News Team Current issue History Online Support Download Forum @Pouet

01 - 02 - SE - 03 - 04 - 05 - 06 - 07 - 08 - 09 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14

Alive 5

         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
fell over.

ABNORMAL PROGRAM TERMINATION - Meaning it shut down properly and sensibly, a
real rarity!

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
Hackers demos.

Or take this, from the same error log textfile thingy...

 ( yn yn yn yn (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
to be!

And the weird part is,  solely due to the power of marketing, they crush the
Russki's dead!

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

Alive 5