Radiogurl a la Carte

Monday, Feb. 06, 2006
Kidnapping Part 1

Did you ever get the idea that technology was out to get you?

A quick aside to Dangerspouse: no the computer problems that plagued me at the old radio station didn't follow me here. The majority of the problems there were directly traceable to my then-boss's ineptitude and an early propensity for porn-surfing without the protection of a PC prophylactic mix of antivirus and anti-spamware programs. And while the prophylactic helped with the junkware, it couldn't fix the ongoing ineptitude.

The problems here are actually rarely the computers. There's a glitch now and then, but more are associated with our other equipment.

The crash Friday was a pretty basic thing. As with most automation programs out there, ours has an indigenous memory leak. That's normally pretty simple to manage: you just do your regular maintenance and reboot at least once a week. Voilá! Problem sidestepped by simple prevention.

Of course that's not 100 percent, and this past Friday was just one of those rare instance where the memory leak won and created a crash. Rebooting was all it took to fix that particular glitch.

Unfortunately that wasn't the only problem Friday. While I was sitting at the computer and monitoring our system over the speakers, the signal just faded out - completely disappeared, POOF! I was stumped because one of our headsets was connected directly to the computer and I could hear the music through them. Which meant that the problem was 1) in the board, 2) in the transmitter, 3) in the tower, 4) in one of the lines connecting all of the above or 5) some combination thereof.

None of which I was prepared to fix.

Our board is nearly new, having been replaced following the lightning strike last summer. The transmitter is nearly new, too; we got FCC approval to up our power slightly. Unfortunately knowing all of that did absolutely diddly-squat toward telling me where the problem was.

I fiddled with connections and kept futzing with things and ultimately got us up and running and on the air again, even changing out one connector that was bad. I'd blame that connector but it was not, as it worked out, running to anything that was on the air at the time everything went ka-plooey.

After such an inauspicious start to the weekend, I was most assuredly not in the mood to deal with a home PC that's hobbling along on a single stick of 256MB RAM. Now that's adequate for running WinXP and your browser - but if you open more than a couple of windows, or (God forbid) a word processing document or (heaven help you) a graphics program, and you're a good stiff breeze away from a crash. Add to that the netserver that MC uses in his web-building projects and frequent crashes and freezes are virtually guaranteed.

Not wanting to even think about such things, first thing Saturday morning, I kidnapped MC.

Whoops - time to get out of here for the moment. I'll tell you what nefarious plans I carried out, involving MC - tune in tomorrow, same bat-time, same bat-station!

Before - After

In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )