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Paul
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That's another fine TARDIS you got me into Stanley

« on: December 07, 2017, 04:50:06 PM »

When I was robbed one of the things I lost was my digital radio. When I got round to buying a new (well secondhand)  one last week I was delighted to see one on eBay that was identical to the one that was stolen (I prefer "same as before" as there is a "zero learning curve" when using it). Better still it was really cheap, on Sunday it went for the minimum bid price.

It arrived today (they originally tried to deliver it yesterday, but I was at dialysis). It had no instructions (it was secondhand) but no problem, it was the same as the last one, so I do not need no stinking instructions! So I just plugged it in.

First problem: My old one automatically set the time via the DAB signal. This one simply displayed the command "set clock". I tried pressing the buttons at random trying to work out which ones set the clock. None did. So I gave up and switched the radio on.

Second problem: The first radio station gave me a "off air" message. So I tried another, same problem. I tried all of them, only two were broadcasting, all the others were "off air", this seemed unlikely as it was mid afternoon. And the two that were broadcasting were broadcasting the same obscure psychedelic rock song, which was even less likely than all the other stations being off air in the afternoon.

Third problem: When I switched off the radio it no longer said "set clock" it now said "no clock".

Eventually I gave up, unplugged the radio, and left it a while. I tried again later. Same problems. Left it and was going to message the seller when I thought "hold on, I don't want to look stupid, so try pressing all the buttons, several times, and holding them down for a long time, see if that does anything". It did nothing, still the same problems. But the last button I did this to was the menu button, and one option was "re-tune". Looking at that I realized what the problem was.

The seller sent it by post, they lived miles from me. And obviously when they had used the radio they would have tuned it to the radio stations IN THEIR AREA. In my area the stations would be on different frequencies.

So I hit the "re-tune" option, it automatically scanned the frequencies, found just under a hundred radio stations in my area, and even the frequency the time signal is broadcast on. So the clock instantly set itself, and all the radio stations were now "on air" when I tried them.

And that should have been blindingly obvious to me. Over here our TV went digital a few years ago, which gave them ten times as many spots to broadcast on and they are still selling the extra frequencies, and re-arranging the existing ones to fit them in. So about once a year I get a "channel not broadcasting" message from my TV and have to re-tune to get all my channels back again (plus the new ones). So when I got the "off air" message from the radio I should have automatically thought "re-tune". But I didn't!

I guess it is finally happening, I'm getting too old to understand modern technology. Soon I'll be posting threads asking how to use my computer.

:(
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 05:05:49 PM by Paul » Logged

Whoever said "God does not make mistakes" has obviously never seen the complete bog up he made of my kidneys!
Michael Murphy
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2017, 08:06:12 PM »

Paul not stupid, resourceful.  Faced with a problem you kept working on it til you had a out of the box reaction and fixed the problem.  Stupid people try once and give up.
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Riki
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2017, 01:30:56 PM »

See, I think I would have been the idiot.  I'm one of those people who thinks they don't need instructions.  When I get a new electronic toy, I don't bother with them.  I just turn it on and see what it does. *L*  You didn't have instructions, but it was something you'd used before.  For me, I may have thrown it out a window after a few unsuccessful tries, unless I knew I'd made it work before.  Turning it on and off and pressing all the buttons are probably things I would have done before seeing how well it could fly out my second story bedroom window.
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Dialysis - Feb 1991-Oct 1992
transplant - Oct 1, 1992- Apr 2001
dialysis - April 2001-May 2001
transplant - May 22, 2001- May 2004
dialysis - May 2004-present
PD - May 2004-Dec 2008
HD - Dec 2008-present
Simon Dog
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2017, 07:15:00 PM »

I too am an idiot.  Spent hours F'ing with a thermostat on a cold furnace only to discover the flashing status lights meant "blown fuse" ... and there just happened to be a spare fuse sitting on top of the furnace.   The fact that I had just replaced the thermostat as part of a remodeling job led me to the wrong conclusion.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 07:49:47 PM by Simon Dog » Logged
Michael Murphy
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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2017, 12:09:41 AM »

