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audiodef
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:22 pm    Post subject: Ghosts in your machines Reply with quote

I thought I'd start a thread describing the "impossible" things computers have done. You know, things you might have posted about saying "how do I fix this" but according to all sources, it shouldn't be happening in the first place.

My DAW is a dual-boot between Gentoo and Windows. Windows is just there for gaming and it's on that machine because it has a snazzy video card. Whenever I boot into Gentoo, shut down - and I mean shut down, not reboot - turn it on, and boot into Windows, it has a tendency to turn off the screen when I start a game. I'm left with no option other than to hit the reset button. This never - NEVER - happens when the last boot was Windows, so if the last boot was Gentoo, I boot into Windows and immediately shut down and boot into Windows again, in which case the "screen blank/freeze" NEVER happens. I've been told multiple times this is impossible - that booting into Gentoo should have no effect once I've shut down - but I'm just telling it like it is. 8O

On my regular work/dev machine, the hardware 2-port KVM switch always flips over to the other port when slim starts. It never fails to do so. Never figured out why, and neither has anyone else.

On this same machine, I have the Fluxbox startup file set to turn off screen blanking and DPMS. Still, after some interval, I get some kind of blanking action - the latest incarnation of which is some kind of grainy grey blank-out. Only - and only - when I enter exactly the same command as I have in the startup file into a terminal does it seem to really stick. The really funny part is if I take the xset commands out of the startup file, the screen blanks normally - not with some grainy grey blank-out.

Same machine again: I have three instances of gkrellm - one local, and two remote. On every boot, they load in a seemingly random order despite being entered in a specific order in the Fluxbox startup file. They load in a different order every time Fluxbox starts. Maybe this isn't so inexplicable and might be solved with a wait between each call to gkrellm, but still, you'd think it would load in the specified order.

What are you GITM stories?
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Dr.Willy
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a windows box which I use to play music.
It does that just fine, and after a while it goes into energy saving mode (while continuing to play the music). Nothing spectacular so far.
But when I move the mouse or something and it wakes up it will skip to the next song.
This behaviour is reproducable with all players and even grooveshark. Dafuq?
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eccerr0r
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a logical explanation for all my computers' issues...

Even if it's because of Windows.

(BTW, especially for poorly written drivers coupled with poorly designed hardware, it is very possible to leave hardware in a state that can't be recovered from other than a shutdown.)
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Asch
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dual boot too. Every time I boot into windows, and then restart into gentoo, the USB sockets don't work. I can't plug in anything.
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gerard82
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't dual boot with Windows but I had another hair pulling problem.
I use Gimp and scanned a damaged postcard with sepia picture on it.
To preserve the original sepia tone I had to scan it in color not gray scale.
This made the scan 104 MB.
The border of the picture was also damaged and to save time restoring it I wanted to remove it.
So I "selected" the part to conserve and hit "cut".
Gimp quit.
After 4 days I finally found why.
I have KDE as a desktop and the "klipper" was set (by me) to also cut images a long time ago.
Setting it to ignore images and to select text only solved the problem.
Gimp is GTK,KDE is QT,never thought KDE would interfere.
Gerard.
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audiodef
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dr.Willy wrote:
I have a windows box which I use to play music.
It does that just fine, and after a while it goes into energy saving mode (while continuing to play the music). Nothing spectacular so far.
But when I move the mouse or something and it wakes up it will skip to the next song.
This behaviour is reproducable with all players and even grooveshark. Dafuq?


Well, you definitely have a GITM - it's called "Windows". :P
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audiodef
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gerard82 wrote:
I don't dual boot with Windows but I had another hair pulling problem.
I use Gimp and scanned a damaged postcard with sepia picture on it.
To preserve the original sepia tone I had to scan it in color not gray scale.
This made the scan 104 MB.
The border of the picture was also damaged and to save time restoring it I wanted to remove it.
So I "selected" the part to conserve and hit "cut".
Gimp quit.
After 4 days I finally found why.
I have KDE as a desktop and the "klipper" was set (by me) to also cut images a long time ago.
Setting it to ignore images and to select text only solved the problem.
Gimp is GTK,KDE is QT,never thought KDE would interfere.
Gerard.


Yeah, it's stuff like that that ultimately pushed me away from both Gnome and KDE. They demanded that they stick their little fingers into everything. :twisted:
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energyman76b
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

machine at work. Set it up. Works great. Take it to the new guys office, plug it in. Constant crashes.
Bring it back. Still crashs
Install everything again. Works great.
Take it to the other office. Crashfest.
Have voltages checked - perfect. Cabling? Flawless
Bring it back. Still crashs.
Install everything AGAIN. Works great. Carry it around a bit. Works great! Carry it into the other office and plug it in...

