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Category » Hardware « @ Henry the Adequate
My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero
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  • Henry’s Computer Buying Guide

    Posted on December 23rd, 2005 ben 12 comments

    My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

    This is the second in my series of articles aimed at those who wish to become a computer guru like me. Today I will guide you step by step through the process of purchasing a computer.

    First, some ground rules, which I will be calling “The Three Laws of Henry” until I think of a better name.

    1. Henry is always right.
    2. The customer is always right, except where it conflicts with rule one.
    3. A robot must protect itself except where doing so conflicts with rules one or two.

    Ok, so the third rule I stole from some writer guy, but at least I changed the wording a bit.

    Step One - Going to the shop
    I recommend some form of transportation device, unless you live right next door to the shop. Even then it might be a good idea to take the car in case you don’t have enough cash (more on that later).

    Steer clear of those nasty online stores, because the web is a dangerous place full of giant spiders and lunatic crackers who will steal your credit card number and your favourite teddy. I miss my teddy.

    Step Two - Choosing a Computer
    The best way to choose a computer is some form of random selection process. This is because of the following rules which I have cleverly named “Some More Laws of Henry”.

    1. All computers are crap.
    2. All salespersons lie.
    3. All cats are grey after midnight.

    However, and this is the tricky bit, most of the time the salesdroid will try to sell you a computer with Microsoft Windows on it. This is because of rule two above, and also because they are grovelling minions of the evil empire, hell bent on enslaving the population via their nefarious schemes and plottings and viruses and worms and spyware and region coding.

    many people think that region coding is just a way of restricting where DVDs can be played. But the truth is much more sinister and bizarre, and will be discussed in my upcoming article “The Evils of Region Coding”.

    But, anyway, the important thing is that you must not give in to the criminally insane salesdude. Those Windows computers may be all shiny and enticing, but they will suck the soul from your brain, or kidney, or whever it usually lives, and send it screaming to the deepest of hells. Instead you must beat the salesperson about the head a few times with whichever laptop is closest while at the same time chanting “Linux, Linux, Linux, Linux”.

    After you have done this for about ten minutes [s]he will get the message and bring forth the only linux computer in the place. You should randomly select that one.

    Step Three - Buying the Computer
    Point at the computer you have selected, then announce loudly and proudly, “I will buy that computer, and I will pay whatever you want for it.”

    Step Four - Paying for the Computer
    This is the easy part. Reach for wallet/purse, extract cash/credit card/cheque book, pay the evil salesdroid.

    Now don’t get me wrong, it can get a little complicated. Perhaps you have no money, or would very much like to keep the money you do have. Perhaps you are a mindless imbercile who is incapable of operating a wallet. I don’t know. Whatever. The point is that there may be some reason you are unable or unwilling to pay actual money for your new computer. The temptation may be great, but under no circumstances offer sexual favours in return for the computer - not even if you really want to. Instead follow these steps precisely.

    1. Explain that you will return soon with cash.
    2. Wait in car until the store has closed for the night, or possibly until the lights change, depending on your attention span.
    3. Reverse car at extreme acceleration into the store front.
    4. Collect your new computer.
    5. Remove car from store.
    6. Using your embedded flamethrower burn the store to the ground, because that is fun.

    Step Five - The End
    So, there you have it - your very own brand new personal computer.

  • Henry’s Computer Toolkit

    Posted on December 22nd, 2005 ben 8 comments

    My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

    Since becoming a computer guru I have been receiving quite a lot of requests for advice, mostly from those who aspire to one day become as I. Therefore, in the interest of the whole community I present the first in a series of articles offering solid and practical computer advice.

    “Henry,” people ask, “Please tell me which tools I should take on a job.” People are always very polite with me, possibly because of the flamethrower. So, without further beating around the bushedness, here is the contents of my toolkit:

    Essential Tools.

