Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4

Unexplained Computer Behavior

Showers are particularly problematic for me because sometimes I will get lost in thinking something through. It will haunt me for days. Saturday morning I started thinking on why computers are so difficult for people to learn.

It hit me that just enough unexplained behaviors occur. Once one considers all of the factors that go into the operation of a computer unexplained behaviors should occur. I started a list.

These are hardware components which have programmed instructions.

  1. BIOS
  2. CPU
  3. GPU

These become so numerous that I just lumped them into categories.

  1. Application in use
  2. Third-party software
  3. Operating system
  4. Operating system modifications


  1. Keyboard skills
  2. Mouse skills
  3. GUI skills
  4. Troubleshooting/problem-solving skills

Normally the hardware factors do not present much of a problem. Unless one is trying to get as many frames per second from a game, I don’t see much of a potential conflict between pre-programmed instructions on the CPU and GPU on applications.

Software design and user skills are problems. Any piece of software running on an operating system is attempting to work with the OS through means known to it. Should a new version of the operating system appear the programmers of the software may have to anticipate new methods of working with the operating system. Even so small a thing as a “patch” to correct a problem with the OS may close a method of talking to the OS an application was using.

Unfortunately, programs do not work on a computer in total isolation. A component could be added which interferes with a component for another program. The more software you install, the more like you are to encounter programs stepping on each other. Several freeware vendors support their operations by installing programs that run out of sight.

Then of course people do not take the time to figure out why exactly the problem occured. They also fail look for under which specific conditions the problems surface by trying alternate methods. That is for the professional to figure out.



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