December 27th, 2017

The healing power of time

Last night I was doing some YouTube surfing (oh, just the usual: makeovers and renovations and twins separated at birth and dancers and anything that isn’t even remotely political) and discovered that I suddenly and inexplicably had audio but no video.

Not a good thing.

I quickly exhausted whatever personal resources I might have for solving the problem unaided, and turned to Google. There was no dearth of suggestions, because it turns out I’m not the only person who’s ever had this problem.

But none of the suggestions I could comprehend worked, and the rest of them I couldn’t even try because I couldn’t comprehend them. They seemed to be written in computereze, or else they referred to something that couldn’t be found on my computer (which, to be fair, has a rather elderly operating system—but then again quite a few of these discussions of the problem were pretty old themselves).

So I activated one of my tried and true options: forget about it till tomorrow, and you may find that the computer or the YouTube program or Flash or whatever it was had healed itself.

And lo and behold, it did! Today everything worked just fine.

That doesn’t mean it will continue to do so, of course. Everything’s temporary in computerland. But I first noticed this phenomenon of the healing of inanimate objects, even machines, many a long year ago. Have you ever experienced it? It’s handy to know about.

17 Responses to “The healing power of time”

  1. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Not just computers, cars too. My Dad’s car stalled out on him a few weeks ago. The next day, we called a tow truck and when the guy showed up, it started right up and he drove it on to the ramp. The repair shop kept it for a few days and couldn’t find anything wrong with it.

    Just now, it stalled out again in exactly the same way…

  2. steve walsh Says:

    Shut it down, let it sit for awhile, turn it back on. That works for most computer malfunctions not caused by a component failure. Works for cars nowadays too seeing as they are highly computerized.

  3. TommyJay Says:

    “Doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result, is the definition of insanity.” Unless you are dealing with a modern computer(ized) system.

    I had an incident a while ago with my computer (don’t recall what) and I was sure I was doing it correctly and the computer wouldn’t perform the task. I tried it 3 times without luck and stopped, thinking “Well this isn’t ever going to work.” Then I thought “Dammit, this is exactly correct” and I tried it two more times. The fifth time worked! Good Lord!

    In a more constructive vein, the obvious thing to do in Neo’s case is a full re-boot of the system. She may have done that. Another possibility is that the system really did heal itself, something older PC systems were not capable of.

    There are probably dozens of possibilities, but it could be a hardware issue. If it happens again, I’d try removing and re-inserting cable connectors at both ends of the monitor cable, and do it a few times for each connector. Sometime connectors can get a bit of corrosion on the contacts, and the metal-to-metal scraping that occurs on removal or insertion tends to produce fresh metal contact.

  4. Griffin Says:

    Off topic but you mentioned searching YouTube for dance videos. Ever seen this with the ballet dancer Emma Rubinowitz?

  5. Stu Says:

    When in doubt, reboot.

  6. steve walsh Says:

    Memory leaks, either as the actual cause or an appropriate metaphor.

  7. Gringo Says:

    Most likely a software problem with a buggy “update.” My take is that “updates” are not necessarily improvements. Some “updates” mess things up. One hopes that a subsequent “update” will solve the matter. It usually does.

    Earlier this year my e-mail messed up. My first log-in didn’t work. It took two log-ins to work. That lasted several weeks. A subsequent “update” solved it.

    Earlier this year I noticed that I wasn’t getting video. I investigated on search engines. Not all that helpful. Firefox is my browser. I noticed that Brave and MS Edge didn’t have the lack of video problem. It was a Firefox issue. Several weeks later, Firefox solved it.

    This isn’t the first time there was an issue with Firefox “updates.” About 7-9 years ago every “update” had a problem. Don’t recall the details.

    Every 2-3 days, Internet connection is buggy. The old solution works: disconnect/reconnect wires and reboot.

    When there is the occasional hardware problem, e.g., a failed power supply unit, I have found Dell Forums to be quite helpful.

  8. Gringo Says:

    Geoffrey Britain, I had a long-time problem with battery drain. The battery finally failed after numerous charges. With a new battery, I finally stopped procrastinating and went to the net to look for solutions. Per previous net searches, I used 3 cheap tools to assist in diagnosing drain. The 3 tools gave similar answers to the drain- which made me feel justified in using all 3.

    One problem: a fuse for the passenger compartment had failed. I replaced the fuse, but still got a drain. Ceiling light on. I took it to a shop to get it fixed. They said they would charge $100 just to look at it. I replied that as I had informed them where the problem was, I had done a lot of their work.

    They called me within the hour. I think they said $60 over the phone.When I got to the shop, I found out there was no charge. They told me as there weren’t any wiring diagrams in the shop for my 20 year old car, they just disconnected the light.

