Disclaimer: I have never been, nor do I claim to be, a computer expert of any kind. The following story is based on true events that happened to me yesterday. All information regarding the incident was found off of google, my friend Kauf (a programmer), my friend Luuk (a person who knows what memory sticks are) and my own brain. If this isn’t how these things work, I am not the least bit surprised. At some point I will claim to be a computer wizard, I’d like to mention now that I do not and have never practiced magic. I was, however, my own tech support. Let me bask in this moment, okay? I did something without others present. THIS IS LIKE A HUGE LIFE ACCOMPLISHMENT. (Also, kind of magical)
Friends, I wish to tell you a little story.
It all started when I was typing up some essays yesterday, you know, normal nursing school stuff…when something happened to me. My computer screen suddenly went blank.
Naturally I immediately assumed it had something to do with the cable that runs from my magical computer box (tower) to my monitor. But I was interrupted mid-thought by a high pitched, upset, demonic noise suddenly erupting from my desktop tower.
My response, as it is when anything goes wrong with digital devices, was to turn off the computer. So I did. I waited a few seconds…and a few more, then I turned it back on. To my dismay, my tower was still singing its raging digital acapella. WTF IS HAPPENING??? OGOD.
Initially I of course, because I am a catastrophic thinker, went to the worst possible scenario; I killed it. I must have somehow offended my tower to the point of hardware suicide. It was failing to thrive. My computer was dying and this was its final Cheyne-Stokes breathes. I turned it off and went into full TECH PANIC MODE.
I texted a few people, but when no one responded, I called my friend Kauf. I don’t recall most of the phone call in much detail, it was a blur of anxiety, but I do remember Kauf telling me that my computer’s beeps were a code. A code? Well, shit. What kind of code are we talking here? It wants to communicate with me, I’m okay with that, I’ll go into the grid! WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO TALK WITH IT???
Unfortunately, my call was badly timed, as Kauf was in the middle of a Final Fantasy XIV Online raid. I apologized for the frantic phone call, said goodbye, and just sat on the floor staring at my computer tower.
A code? My sweet, innocent tower, what is it that you want to tell me? Is this in binary? Is binary even a language? Are there other languages? Oh sweet Jesus, I hope this isn’t the audio version of C++…for a moment the scene from Zoolander came to mind… I don’t understand. LET ME HELP YOU.
With no options left, and millions of unanswered questions, I knew there was only one thing left to try. Google it.
I ran for my laptop and ferociously finger stabbed my keyboard until the google screen appeared. When you type into google “dying computer noises” you actually get free sound clips of what, I presume, a computer sounds like when its dying. Which is random and cool at the same time, but of no use to me. So I tried “computer noises + code” (Kauf mentioned it, so I should have probably used that in the search…) and BAM, answers!
The beepies are “beep codes” that are used by something called BIOS (basic input output system). The BIOS is the lord of the boots! Boots being the booting up process of a computer. BIOS is the tower guardian.
Mr. BIOS was letting me know that shit was going down in my tower. OH GOD HOW DO I COMMUNICATE WITH YOU MR. BIOS??? Easy, back to google. I searched “HP BIOS codes” – and lo and behold, I had found it. THE ROSETTA STONE FOR HP DESKTOP TOWER BIOS BEEPS. OH WHAT A GLOOOOOORIOUS DAY!
I listened again to my tower’s beep message, it wasn’t random complaints, oh no, no sir. My computer was speaking to me. He was saying “ONE SHORT BEEP AND A LONG BEEP. ONE SHORT BEEP AND A LONG BEEP. HEY, ARE YOU GETTING THIS? I MEAN I CAN KEEP GOING, BUT I FEEL LIKE I’M JUST REPEATING MYSELF AT THIS POINT. ONE SHORT BEEP AND A LONG BEEP.”
I’ll spare you the suspense, it was a memory problem. I tore open my tower and searched for the culprits. Two, very suspicious, RAM sticks were just sitting there…acting like nothing had fucking happened. YOU DON’T FOOL ME, DEVIANTS!
I took one of the sticks of RAM out, tried to turn my computer on again, but he was still cranky and repeating the memory BIOS code. So I put that one back and took out the other one. The most magical thing happened when I pressed the power…MY COMPUTER BOOTED. It brought a tear to my eye. But I couldn’t celebrate just yet…my computer is hella old, I can’t just survive off of one memory stick for long. Looking at the motherboard, where the stick holders (not the technical term) were located I took note that two of them were black and two of them were blue. The memory sticks had been in the blue slots, so, I moved both sticks into the black slots and tried turning on the computer.
SUCCESS. I had never been so happy to see my monitor screen’s ten minute long Windows Starting logo.
Then it dawned on me. This is the first time, ever, in the history of my life, that I fixed a hardware computer problem BY MYSELF. AND IT FELT GLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORIOUS!
To reward myself, I went on a magical internet browsing journey where I accomplished nothing, and it felt great. The moral of this story is, wait no, there’s no moral to this story. This is just what happened to me yesterday.
But, there was a take away message from all this, and that is – I AM A COMPUTER WIZARD, I DON’T NEED TECH SUPPORT, I AM TECH SUPPORT *drops a mic* DEUCES.