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Technical Inadvisory: Enter Trek support

Whats up and welcome to Technical Inadvisory, the place an online developer with far an excessive amount of free time discusses expertise, programming, and videogames.

Any information you glean from these articles could technically be usable, however shouldn’t be construed as precise recommendation.

Let’s begin this off with a haunting, horrible query that I’ve been asking my associates for the previous month: Would you be prepared to work as tech help within the Star Trek universe?

I imply, give it some thought: tech help is usually a extremely aggravating job the place you need to take care of irate customers, sudden glitches, and malfunctioning expertise.

The Star Trek universe is usually a extremely aggravating place the place you need to take care of irate aliens, sudden anomalies, and malfunctioning expertise that can acquire sentience and attempt to kill you.

Combining these two issues might result in a hypothetical nightmare state of affairs.

I understand how troublesome issues can get, as a result of I spend half my working day fixing technical points (and the opposite half listening to Star Trek podcasts complaining about mushroom-powered spaceships) so I usually get emails that start and finish with: “your webpage stopped working, assist pls.”

O… okay? Which web page? Which web site? Which characteristic stopped working? What actions did you carry out main as much as the error? What’s the error message, if any? Which net browser are you utilizing? Are you viewing the web page on a cell, pill, or pc? Are you logged in to the proper account?

I actually need to assist, however numerous downside fixing requires realizing as many particulars of the issue as doable.

There are such a lot of methods for software program and {hardware} to malfunction that an engineer has to ask numerous rudimentary but essential inquiries to rule out numerous prospects and shut in on the basis trigger.

Now think about the variety of variables a troubleshooter wants to think about when the issue happens on a Federation starship. “The chronometric sensors insist we’re caught in a time loop and my android co- employee is appearing bizarre, assist pls.”

Okay… Did your subspace sensors decide up any space-time anomalies lately? Did you test that you simply’re not on a malfunctioning holodeck? Had been you or your crewmates lately possessed by aliens with the facility to change your recollections? Did your captain anger and/or canoodle some area entities? On which class of starship did you try to interrupt the legal guidelines of physics? Are you positive you’re not within the mirror universe?

You would possibly suppose I’m stretching the comparability right here, and that “actual world” downside fixing is nothing just like the nonsensical mumbo- jumbo technobabble of a sci-fi TV present. However final week certainly one of my web site’s customers informed me that they couldn’t replace the content material of a selected webpage, and this occurred:

I checked the web site’s web page editor to ensure it’s working. I requested the person to attempt totally different net browsers to rule out browser incompatibility. I even requested them to attempt a special pc in a special constructing to rule out {hardware} and community points.

Seems the glitch solely happens in a really, very ridiculously particular state of affairs: the web page editor crashes if, and provided that, the person makes an attempt to embed a YouTube video on one particular web page, and that video URL has an underscore (_) character, and the video tag is instantly adjoining to certainly one of their present picture tags, and that picture tag doesn’t have a caption.

Truthfully, at this level, what’s the distinction between me saying “the Markdown parser of the web page editor is coming into an infinite loop when it encounters a picture tag adopted instantly with a video tag with a selected configuration of characters within the URL, as a result of an uncaught permutation within the Regex expression, so add an area between the tags and it’ll magically work”, and Geordi La Forge saying “the warp discipline is collapsing as a result of tachyon radiation emitted from a darkish matter nebula, so we have to cost our deflectors with antiprotons to reverse the ionic decay”?

As expertise will get extra advanced, the issues get extra difficult and complicated, so the train of troubleshooting will get tougher for each the individuals experiencing the problem and the help crew attempting to assist.

Readability completely issues once we’re attempting to resolve issues, and it’s usually taken without any consideration. So, I’ve developed a rule for myself: once I ask for assist, I at all times attempt to be as completely descriptive (and well mannered!) as doable to the individual on the opposite finish of the road.

“I tried to take heed to the most recent Star Trek podcast from the URL at 2pm Tuesday, however had issues. After I click on the hyperlink titled ‘VOY2x15’, the entire web page goes clean and white, as an alternative of the anticipated results of the audio participant loading as standard. I’m utilizing Home windows 10 + Chrome model 79, and if I open the superior dev console, I feel I see the message ‘Error 503’ seem as quickly as I click on the hyperlink.”

Or in area: “I tried to interrupt the transwarp barrier, however encountered anomalies. After I tried to succeed in the theoretically infinite pace of Warp 10, I vanished and teleported to all over the place within the universe directly earlier than reappearing, defying each legislation of physics, as an alternative of the anticipated results of reaching my vacation spot. I’m piloting a modified Class-2 shuttle from an Intrepid-class starship, and likewise I feel I could also be reworking right into a salamander.”

I nonetheless can’t say whether or not I’d need to work within the Star Trek universe, however hopefully you now know how one can get higher high quality assist from tech help the subsequent time you’ve gotten an issue – whether or not it’s your browser crashing each time you open an internet site or your antimatter reactor inexplicably reversing its polarity.

After all, you may at all times attempt switching it on and off.

(Raised by wild Nintendo consoles and educated within the methods of the pc scientist, Shaun A. Noordin tries to make use of his information of net improvement, expertise, and video video games for the larger good. Or for leisure and amusement, whichever’s simpler. He has numerous recommendation to share, however they’re all inadvisable to comply with.)

Article sort: free

Consumer entry standing: 3

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