Troll computer

First of all, just ignore the date, it’s a meaningless coincidence.

My computer has been pretty annoying today. Rather than type out what happened again, here’s what I posted in my project blog post (part of the project involves adding to a blog on Blackboard, using CampusPack):

I’ve spent most of the day that wasn’t in lectures just trying to get the software. Paul ran me through the programmes I’ll be using to create the exposure maps: gtselect, gtmktime and then gtbin in that order. gtselect chooses the data, which he recommended to be the full three-year data (Pass 7 on the Fermi site) to keep the signal-to-noise ratio as high as possible; gtmktime adds a correction for the South Atlantic Anomaly, which according to Wikipedia is where the Earth’s inner Van Allen radiation belt comes closest to the Earth’s surface, causing some interference. And then I use gtbin to generate the raw counts maps. He gave me the software and a PDF file with a tutorial on how to use it.

The problem was getting it installed. Using the command line on my Ubuntu partition, I ran the configure script, but I had to install the X Window system on my computer after it told me it wasn’t installed. Well, I did that, and it worked – up until the computer told me that “Configure failed for tcltk component tcl!” I checked, and the version I have is up to date. Strange…I might just need to update Linux, I haven’t done that in a while.

Mike came in with a copy of ds9, the programme I’ll use to examine the maps (the web address is, and tried to help get it installed. Once again, my computer decided to just troll its user: the workstation froze up, so we tried using one of the command line terminals, but then I couldn’t shut it down. When in doubt…just unplug and remove the battery! However, once it restarted, we got it running – despite one of my mouse buttons not working and the keyboard being Italian.

I’ve been doing this since around half 10 to 11, then from about half 1 onwards. On the plus side, I’ve got the source codes for both programmes and one installed; but on the downside, it’s been a bit frustrating and I have no idea if fixing that damn tlc problem is going to fix the whole thing.

I think I need to stop and do something else. It’s Friday afternoon and I think I need a drink.

During one Optoelectronics class last semester, the computer and projector that the lecturer was using started acting up and took about twenty minutes to fix. While that was going on, I sketched out a rough sketch of a trolling computer. I can’t be bothered to upload it, so here’s just what I jotted down to go with it.

1 byte of RAM
1 Hz processor
CD drive won’t close
Speakers stuck to play 10 hours of trololo on a loop
Mouse changes direction every 30 seconds
Crashes every 5000 bytes of unsaved data or every ten minutes, whichever is sooner.
Worse than Vista for constantly asking if you have admin privileges, even to click on the menu
Background permanently stuck to multiple troll faces


About Philip

I'm a physics graduate, sci-fi writer, budding game designer, and amateur human.

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