    When I went home, I found out that their disconnecting consisted of taking out the fuse. I reinstalled the fuse, and looked again at the ceiling light. Simple solution for the battery drain: turn off the light!

  9. AesopFan Says:

    It’s Gremlins, all the way down.

  10. groundhog Says:

    I used to follow computer tech back in the earlier days when you always had slow connections and always had to worry about speed and memory issues.

    But I didn’t keep up. So, now I’m just usually lost if reboot doesn’t fix it.

  11. Surellin Says:

    Had the same problem at work – no video. After minutes of fretting and asking co-workers, it turned out that I had accidentally touched the on/off button on the screen. To be honest, I was unaware that the screen HAD and on/off switch.

  12. Roy Says:

    I have been a service tech for almost 40 years.

    I tell all of my customers to not even bother with a reboot, power down, wait about 5 minutes to allow everything to settle and then power back up.

    If it comes back up without a problem, great. If not, look for error messages on startup and we will go from there.

    Also, on a PC, if you leave it on 24/7, you need to cycle power every week or so to allow the operating system to perform certain “housekeeping” chores.

  13. Frederick Says:

    What OS is it? I’m using Slackware 14.2 and my computer runs continuously for months at a time…

    if it’s Windows I might not have many suggestions but “power down and back up and see if it comes back”.

  14. brdavis9 Says:

    Geoffrey Britain Dec 27th, 2017, 3:52P Not just computers, cars too. My Dad’s car stalled out on him a few weeks ago. The next day, we called a tow truck and when the guy showed up, it started right up and he drove it on to the ramp. The repair shop kept it for a few days and couldn’t find anything wrong with it.
    Just now, it stalled out again in exactly the same way…

    LOL. I know this one. It used to happen to me in my old MGA 1600.

    The fuel pump is failing.

    It stalls because of a lack of fuel at the carbs/injectors (the old MGA had SU carbs). It runs again because fuel – miraculously – returns to its normal ebb-and-flow.

    After the car sits a while (possibly due to a thermal issue, or a bad seal, vacuum issue whatever: it’s an intermittent failure to deliver fuel centered on the fuel pump), and you try to restart, the fuel pump will start clicking happily away again (you don’t notice the “again” part at first lol) …for a while.

    It can be days, weeks, or hours between failures.

    It can happen even when as a teenager you’re on a post-midnight ramble through the middle of nowhere far out on a moonlit country road, and you might say “F it” and push it to the side of the road and go to sleep in the open cockpit for the rest of the night, and awaken with the early morning light to find the damn thing works just fine. And you might be all cranky and really need a cuppa Joe.

    Ohh yeah.

    …it took me a few tries to pin it down.

    Replace the fuel pump.

  15. Liz Says:

    If you ever check out the task manager, there are so many programs that just automatically load. And, like someone suggested, there are processes that need to be shut down periodically to tidy things up.

    I discovered that I have to reboot my internet router and all of the cable dvr sets periodically, usually after a power fluctuation.

    I also run the various tasks like file deletions and disk optimization as well as the long system virus check. It seems to keep things running quicker.

  16. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Whoever recommended Brave to me, I’ve been using it and the script block and ad block is pretty good on a chromiumish engine, from Brendan Eich, the former CEO.

    It blocks some of the Youtube ads too. And prevents data bandwidth capping on android phones, since no ads no extra data usage. Usable on most websites even with 3G or 5 kb/s download.

    Youtube won’t run if Brave blocks all the scripts. Not even embeds, which can be useful for those people who want to stop “Autoplay” videos on FB.

    A minor secret people like me use is manual windows updates. This prevents the OS from being screwed with blue screens and instabilities, after a stable build, when it installs unnecessary updates. Used to be a big issue with 98/95. Win 2000k, because it was server version, was very stable in comparison. Installing other programs only have minor effect on OS stability.

    By OS stability, I mean running it up without restart for 3-7 days at a time. Instability causes blue screens and other problems.

    More fundamental problems like virus destroying windows files, requires a startup diagnosis usb, which can be program downloaded offline on a phone and transfered to a usb, making it bootable. Before bootable USb stuff came out, I still had to use floppies or CDs to boot it into a secondary. Once Floppies went out of style, burning a CD without the computer wasn’t really feasible.

  17. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Microsoft used the Windows “security update” to force install/update Windows to 10, on laptops and other things.

    This took quite some time, and it happened the next time you booted with no option to opt out. That way, Microsoft makes you use up bandwidth installing and time (2-3 hours). It was because there was some kind of app pay to install feature on Win10, that the marketing boys thought needed extra influx of money and liquid assets.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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