[olug] hardware diagnostics with Linux

Daniel Linder dan at linder.org
Mon Jun 28 14:12:35 UTC 2004

Tim & Alethea Larson said:
>>>The video intermittently blanks out for a time, seconds up to a minute,
>>>and then it will be fine again for several minutes.  The video is
>>>integrated into the motherboard on their Compaq.  They've had the
>>>motherboard replaced once already for this problem.  I don't think the
>>>problem is Windows because I see the same thing when booting from
>>>Knoppix CD.

In general "Troubleshooting 101", if the same problem is exhibited in two
totally different software installs (i.e. a re-install of Windows, or in
both Windows and Linux), then I really start to suspect hardware.

Also, check to see if the various fans in the system are all still
spinning and the heat sinks are not clogged with dust.  Some video
chipsets need more cooling than others so a flaky fan or a thick layer of
caked on dust could give that chip a bad warm, fuzzy feeling. :)


Off Topic: If your friend is a smoker and wants a good example of "second
hand smoke", just take the cover off of his computer after he has smoked
in the same office for a few years.  At a summer job in college, I was
assigned the task to clean out all the old computers as a precautionary
measure.  One lady had been with the University for years and was
grandfathered in and allowed to smoke in her office.  She was a pack-a-day
smoker and she did 90% of it in her office.  I opened the case up to blow
out the dust and found that the dust was all a sickly brown/yellow color
and wouldn't blow with the compressed air at all.  That was the grossest
thing I ever had to clean out of a computer. :(

"Computer literacy is a contact with the activity
of computing deep enough to make the computational
equivalent of reading and writing fluent and
enjoyable.  As in all the arts, a romance with
the material must be well under way.  If we value
the lifelong learning of arts and letters as a
springboard for personal and societal growth,
should any less effort be spent to make
computing a part of our lives?"
Alan Kay, "Computer Software"
Scientific American, September 1984

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