo" switch. (Don't ask me why.) All I had to do was to put the "turbo" switch wires on the pins I originally considered HDD led pins, but now knew to be power switch pins. Before I did this I used an ohm meter to check that those wires were really connected to the power button on the front panel.

Labels may not mean what they say even if you are responsible for them. Even Jove nods.
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