Thursday, 28 November 2013

and now I'm hearing voices...

imageThere's an interesting old book about building a computer operating system called 'The Soul of a New Machine', by Tracy Kidder. It's about how a bunch of people developed a new computer back in the days when computers had their own offices.

I was reminded of it today when I finally caught my own computer talking to itself.

I've suspected it for some time, but there's usually too much other ambient noise for me to be sure.

But today, when I thought I heard it, I silenced other nearby sound sources, and sure enough, I could hear a little voice coming from somewhere around the machine. It was one of those moments when I actually crawled around under a desk to be sure of the source.

A little voice was coming from one of the flashing light boxes. Of course, it was really some form of Radio Frequency Interference, like you sometimes hear on public address systems, or that sound that clucking sound that old cellphones generated on most office conference phones. Now I know why they put those magnetic rings around wires on certain types of connections.

What also amused me whilst I was tracking down the source, was that the backup disk box nearby was looking suspiciously like another almost sentient computer. A blue-eyed version of HAL, maybe?

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