    1. Screwdriver - A phillips head, or “star”, screwdrive is most useful. For other types of screws see (2) below.
    2. Angle Grinder - for those hard to open cases. Explosives work almost as well, but are more likely to destroy the entire system, so I guess this one comes down to personal preference.
    3. Torch - for setting things on fire.
    4. Computer screws - Some lusers will remove their shoes in an attempt to approach silently, and take you by surprise. Spread a few of these little buggers about the place and you will always be able to hear their approach because of the painful groans and curses.
    5. Cable Ties - Under no circumstances should these be used to sustain an erection. Trust me, I’m a superhero.
    6. Soldering Iron - This item is extremely useful for performance tweaking. For example, if the computer you are working on appears to be running slowly you can solder some short cuts onto the motherboard. Remember if the electricity doesn’t have to travel as far then it will get there sooner.
    7. Axe - the larger the better. In order to work efficiently a stress-free working environment is necessary, and there is nothing that relieves tension quite like a bout of mindless violence and/or destruction.

    Also Handy.

    1. Chocolate - Ok this probably belongs under essential.
    2. Knoppix CD - so you can freak Windows users out by making them think you’ve replaced their entire operating system.
    3. Debian CD - so you can replace their entire operating system.
    4. Ubuntu CD - because they’re free.
    5. Sony music CD - so you can install rootkits and other nasties on their computer. (see here.)
    6. The Internet - Burn the internet onto a cd. This will save you having to download drivers and stuff, and you can also reinstall all of their porn from its original source.
    7. Windex (or similar) - As I’m sure you’re aware Microsoft Windows (tm, c, r, stfu) needs to be cleaned up regularly, so it is a pretty good idea to carry some window cleaner in the field. You may also be able to solve certain problems by pouring a bottle of the stuff down the user’s throat.
  • 386 Horsepower Henry

    Posted on November 25th, 2005 ben 7 comments

    My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero.

    “Hello, yeah, Tim. I’ve got this computer. A friend gave it to me and it is only a couple of years old but he got a new one so I’m trying to install windows on it and it doesn’t seem to be working I think it is because the keyboard doesn’t have enough keys.” Now that I’m a computer expert I think it is about time I set up one of those internet things at home. So when my friend offered me this excellent desktop computer to go with my laptop I just leapt at the opportunity.

    “Ok…. So, what kind of computer is this?” Tim the computer store guy sounds a bit confused. I feel sorry for him, but we can’t all be genius superheros, now can we.

    “It’s kind of a beige colour, and box shaped,” I explain helpfully.

    “Um… Is it a Pentium three?”

    “No, I only have one of them.” Tim needs to learn how to listen a bit more carefully. Seriously, where did he get the strange notion that I have more than one? “Anyway I just want you to tell me what the problem is so I can get Windows installed.”

    “Does the computer start up at all?”

    “Yes, but then it doesn’t work.”

    “What kind of error message do you get?”

    “None. It just doesn’t work.”

    “Ok, can you tell me how old it is?”

    “I don’t know exactly - about two years.” This sure is taking a long time. I thought these guy knew what they were doing.

    “And which version of Windows are you trying to install?”

    “Windows ninety-eight.”

    “What size is the hard drive?”

    “Twenty I think.”

    “Twenty Gig. No problem there. What about memory? How much RAM does it have?”

    “Um, it says three hundred and eighty six megabytes.”

    “Um… that’s a strange number unless…”

    “Sorry, no that’s not it. It has four gigabytes of RAM.”

    “So where did you get the other number?”

    “Oh that. It’s a three hundred and eighty six horsepower Pentium computer. That’s what it says on the front.”

    There was silence for a moment. I guess the penny has finally dropped and he has worked out a solution to my problem. “So, there was no error message from Windows, such as one telling you that Win98 requires sixteen megabytes to install?”

    “Well yes it did say that.”

    “So, what you have, then, is a 386 with four megabytes of RAM and a twenty megabyte hard drive.”

    “Um… yes.”

    “A two year old 386?” There is a hint of extreme skepticism in his voice for some reason.

    “Well it might be a bit older than that.”

    “You can’t install Windows 98 on that machine.”

    “Oh…. Um…. Can’t you cross-post it?” I’ve heard a bit about this cross-posting thing and how it is supposed to make your computer better. Yeah, sure some people seem to think cross-posting is a bad thing, but I figure they’re just working for the big bad corporations. “Or what about if you fax me some more memory?”

    “You mean upgrade? Yes you can. Take it to a very tall building and throw it out the window. That should do it.”

    “Then it will run Windows 98?”

    “If you have insurance it will.”

    Soon I have a brand new Pentium 4 supercomputer. I am now complete.