(a blog)
Thursday, March 17, 2005
  5 AM says...

I've been wondering lately why "last post"s never caught on on slashdot. I think it could totally work. Here's my first last post. I think I figured out the secret to becoming an "A-list" blogger. All you have to do is blog about blogging. Metablogger == "A-list" blogger. Hopefully I'll have time to refine this equation soon. No developments on the hardware front. I "decided" it was my USB smart-card reader and so I disconnected it, and the problems went away. I even did some pretty obscene things to my computer just to make sure. But then I realized the messages about my ACPI BIOS have been happening since the dawn of eventvwr, and I distinctly remember no random rebooting back in January. So I looked at the minidumps from the crashes, and they all list kmixer.sys as the first "Unloaded module." (If it's unloaded then I'm unclear on why it needs to be listed.) And then I remembered, oh yes, in addition to installing new RAM, installing the additional USB ports, nearly roasting the CPU, and subjecting my computer to Roxio's CD-burning software, I actually did install a sound card. So I put the smart-card reader back in and put the computer through its paces and it holds up admirably. And the sound card is still in it. And the new memory. And the possibly failing hard drive. And Roxio's software. And so I have no idea what's causing the problem. A month or so ago I trying to hunt down this particularly heinous crash that repro'd only on Windows 98. I could get a pretty consistent repro, but I eventually exhausted all of the tools at my disposal for determining exactly why (and where) the crash occurred. It took a week, and at the end I had barely little more information than when I started. I was talking to my girlfriend about this, and she said something quite profound: "It seems that computers are so complex, they're effectively nondeterministic."

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