It collects dust now. My time is more valuable than that.
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audiodef
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

energyman76b wrote:
machine at work. Set it up. Works great. Take it to the new guys office, plug it in. Constant crashes.


Sounds like what happens with my girlfriend sometimes. She has an extra-active personal field and sometimes something that doesn't work for her on her laptop doesn't give me any trouble (my girlfriend cannot wear wrist-watches for this reason. They simply stop working). When you take the machine into the new guy's office, is the new guy there? If not, are there objects in the room that belong to the new guy? Does this happen to other machines of exactly the same make, model and configuration?
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energyman76b
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

audiodef wrote:
energyman76b wrote:
machine at work. Set it up. Works great. Take it to the new guys office, plug it in. Constant crashes.


Sounds like what happens with my girlfriend sometimes. She has an extra-active personal field and sometimes something that doesn't work for her on her laptop doesn't give me any trouble (my girlfriend cannot wear wrist-watches for this reason. They simply stop working). When you take the machine into the new guy's office, is the new guy there? If not, are there objects in the room that belong to the new guy? Does this happen to other machines of exactly the same make, model and configuration?


please no esoteric crap. Thank you. Other machines work fine. I do have a pretty good guess why the machine acts that way. But it sounds 'spooky' or 'mysterious' if you tell it the right persons.
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mdeininger
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 4:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Ghosts in your machines Reply with quote

audiodef wrote:
My DAW is a dual-boot between Gentoo and Windows. Windows is just there for gaming and it's on that machine because it has a snazzy video card. Whenever I boot into Gentoo, shut down - and I mean shut down, not reboot - turn it on, and boot into Windows, it has a tendency to turn off the screen when I start a game. I'm left with no option other than to hit the reset button. This never - NEVER - happens when the last boot was Windows, so if the last boot was Gentoo, I boot into Windows and immediately shut down and boot into Windows again, in which case the "screen blank/freeze" NEVER happens. I've been told multiple times this is impossible - that booting into Gentoo should have no effect once I've shut down - but I'm just telling it like it is. 8O
Actually I've had things like that happen to me too. Linux will, sometimes, not shut down some devices properly. And some motherboards actually retain that broken state even if powered down. Only way to fix that is to disconnect the AC (or turn off the PSU's power switch, the one at the back next to the power cord) for about 10-60 seconds depending on the motherboard.

audiodef wrote:
On this same machine, I have the Fluxbox startup file set to turn off screen blanking and DPMS. Still, after some interval, I get some kind of blanking action - the latest incarnation of which is some kind of grainy grey blank-out. Only - and only - when I enter exactly the same command as I have in the startup file into a terminal does it seem to really stick. The really funny part is if I take the xset commands out of the startup file, the screen blanks normally - not with some grainy grey blank-out.
flux startup files may run during graphics driver initialisation. setting graphics parameters then sometimes doesn't work like it should.

audiodef wrote:
Same machine again: I have three instances of gkrellm - one local, and two remote. On every boot, they load in a seemingly random order despite being entered in a specific order in the Fluxbox startup file. They load in a different order every time Fluxbox starts. Maybe this isn't so inexplicable and might be solved with a wait between each call to gkrellm, but still, you'd think it would load in the specified order.
there's always minute differences in the resource load on each boot. or when starting a programme, really. if the script just starts three gkrellms with &, then all of them start nearly at the same time, but with the load being slightly different each time it's anyone's guess as to the order in which each of the instances receives their time shares or in which order their I/O is processed (for instance, in one scenario one of the instances could still be relocating data while the second instance is started and in the other it could already have finished doing that.) I/O latencies are an ok-ish source of entropy after all. Variances in boot times due to polling processes (lots of em) and things like address space randomisation (different relocations to perform each time a programme loads) all play into that.

Now, not saying I haven't seen ghosts in my machines, yet. For instance, I've had this old ATI graphics board with two video outputs. On the first init after booting, the DVI port is seen as the first screen and the VGA port is seen as the second screen. If I try to change the position of the screens in X, the two screens immediately switch ports. If I switch em again, so do they. If I don't, they stick. Unless I reboot, then they're in the intended order. Unless I quit X and do it again, then they switch again. They don't do that when I start a second X and then quit the first one though.

Then there's that master/slave multiple socket outline I have in the living room. Plug in the stereo as master, turn off the stereo: control light turns off, slaves are dead. Good. Plug in consoles as slaves, turn on the stereo, socket control light turns on, consoles turn on. Good. Plug in the telli as slave. Turn off the stereo, control light turns off, telli stays on, consoles stay on. Unplug the telli and the consoles turn off. Plug it back in, everything's off, turn on the stereo, everything turns back on. Turn off the stereo and nothing but the control light turns off again. Unpug the telli *bam* everything's off. Been banging my head against the wall for quite a while with this one.
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