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


Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 233
Location: Washington State

PostPosted: Sat 26 Jan 2013, 13:32    Post subject:  

I picked up some RAM at a yard sale it was about 4GB, I wasn't sure what it was for but he wasn't asking much, I go home take out my old sticks and try to fit the new ones, they did not match, no big deal I put my orginal RAM sticks back in, close up the computer get everything set back up, press the power button and nothing, but a little smoke comming from my motherboard.

Turns out I dropped something in the RAM slot and did not think to check over everthing to see if it was clean. Embarassed

Lesson learned I clean and check over everything before setting back up again. Idea

Arrow The same sale I got a 200GB harddrive it was full of Linux partitions, nothing that I could access, I used Puppy+G-parted to clean it.

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8-bit


Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 3368
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Sun 27 Jan 2013, 00:41    Post subject:  

I had a PC motherboard given to me that would just shut down after a period of time. That was in the summer.
I hooked up it in the winter and the PC seemed to work fine.
When the warm weather came, the PC again would shut down after a short period of time.
So I went to investigate at that point.
I found that the Processor was rated at 3.3volt and the power jumper for it was set to 5 volt.
I changed the jumper to 3.3 volt and the shutdown problem disappeared.

I also was trying to clone one drive to another of the same manufacturer and specs and had both drives go to junk.
During the backup, I kept hearing a high pitched noise.
That noise turned out to be the bearings in one drive on their way to a major failure.
What got written to the other drive evidently took it out in possibly the attempted write of corrupted data and sectors.
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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1282

PostPosted: Mon 28 Jan 2013, 10:08    Post subject:  

Yesterday's example, don't assume murga-linux will always be up when troubleshooting a network problem. I was using it because it was convenient to access from my home page.

I started off when murga-linux was up, using Puppy on one machine. After trying changes I would go back to the one machine where "nothing had changed" and see if the network was working.

I found my mistake when I wondered if Puppy was doing something that other OSes did differently. I booted Linux Mint 14 on yet another machine, and had no trouble accessing the home page. Different home page, different site. No problem in the network I was troubleshooting.

---

Someday I'll write up my experiences with "the network problem from hell" and Windows 7. It goes by the name "unknown network". The main problem can be traced to timing issues. Even testing every component in another location is not enough -- I did that. The problem did not appear under XP, yet M$ blames everything except W7 as a possible cause.

Some people have "solved" this problem by limiting the speed of their gigabit ethernet ports. Others have installed lower speed network adapters. Still others have replaced routers, power-line adapters and switches. It helps to disable every damn program which tries to gain access to the Internet first. If none of these things works you might change your Cisco router to disable the spanning tree algorithm, or set the "spanning tree portfast" option. (Don't have an industrial Cisco router? Too bad.)

My dumb mistake here was to trust M$. Their preferred solution is to upgrade every component, (death to XP!) remove all non-M$ software and use their servers. Just getting a clear explanation from them of what is happening probably involves signing a non-disclosure agreement which makes you a wholly-owned subsidiary.
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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1282

PostPosted: Wed 30 Jan 2013, 11:58    Post subject:  

Flash wrote:
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
This is an example of a perennial dumb mistake to check for on "service calls" about sound. I just committed another version of the same yesterday, while checking out a newly built machine.

As detailed elsewhere, this is a close to state-of-the-art machine ( Asus F2A85-M pro mainboard and an AMD A10 5800K quad-core processor ) built for someone who persists in running Windoze, not necessarily a Puppy machine.

After some thrills in bringing it up to the point where I could see the BIOS screen, I immediately turned to Puppy for testing. All good, except no sound. Try Fatdog 611, in case there is some difference requiring 64-bit software. No sound. Try Linux Mint 14. Same.

In between these tests, I went over the wiring, in case I had plugged it into the wrong audio jack. (There are 6, plus SPDIF.) Also checked for muting at multiple places in software, or via the mute switch on the amplified speakers themselves. Also saw that speaker light was on, indicating power to speakers.

Now, I'm going to shock people by saying something good about Windoze. While I was installing W7 Home Premium, (to see if there was something on the ASUS installation disk or site which would fix the problem,) I had plenty of time to think. (Experienced installers will know just what I mean.) Sitting there, and looking around, I noticed that the physical volume knob on the speakers had no marking to indicate position. Turned volume up. Surprise! Sound has been working all along. Embarassed

I'll keep a dumb mistake, made while connecting the mainboard, to myself, only noting that I did not let the magic smoke which makes computers work out of any chips.

Hint: just because a connector will fit a plug does not mean it belongs there.

This hint is right up there on my list next to the reminder that most cables have two ends.
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NeroVance


Joined: 10 Oct 2012
Posts: 149
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed 30 Jan 2013, 12:42    Post subject:  

I'd say I've made my mistakes. Actually I made a pretty major one probably near this date a few years back. I won't go into much detail, but I will admit the time between then and me joining the kennels was a time of wisdom for me, and I learned much, and gained much maturity.

But hardware, I did buy a 2GB stick of RAM, and realized my desktop already had all it's slots filled with 2GB sticks. But I may as well keep em, I may need them if one of my sticks begins to fail.
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 11081
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Wed 30 Jan 2013, 14:18    Post subject:  

In my experience, the chance of a RAM failure after the initial burn-in period is approximately zero. If it lasts a week or two, it will almost certainly outlast the motherboard -- and then it will be obsolete and useless.
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starhawk

Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Posts: 2879
Location: Everybody knows this is nowhere...

