Problems Solving Pleasures

Technical problems annoy me, especially ones that I think I should be able to fix.

Over the last few months I’ve had a driver problem on the laptop I use for work. It wasn’t a serious problem because it didn’t stop me working, but it was highly annoying. It’s main symptom was that it stopped me using any of the power features – I couldn’t put the laptop into sleep or suspend with any reliability. Sometimes it would sleep, at other times it would just die. When it did sleep, the second time I tried it would die. What’s more it would die in dramatic fashion, no errors, nothing, just dead.

Crow Park SunsetAt the start of every work session I would have to start my laptop, and at the end of the session I would have to shut it down. Between meetings I would have to carry it with the lid open so that it wouldn’t try to go to sleep, and die.

I don’t deal with real technology much these days, I spend most of my time with the documents that talk about what the technology is going to do. But I still love the pleasure of solving a problem.

I’d tried all sorts of ways of resolving this problem, but with little information it was difficult to work out where the problem was. A colleague of mine had exactly the same device and we compared drivers – they were identical.

It happened for so long that the habit of starting up and shutting down got engrained, but it still irked me that this problem persisted.

One day last week something happened when I accidentally put the device into sleep and it died at normal, but this time it died with a crash dump. Now I had something to go on, out came all of the old crash dump analysis skills. I found the likely driver, realised that it was from some software I no longer used in my current role. The software and it associated driver was duly deleted and the problem was fixed.

Every time I close the lid on my laptop now I give a little smile at the pleasure of a problem solved. There’s something very satisfying about solving a problem.

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