I'm home, said he, and they all died

I get home. I shower. I rest for a while, and check my (snail) mail. I then boot my desktop x86 computer. Nothing. I try all sorts of different things, still nothing. I don't even get the BIOS to boot properly.

After two hours of fighting (and a Knoppix install later), I finally manage to get my computer to boot.

Exhausted, I return to the sofa, and decide to check the TV. The piece of turd, also known as the Nokia Mediamaster 260 C, has crashed during the weekend. This is not surprising, as it does not apparently stay up for more than four days if nobody touches it. But what came next really surprised me:

I turned the machine off and on (by disconnecting the power lead - this thing does not have a power button). It wakes up, and says "Fetching new software".

WHAT!?!

I didn't tell it to fetch new software! Well, perhaps it's some sort of a cool auto-update feature, so I let it be. Half an hour later, it's still in the same screen. Then I realize that the progress icon is not moving. I push the "Back" button - which is supposed to stop the upgrade - and nothing happens. The machine seems to have crashed. I disconnect the whole thing again, and yes! It immediately gets to the "let's pretend we're fetching new software and crash!" -mode.

So this expensive piece of crap is no longer not only annoying, but also useless.

Here's a clue: Consumer electronics are not supposed to crash. And if it is possible to crash, you should always make it sure that disconnecting the power resets the machine. But no, a stupid engineer not worth the paper he wipes his ass with decided that reboot before the upgrade is a really good idea, thus creating the possibility for a situation where the normal operation after the reboot is NOT to get a coherent, functional system. Now I have to take this clap-ridden, loud, unusable, stupid, incredibly crappy piece of shit that's not good even for target practice, to maintenance so that someone else can reset it (which probably involves pushing a button somewhere and taking whole five minutes).

Always, ALWAYS, design for failures as well.

What kind of mushrooms the designers ate, I have no idea. But apparently nobody had any brains left after eating them. What a disappointment.

Update on 09-Nov-04: There's a simple fix to this crash.




Comments

This has worked for my work PC:

Don't turn it off for holidays.

It appears that the blue smoke, which runs your machine, gets mad to you if the machine is off for too long, and then leaves your computer when you turn it on next time.

--Gol, 02-Nov-2004


A computer consumes quite a bit of power if it's on. This is a) expensive, and b) environmentally not very friendly. So I'd prefer to turn my computer off when I leave for a longer trip...

--JanneJalkanen, 03-Nov-2004


My Mediamaster seems to have done the same thing. So much for the the evening's football games...

I assume that the problem is related to the software upgrade they were offering a while back, since HTV has apparently stopped distributing it last month.

This one product has pretty much destroyed Nokia's reputation in my eyes. The combination of abysmal engineering, even worse usability and total lack of quality control is quite stunning.

--hakkis, 03-Nov-2004


Yup, you're right. Apparently there's a big problem with the 1.1.1 SW update.

It's a good thing the media boxes are engineered by different guys with different processes in different places than the phones...

I think if we all take the boxes back, they'll probably get the hint. Oh, if I could only get my hands on the QA person...

--JanneJalkanen, 04-Nov-2004


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