I spent years chasing problems in systems at AT&T.  Itís tough to learn to step back and stop chasing the obvious solution. Over the years I traced down some weird solutions.  I once had a data center with removable disk packs which kept becoming unreadable.  After exhausting the obvious wrong solutions I be an to look at the head alignment process.  I had two maintainence vendors.  Both with their own formatting pack.  The drives had to formatted to 300 micro inchís to work with pacts between systems.  I finally found documentation that the format packs were guaranteed to be within 200 micro inchís.  200 one way 200 the other and the resulting  aligned heads did not allow packs to be moved.  Vendors told me I was crazy.  Bought a alignment pack for a grand one week end had all drives aligned and the problems disappeared.  Took about 3 months to fix this.  The lesson keep working at it.  Dead ends provide another data point for the resolution process. 
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kristina
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2017, 07:05:39 AM »

... Dear Michael ... whenever "things" don't go well or - dare I say -  I make a mistake, I always refer to it as a "Little Senior Moment" and I would never ever go any further than that because - after all  - I do need to continue with my confidence to be as intact as is possible... 
Best wishes from Kristina.  :secret;
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Simon Dog
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2017, 08:13:29 AM »

So I'm not the only one here old enough to remember alignment packs and removable hard disks.  I remember the old CDC 80mb and 300mb removable drive systems.

My problem was I spent all my effort on the part of the system I had just modified, not the "stable" part with no problems.
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Paul
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That's another fine TARDIS you got me into Stanley

« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2017, 11:17:23 AM »


So I'm not the only one here old enough to remember alignment packs and removable hard disks.

First full time job I ever had was writing games software and running a computer shop (Boss reckoned I could do both at the same time for one salary). The company's main business was computer room maintenance. This was early 1980s so our stock room was full of those enormous disk units that mainframes used to use (may still do for all I know, it's decades since I've seen a mainframe, I think they have all been replaced by server farms). The company repaired these as a sideline.

Nowadays I have a desktop computer that is a fraction of the size of one of those disk units, and I once calculated that the largest capacity hard drive that will fit in a modern computer would require a hard drive rack the size of a large town if you wanted that capacity in the earliest type of hard drives.

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Whoever said "God does not make mistakes" has obviously never seen the complete bog up he made of my kidneys!
Michael Murphy
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2017, 02:38:20 PM »

My problem was in the early 80s I was third tier unix support for AT&T Long Lines.  Theoretically I could get support from the labs.  Ken Thompson was my support contact.  Tough man to find.  It was a wild time.
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Riki
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2017, 11:52:52 AM »

I just finished my last project for the semester (yay!!).  It was a poster that had to be created in Power Point, then exported to a PDF file.  When I viewed the PDF file, some of the formatting was gone.  First, I thought that maybe I formatted it wrong, to went over, and it all looked right.  Finally, I went to one of the IT instructors in the school and showed him what I was doing.  He looked at the Power Point version, and said it looked great.  He looked at the PDF and saw my problem.  He looked at the PDF in a different viewer, and there it was, exaxctly as I'd created it.  Stupid Microsoft Viewer.. *L*

If he hadn't tried it in a different viewer, I'd still be agonizing over it...
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Dialysis - Feb 1991-Oct 1992
transplant - Oct 1, 1992- Apr 2001
dialysis - April 2001-May 2001
transplant - May 22, 2001- May 2004
dialysis - May 2004-present
PD - May 2004-Dec 2008
HD - Dec 2008-present
Michael Murphy
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« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2017, 05:38:09 PM »

Support has a advantage it probably was not the first time he or she has seen the problem so it seems like a trivial fix.  The true answer is how long it took the support person the first time.  Maybe they went to their support or maybe they looked for the answer.  Either way you now know the solution.  You did the right thing seeking help.  This was not a power button issue.  What makes support people nuts is the constant compainers who never look.  I had one moron who complained his computer was dead, I went over and powered it up, next week same routine.
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