Monday, September 26, 2005

Daughter #1

My nine year old daughter can crash any OS, sometimes in strange and innovative ways. I used to think it was just normal Windows instability/insecurity (At the age of four she managed to uninstall her 3dfx drivers. What kind of operating system gives ordinarly users permission to do that anyway - yeah rhetorical question)

Recently I configured her system to dual-boot win98se and Debian GNU/Linux, and discovered some very intersting things:
  1. Daughter #1 enjoys the free games in Linux at least as much as the expensive commercial games I buy her for Windows and Game Cube.
  2. Daughter #1 could probably bring a DEC Alpha to its knees with a couple of keystrokes.
  3. and therefore there is no such thing as a stable operating system.
An example:
#1 is listening to some MP3s. She has Nautilus open, clicks on file, listens to it in Totem, closes Totem, clicks on another file, etc. (BTW why is it Totem can remember where it was on the screen, its window size and volume setting, but can't remember that I had the Playlist open last time I used it?).

Anyway, after a few minutes she's calling out to me in her "I hate computers" voice, so I take a look and it seems ok. "So what's up?"

She closes Totem, and three more Totem windows pop up. Closes Totem. Five more windows. Close one. Three more. I got to the console and killall totem . Lots more windows. It doesn't matter how many times I do this, Totem insists on respawning. Eventually I "/etc/init.d/gdm restart" and all is well.

No doubt this is a Totem bug, and the point is not that this is #1's fault or anything. It's just that if there is a way for an appliction to fall over she will find it. If there is a game that locks X so bad that the only way to access her machine is via SSH from another box, she will decide that this is her favourite game of the moment, and insist on playing it constantly. I swear, if I have to restart her X server again today I will "apt-get remove blobwars" and tell her to find something else to play.

I have found her vocation in life, and it is QA tester.

1 comment:

Lorraine said...
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