T h e P C - A r s e P a g e !
It's back, it's black, it's madder than ever! Yes, you can remove a Peecee
from your arse, with the right kind of surgical gloves and several large
squeezy bottles filled with ring-soothing cream, but you can't take the arse
out of a Peecee! Here's another issue's worth of fatuous fun, generated
solely by the workings of the world's most popular hardware and operating
system combo, the Wintel PC! (I am, of course, using the North Korean
definition of the word "popular" here, which sort of suggests lots of flag
waving and fixed smiles held in place at gunpoint!)
(Don't) Buy X-Box now, or the CD dies!
Sometimes, it can be a good idea for us Europeans to be last in line for
some new console related goodies. Take the Japanese launch of the X-Box, a
keyboardless PeeCee, with a behind-the-times CPU, and interesting graphics
chip. Low sales in Japan haven't been helped by reports that some CD-Roms
and DVD's played by the X-Box have come out scratched.
Initial concerns were waved aside by the explanation that it was all due to
'cultural differences', that the Japanese liked "pristine" electronic
equipment, and the scratches were non-harmful. (In this case "pristine" =
Nevertheless, the affected units have been replaced free of charge. Do you
suppose that someone with a bit more intelligence than their PR people
realised that even minor damage, coupled with the word "cumulative", could
spell a whole lot of trouble in the future if it wasn't sorted out quickly
Comedy of error messages!
or 'Much a-DOS about Nothing?'
I've got a Peecee at work, and it sometimes crashes when it feels like it.
It is also obliging enough to leave some physical traces of the event, and
its aftermath in the root of the C:\ drive. Now with the aid of powerful
translation software, and a pair of fingers. I will attempt to make sense of
some of the more broadly humourous messages pulled out from the debris,
headfirst, as it were..
TLOSS ERROR - I think this might mean 'total loss error', or it could be a
misspelling of 'toss' error as in "What a load of toss!" which would be more
SING ERROR - Something to do with a choir-effect wavetable on the sound card
going out of tune? Or maybe it belatedly remembered that this cheap and
nasty PeeCee doesn't have a soundcard in the first place? Otherwise known as
'BUMNOTE - Abort/Retry/Fail?'
DOMAIN ERROR R6027 - This could be the brave little pepperpot droid from
Starwars, R2D2, covering up for another's mistake, under a poorly assumed
pseudonym? I mean, who's going to be fooled by calling it R6027? Everyone
can see it's really good old R2D2 in there!
NOT ENOUGH SPACE FOR LOWIO INITIALISATION - This has got comedic potential,
but I'm not quite sure how at the minute?
NOT ENOUGH SPACE FOR STDIO INITIALISATION - It was unable to run the
previously unknown ST emulator known as 'Dio'. Anyone else got a copy of
this? If so, is it such a memory hogger as this error message implies?
PURE VIRTUAL FUNCTION CALL - A refreshing sight, sadly to be sullied and
ruined by the hordes of dirty-minded little bits of Windowze code grabbing
hold of its squishy bits!
UNABLE TO OPEN CONSOLE DEVICE - What do you mean you forgot to put in a
quick release button for the CD-drive on the X-Box? It's scratching disks
UNEXPECTED HEAP ERROR - This copy of Windowze was under the delusion it was
running on a nicer PeeCee than this one, found out it wasn't, and promptly
ABNORMAL PROGRAM TERMINATION - Meaning it shut down properly and sensibly, a
NOT ENOUGH SPACE FOR ENVIRONMENT - Typical corporate breadheads! They're not
going to stop until the whole of the planet Earth and mother nature are
ruined! What price the all-new Windows XP now??
NOT ENOUGH SPACE FOR ARGUMENTS - Microsoft standard response to dissent in
the media and the newsgroups, crush everything underfoot!
FLOATING POINT NOT LOADED - No 68882 present, unable to run recent Dead
Or take this, from the same error log textfile thingy...
( ÿyÿÿn ÿyÿÿn ÿyÿÿn ÿyÿÿn (and so on for a long time..) - Well, waddya make of
It's none other than a Windowze high-speed random decision making routine in
operation. "Will I work, or will I not?" - 'Yes-yes-yes-yes-no!'
@V Software\Microsoft\Windows\C - Aha, I think we found the root cause of
all the problems!
Some *Really* Alternative Computing!
I'm not quite sure how this fits in with the general tenor of this article,
but I thought it might be worth sharing with you anyway.
"BTW the Russians have made computers that work with hydraulics, using
pressurized oil in finely etched canals in layers of metal sheets. They are
used in modern fighter jets, due to their insensitivity for EMP. Also, they
have developed radio tubes the size of rice grains, for the same reason."
Frank de Groot.
Anyone else got any thoughts on this? What if Bill Gates were to bring out
hardware with radio tubes the size of beercans, in a comical aside to their
standard practice of making software far bigger and bloatier than it needs
And the weird part is, solely due to the power of marketing, they crush the
Back in the Good Old Days..
Some people who hung around PeeCees in the very early days may well remember
a long-lost feature on these early boxes called a 'turbo button.'
More truthfully, you might think of this as a 'massive slowdown button', as
it toggled between the full speed it was capable of, be it 286, 386, or even
later 486 models, and the original neanderthal 8 mhz 8086 that this line of
processors started out with.
This may have had some justification in the 286 days, say if people had a
lot of historical software that was incompatible with the faster processor,
but on later machines, surely no useful purpose was served with this object?
Now I've managed to cull the results of a totally made-up survey, from the
pages of an imaginary PC magazine of the mid-nineties, 'PC Error' (July 1994
edition), which asks the leading question. "So why did you press the Turbo
Button just now?"
Out of 50,374 respondents, just 3,024 of them admitted openly to pressing
the turbo button.
Of those, 3,020 told us that they had brushed against it 'by accident' when
reaching for the adjacent on/off button. Those 3,020 were owners of the Aptiva
'Wanka' series 486sx 25/33 mhz, which strongly brought a design fault for that
particular machine into focus.
The remaining four responses were highly individual and illuminating. One
respondent told us that he preferred to use the 8 mhz option, as in his
opinion, Windows was "too fast." This person has now been sectioned under
the 1986 Mental Health Act.
Another respondent turned out to be a member of the fanatically reclusive
anti-technology christian sect, the Plymouth Brethren, who was using a
crippled 8 mhz DOS box to wean people off using computers altogether.
The third person who gave a response other than that of accidental
selection, was a government spokesperson who used the machine set into 8 mhz
mode AND running Windows, for producing letters of apology for government
inspired screw-ups. At a rate of around three and a half a year!
Our final answer is the most interesting of all. This person wanted to see
if the 8 mhz he got from his PC, was the same as the 8 mhz that he got from
a friend's Atari ST. He was so profoundly disappointed by the answer, that
he sold his PC forthwith, and cancelled his subscription to this magazine
with immediate effect.
So that means, he won't be able to find out that he has won a huge cash
prize for his winning answer! So we get to keep the money, and Yah boo sucks
to you too!
Soundbite Spotters Heaven?
This interesting little snippet came from a newsgroup posting. Note the
fantastic juxtaposition of the slogans at the end.
Microsoft *really* should think about getting a new speechwriter!?
From: Bogdan Giusca
Posted At: 17 April 2002 19:51
Subject: Re: After 6 years... nothing changed.
> Computers are here to make
> our life easier. What is strange
> is that sometimes this become
> less easy. Could someone
> explain me why is this ?
You have no alternatives for OS :-) - see my sig.
"One World; One Web; One Program." -- Microsoft
"Ein Volk; Ein Reich; Ein Fuhrer." -- Hitler
The Quick Brown Fox Jumps over the Lazy Typist!?
Here's a little widget lurking deep in the program code for Word for Windows
2000 which is guaranteed to fill up a few acres of empty RAM space. I'm sure
at least some of you experienced with Word 2000, have probably seen this one
Open a new blank document, if that already hasn't been done for you.
The type in the following:-
= RAND (200,50)
(Note - UPPER CASE for RAND is essential. You can adjust the number
parameters in the brackets to suit your preferences.)
Then press "Enter".
What happens next is very interesting. I won't give away any more right now,
but there is a big clue as to what it does in the title!
CiH, For Alive! Mag,various '02