Some Tech-Related Headaches
Last Friday, while I was checking my external hard drives, I noticed one of them was acting strangely. I figured out that it’s on the brink of failing. This isn’t surprising as hard drives fail more times than we like to think. So, it’s not that big of a deal. However, I wasn’t aware that this is just the beginning of a series of bad luck that would happen to me that day.
I then proceeded to check all my other drives as planned and I found that three of my other hard drives had kicked the bucket as well. This was a mini-disaster since those four hard drives contain 14 TB of data. The only consolations are not one of them contains the same data so all my files are safe and that two of them still have warranties.
I quickly went to a computer store in my area to buy replacement external hard drives (because I can’t afford to wait for the RMA replacements) to start the long backup process as soon as possible. When I went home, I turned on my computers to begin the work but one of my computers conveniently chose that moment to break down. After pressing the power button, it would start but after a few seconds, it would turn off.
I’m not that good at dealing with computer hardware but I know enough to troubleshoot this kind of stuff. It took me almost an hour to pinpoint the problem. The PSU (power supply unit) happened to be faulty, hence, I had to go to the computer store once more to get a PSU. After replacing the PSU, the computer was now as good as new.
Due to the huge amount of data needed to be backed up, I decided to use my laptop as well. And guess what, the laptop also wouldn’t turn on. Fortunately, this was an easy one to troubleshoot. I just had to replace the RAM so I went to the computer store again.
In the midst of the hurly-burly, the electric fan in my room decided to go kaput. Well, I just had to turn on the air conditioner and fortunately, it’s working properly!
This is why I was not able to post anything last Friday and Saturday.
Worst and Best Tippers
I read somewhere before that the worst tippers are doctors and lawyers. While I’m not sure how scientific the claim was, I find this is relatively accurate, at least here in Hong Kong. I personally know several lawyers and doctors who earn tens of millions of dollars a year but are absolute tightwads. It’s almost impossible for them to give even small tips.
According to the study I read, other cheap tippers include executives, artists, businessmen, and teachers.
So who are the best tippers? Not surprisingly, most of the people who directly work in the service industry like bartenders, barbers, housekeepers, and waiters. These are the people who understand the importance of tips. Thus, if they experience excellent service, they will gladly give good tips.
One other good tipper listed was mobsters. Now, this is an interesting one. In Hong Kong, Triads are well-known for extorting money from business establishments. This is for the so-called “protection fee”. Those who do not pay will find their businesses get “disrupted”. So, the question is, does this apply in Hong Kong too. It turned out that it’s also true here. In bars and restaurants where the mobs usually go, they’d give large tips to show off how wealthy and generous they are. The waiters and cooks should exercise caution when dealing with them though.
Mathematician John von Neumann had a dog named Inverse. Why? Because when it was told to sit, it would stand and when it was told to go, it would come.
Between ONE and ONE MILLION, there are only six integers whose English names consist of six letters: ELEVEN, TWELVE, TWENTY, THIRTY, EIGHTY, and NINETY.
Curiously, this is also the case in Spanish: CUATRO (4), QUINCE (15), VEINTE (20), MIL UNO (1,001), MIL DOS (1,002), and DOS MIL (2,000).
Again, speaking of probability, there is the story of the statistician who told a friend that he never takes airplanes. When asked why, he replied that he computed the probability that there be a bomb on the plane, and that although the probability was low, it was too high for his comfort.
A week later, the friend met him on a plane and asked him why he changed his theory. He replied: ‘I didn’t change my theory. It’s just that I subsequently computed the probability that there simultaneously be two bombs on the plane. This is low enough for my comfort, and so I now carry my own bomb.’
— Raymond Smullyan
Peter, Paul & Mary’s live performance of Puff the Magic Dragon.
Image: My Sweet Cottage
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
— William Wordsworth, 1815
Before my birth I had a name,
But soon as born I chang’d the same;
And when I’m laid within the tomb,
I shall my father’s name assume.
I change my name three days together
Yet live but one in any weather.
“Everything comes to him who waits, except a loaned book.” — McKinney Hubbard
This is an interesting video that explains how wireless communication works.