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Answers to Computer Problems

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by MickLL, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    I've been having 'mouse problems' for the past few days. today it became intolerable and so I 'googled' the problem.

    There we are! A whole list of hits with the same symptoms as me so lets dive in and get it fixed.

    First hit - a long list of detailed instructions, step by step, to do this that and the other and all my woes will be over. Crikey - don't fancy that. On to the next one.

    Second hit - a long list of detailed instructions , step by step, to do that this and something else (not the same as first hit) and all my woes will be over.

    Third hit. A long list ......... and all my woes will be over.You get the picture by now.

    Then the light dawned and I remembered. It's a wireless mouse and has a battery. Change the battery and all my woes were over - simple.

    However, although this is written tongue in cheek it's in essence true. I've even noticed similar on this forum.

    Do answerers to IT problems always miss the obvious?

  2. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Have you ever wondered why there are so many IT specialists around?
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Luckily my mac always pops up a message to tell me when the batteries are getting low in the mouse.

    On windows (my wife's PC) the mouse pointer sometimes disappears behind a window so you cannot use the mouse in that window. Haven't a clue how to fix that. Is bloody annoying.
  4. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Mine too, same for the keyboard and trackpad.
  5. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Well, standard IT starting point is "have you tried turning it off and on again" - or "powercycling" if we're allowed to use jargon...
    RogerMac likes this.
  6. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    The Army used to have a series of "immediate actions" or IAs that one had to learn and follow, without puzzling over the cause, when a gun stops firing. With a Bren gun the first IA is put a new magazine on - and so on In other words just follow a set of rules that surprisingly quickly get you up and running. For computers my first IA is power down and up, then the second is reseat ALL the cables. The third one is check the battery (if it has one) and so on In fact I carry a battery tester in my compute bag.

    Seems to work well even for TVs and their remotes.
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  7. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Roger,

    Much like QR and AI: Queen's Regulations and Admiralty Instructions. It's amazing how often QR&AI will solve a problem, especially of you're dog tired and perhaps beginning to panic -- usually about things a lot more important (and even life threatening) than computer mice.


  8. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    I find RTFM he!ps as well....
    Roger Hicks likes this.
  9. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Reading a manual is precisely what you do NOT have time for if your mates are attacking a strong point after landing on the Normandy beaches and your job is to provide covering fire to keep the defenders heads down. Just keep the f... gun firing is the message. "Fire and movement" (in military jargon) is no use without the fire.
  10. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I get where you are coming from, but a computer mouse is hardly a life or death situation. Even so, with any battery powered equipment the first thing to check is the battery. Most professions have their standard practices (SOPs) and they are there for good reasons but before one can use them one needs to be thoroughly familiar with the equipment, something most computer users never consider and certainly never achieve. Camera users likewise, unfortunately.
  11. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    One thing wrong here I haven't got a FM and I forget it had a battery!!!

    Second thing (for the avoidance of doubt) - my post wasn't intended to be taken entirely seriously although, at the peak of my mouse problems, the issue was high on my agenda because it was stopping me doing something quite important.

  12. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    I've written quite a few manuals over the years. During my (blessedly brief) career as a computer service tech in the 1980s I produced several troubleshooting checklists for our products including a 14" disk drive well known for its range of "features". On one call to deal with a misbehaving drive I found I'd left my copy of the checklist at the office and had to phone and get one of the secretaries to read the check list to me. The good news was I found the problem about 10 steps in and cleared it in a few minutes. The bad news is that I could never again leave the office without at least one person asking "Got your checklists Andy"? :confused: :(
    RogerMac likes this.
  13. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Not exactly IT related but it was bloomin cold at work the other day and my colleague suggested we turn on the electrically powered oil heater. We did and nothing happened. A minute or two of head puzzling later I offered up the suggestion that perhaps we should check the fuse. The only other 13 amp fuse in the building was in the plug attached to the toaster. On the assumption that my need not to shiver all day was more important that students' potential need for toast, we raided the plug. Lo and behold the heater sprang back to life and the world was better for it. For want of any better ideas my colleague put the now-presumably-useless fuse back into the toaster plug with a note to buy some more. About an hour or so later, we could smell toast. So we still don't exactly know what was wrong with the heater if the fuse hadn't in fact blown unless it magically mended itself between reception and kitchen!
  14. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Just to be on the safe side - portable electrical appliances like heaters are prone to cable damage. This why their testing is mandatory. If you changed the fuse you may have "fixed" a loose connection by handling the cable. I would suggest to get it tested. It should have a label on it with the last test date.
    RogerMac likes this.
  15. velocette

    velocette Well-Known Member

    I too have been having mouse (wireless) problems today but luckily the problem was easily solved. My brand new lovely 'aluminum' USB3 card reader was when plugged into the same hub as my mouse sensor causing the mouse to have a mind, or not of its own. Move either to a PC USB slot and the problem disappeared. It never occurred with my old plastic card reader but I suppose it's an inconvenience worth suffering for style, possibly.
  16. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Four weeks ago! However, we will look at having it done again.
  17. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Pete,

    Under what law is it mandatory?

    Who is supposed/ authorized/ required to carry out these tests?

    What is the nature of the test?


  18. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Portable Appliance Testing is what Pete is talking about. This from the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) web site.
    "Portable appliance testing (PAT) is the term used to describe the examination of electrical appliances and equipment to ensure they are safe to use. Most electrical safety defects can be found by visual examination but some types of defect can only be found by testing. However, it is essential to understand that visual examination is an essential part of the process because some types of electrical safety defect can't be detected by testing alone.

    A relatively brief user check (based upon simple training and perhaps assisted by the use of a brief checklist) can be a very useful part of any electrical maintenance regime. However, more formal visual inspection and testing by a competent person may also be required at appropriate intervals, depending upon the type of equipment and the environment in which it is used"

    In answer to the question "Is Portable Appliance Testing compulsory?" the HSE posts the following
    "No. The law simply requires an employer to ensure that their electrical equipment is maintained in order to prevent danger. It does not say how this should be done or how often. Employers should take a risk-based approach, considering the type of equipment and what it is being used for. If it is used regularly and moved a lot e.g. a floor cleaner or a kettle, testing (along with visual checks) can be an important part of an effective maintenance regime giving employers confidence that they are doing what is necessary to help them meet their legal duties. HSE provides guidance on how to maintain equipment including the use of PAT."

    Where an employer decides to carry out testing the requirement is that it is done by "A competent person".
  19. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Geoff,

    Thanks very much. To summarize, then, it is neither mandatory nor clearly defined. Is there any definition of "a competent person"? I suspect not...


  20. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Judge for yourself Roger, this is what the HSE has to say:
    "The person doing testing work needs to competent to do it. In many low-risk environments, a sensible (competent) member of staff can undertake visual inspections if they have enough knowledge and training. However, when undertaking combined inspection and testing, a greater level of knowledge and experience is needed, and the person will need:
    • the right equipment to do the tests
    • the ability to use this test equipment properly
    • the ability to properly understand the test results"
    I read that as a No to your question.

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