PostPosted: Wed 30 Jan 2013, 15:02    Post subject:  

Flash, I hate to tell you this... but that's not quite right.

My mother has an HP Compaq tc4200 "convertible" laptop/tablet system. Runs XP because "you get what you pay for", etc. Rolling Eyes After a while it started bluescreening. I changed one of the RAM sticks out, and the blue screens have yet to come back.

Mind you I had purchased both of the sticks in that machine, about a year before.

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Amgine


Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 233
Location: Washington State

PostPosted: Wed 30 Jan 2013, 16:10    Post subject:  

Flash wrote:
In my experience, the chance of a RAM failure after the initial burn-in period is approximately zero. If it lasts a week or two, it will almost certainly outlast the motherboard -- and then it will be obsolete and useless.


Not true, my Dad had to send his back in after they failed, It was used RAM, from a gaming computer.

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maddox

Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 453
Location: sometimes in France

PostPosted: Wed 30 Jan 2013, 18:09    Post subject:  

I think Flash was talking about an initial burn-in period of the RAM :run a looping ram test prog for a week or 2.
makes sense -> usually used in servers.

My mistake , been in france visiting, brought some 220V power supplies with me with continent plug adapters (aus/gb/us):
laptop,usb charger,oscillo,small TX/RX ...
wondered why some equipment smoked after a while... Sad
I found out the painfull way $$$, france uses a 230-240V power grid
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Amgine


Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 233
Location: Washington State

PostPosted: Wed 30 Jan 2013, 19:09    Post subject:  

maddox wrote:
I think Flash was talking about an initial burn-in period of the RAM :run a looping ram test prog for a week or 2.
makes sense -> usually used in servers.


Ok!

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postfs1


Joined: 27 Mar 2010
Posts: 831

PostPosted: Thu 31 Jan 2013, 10:16    Post subject: Re: Our Dumb Mistakes
Subject description: Puppy and Otherwise
 

p310don wrote:
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.


Assumption --->
Dumb mistake:
1)particular personage is not self-murderer
2)the particular personage have been receiving a warning messages about the particular danger of particular actions before the particular incident, but didn't execute selfcare
3)there was a danger for life at the particular incident

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greengeek

Joined: 20 Jul 2010
Posts: 2557
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu 31 Jan 2013, 12:50    Post subject:  

This is not Puppy related - but years ago I was installing a computerised voicemail interface unit into a Telecom exchange. My field of experience was with the computer side of things - not the details of how the phone network operated. All I knew was that the phone network operated off 48 volts. "Thats not enough to kill you but take care anyway" was what they told me.

Anyway, these interface units ("Summa Four") had substantial red and black wires coming out of them, and these had to be connected to the massive buss bars running through the exchange. Naturally I connected the black wire to the Ground buss, and the red wire to the 48v buss. Everything was great until I turned on the new unit.

That was when I learned how much magic smoke they compress inside electronic components!

Turns out that telephone exchanges run on NEGATIVE 48 volts so the red wire goes on the ground buss. Doh! Who's stupid idea was that??!**!##%?
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Flash
Official Dog Handler


Joined: 04 May 2005
Posts: 11081
Location: Arizona USA

PostPosted: Thu 31 Jan 2013, 16:04    Post subject:  

When designing with vacuum tubes, it greatly simplifies the circuit designer's job to assume a negative ground, so negative ground became the natural choice as electronics grew into something useful. Before that, it didn't matter much which polarity was "ground". The phone system predates the development of vacuum tubes by decades. They probably flipped a coin to decide which side of the battery to ground, but once positive ground became the standard throughout the phone system, it would have been nearly impossible to change.

I remember when cars had 6 volt batteries and at least some of them grounded the positive side. I don't know if they all did. The original VW beetle put its 6 volt battery under the rear seat, and a heavy passenger could short it out.
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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1282

PostPosted: Thu 31 Jan 2013, 17:18    Post subject:  

greengeek wrote:
This is not Puppy related - but years ago I was installing a computerised voicemail interface unit into a Telecom exchange. My field of experience was with the computer side of things - not the details of how the phone network operated. All I knew was that the phone network operated off 48 volts. "Thats not enough to kill you but take care anyway" was what they told me...
You wouldn't have lasted long in the environment where one of my OLD friends learned about digital electronics, logic and computers. He started off working INSIDE a computer -- Whirlwind I.

The microcoding was done with diodes clipped between bus bars about as big around as your little finger. For electronic convenience some of those bus bars were floating at 400 volts.

Oh, BTW, the machine blew a tube almost every time it was turned on, so debugging was done with the power on.

I don't dare tell him about how bad I have it today.
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Dewbie

Joined: 15 Apr 2010
Posts: 1783

PostPosted: Thu 31 Jan 2013, 19:57    Post subject:  

First I thought several floppy drives were bad...
Then, no, it's the floppy disks themselves...
(Neither assumption was correct.)

There's often enough variation in head alignment between drives that a floppy disk written with one won't work with another. So you have to write the disk with the drive that it will be used with.
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