Why Won’t My Keyboard Button Thingamajig Work?

SwampMan was complaining loudly to himself. “This button USED to work, but NOOOOOOO. It doesn’t work now. It hasn’t worked for a long time through different computers, and I’d like to know why the hell not!” STABSTABSTABSTABSTAB at the button because physical abuse always makes electronic things work.

“Did you look it up online?” I asked, rudely interrupting his soliloquy cuss session.

“No. What good would that do? It has been a long time since that thing worked.”

“So I heard. Is it your new keyboard?”

“No, damnit. The button hasn’t worked for YEARS. This is a new keyboard.”

“So, what version of Windows you got?”

“Windows XP.”

Ah, yes. He’d ordered a refurbished computer for his shop because he wanted to keep XP; his house computer also has XP. It makes moving things back and forth easier. I’d been typing into the search engine while we were speaking and had the answer in about ten seconds. “Well, there’s your problem right here. That button doesn’t work directly with XP.”

SwampMan muttered something that sounded suspiciously like “bullshit”.

“Humor me. Hit the button, then press start, then all programs, then accessories….”

He stabbed the keys with unnecessary vigor following my directions, then there was a muttered “Well I’ll be a (very rude and offensive expletive)!”

Ah, apparently we were successful in our endeavor.

“Isn’t it interesting”, I continued, “what we find out if we actually look it up?”

More muttered rude words. Not to worry, though. Tomorrow he’ll probably be saying something like “Isn’t it INTERESTING how much money we can save if we do not hit things with a hammer when they malfunction?” to me, unless he recalls in time that his knees have been malfunctioning for years.

Ah, well. He may still be a little aggravated at me from earlier today. He was worrying aloud about the CNC not working with the new (refurbished) computer, mentioned how he had checked settings several times, and was just about to start checking all his connections to make sure he had power to all of them.

“Oh!” I remarked helpfully, although he had not asked for any. “Did you check to see if you have enough RAM?”

He actually rolled his eyes at me. “What, do you think I’m stupid? Of COURSE!”

“Did you reconnect everything to see if it worked with the old computer again after you got everything disconnected and reconnected to the new computer and it didn’t work?” I’m definitely not a repairman, and I am lazy, so I like to make sure that what I’m putting forth a lot of effort and brainwork into is actually the problem.

He blinked. “Well, no….”

“It’s just me, but I’d like to make sure that the computer or a cable isn’t the problem first before I go tearing things down.” SwampMan likes to tear things down. Well, so do I, but all that is left are teensy little molecule-sized pieces when I do it. He actually takes things apart and puts them back together in working condition, and I just gaze at him adoringly because he’s my hero.

“I never even thought of THAT because everything is supposed to be new. Good idea!”

It turned out that it was a dead parallel port in the refurbished computer. SwampMan throws NOTHING away because he may need it someday. He’s got eight or so old computers sitting around to strip parts out of. He’s very happy that he gets to tear down things after all.

11 Responses

  1. The International Space Station had been using XP…can you believe that shiite? All this time using a simple off the shelf, soon to have no support, Windows OS. I was shocked to find that out, but not to find out some Soviet brought his laptop on board and not long after infected the ISS system with some worm or trojan or virus.
    Guess who NASA turned to so they could have a stable, reliable OS that can’t be infected with some BS Windows malady? Linux to the rescue. I was only mildly surprised that they showed such good judgment. I’ve been using Linux OS for several years now and don’t even need an anti-virus program. It isn’t quite as user friendly as the easily infected Windows, and your learning curve is quite steep for awhile, but I wouldn’t use anything else.
    If you were ever interested in checking it out, you can go the Linux website, peruse what they have to offer, download it and burn it on a disc. If you boot up with the disc in the tray, your start up screen will ask you which OS you want to use, your Windows or the disc. Once you get comfortable with it, you can install it and create a partition, with your old OS on one side and Linux on the other and choose which one you want when you boot up.

    • Thanks! He downloaded Open Office; he’s actually thinking about Linux. I’m kinda sorta thinking about it myself. Maybe rebuild one of those old computers sitting around and give it a try, but I’m a lazy computer dumbass.

    • Ooooh, rereading is my friend. So I can put it on a DISK and boot from that without worrying about screwing up anything else, hunh? Hunh. Hunh indeed. I may have to go to the office supply sto’ tomorrow.

      • That’s right.
        You can download any of the Linux OS and burn it on a disc and boot up using the disc as your OS. Has no effect on your other OS. All Linux OS downloads are free. Now, your printer/copier/scanner may not be compatible with the Linux OS, they do publish lists of those that devices that are.
        Why are you going to the Office supply, to buy discs? Screw that, go to Best Buy or Frye’s.

      • Well, if there were a Frye’s anywhere near me, I’d certainly go. But there ain’t. And Best Buy can kiss my butt.

    • Do you know how well the partitioned Linux OS would run if the partitioned (expletive) Windows OS has a virus?

      • Won’t effect Linux at all. You would be running a separate OS from Windows.

      • By the by, the latest release from Linux is Linux Mint 15. I’ve been using Linux Mint 12 KDE for a while and will be switching to 15 soon.

      • Good to know, thanks! Perhaps some of SwampMan’s Collection of Dead Computers aren’t really completely dead, just gorked by a virus.

  2. Hey Nuke,
    I feel for the guy – I try to hang onto xp myself. Hate it when they change operating systems. Thanks for the chuckle.

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