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Archive for the 'computers' Category

Algorithms are not Evil Incarnate

Wednesday, August 19th, 2020

One of my favourite units in the Bachelor of Computing was a core second year unit called KXA201 Algorithms; I got a 76 (Distinction). One thing that really stoked me about it was the hardcore geeky Maths/Physics computer guys struggled. Someone like me, a strength in good writing, found it a breeze. Anyway, listening to this weeks chaotic journalism hype about algorithms being some sort of evil incarnate, it’s no wonder I’m compelled to explain why they are certainly not evil, of themselves.

To be clear, I’ve studied undergraduate Computing with an average score of 80 (High Distinction) and a Master of Business Administration with a Specialisation in Journalism and Media Studies with an average score of 80 (High Distinction). You can doubt me, I don’t care. But here’s my feedback to journalists… because journalists don’t study anything like algorithms, or even statistics, economics, or fucking anything really. Except journalism. Most journalists, in a pinch, are talking/writing through their naive arses.

So here goes. An algorithm is a recipe. Nothing more, nothing less. Your cookbook is full of algorithms to make food. It’s a simple enough idea that I won’t belabour the point. Thus, algorithms are not evil incarnate. We use algorithms in our everyday lives to solve these types of problems – how to make a beef casserole; how to build an IKEA cupboard from flatpack. When you enter an elevator there’s a detailed algorithm prescribing the order of operations – the floor the elevator stops at next and when to open and close those doors; what happens when buttons are pressed. Algorithms are part of our lives.

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Fixing Error 651 in Windows

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

If you suddenly can’t connect to your modem-router in the Windows operating system and receive an Error 651 notification then don’t start with the complicated explanations and suggested fixes that are littered across the Internet. Here is the simple fix that worked for my situation.

The first thing you should do is reset the router. That’s simple: poke a pin into the reset hole on the router and hold for ten seconds until the lights change. This puts the router back into factory settings and you can use your CD to set the home network back up in a few minutes.

Then, if you still receive the 651 Error notification in Windows you just need to reinstall the drivers.

To understand device drivers consider that all computer operating systems are different. It would be difficult to write permanent code for a modem/router, for example, that worked perfectly on all operating hardware all of the time. So little programs called drivers are written to match hardware with the operating system. It’s like a piece of a jigsaw or a Lego in code that operates as a translator between the device and the operating system.

The next step is to locate the device in the Device Manager within Windows. Click the device in the Device Manager and select the tab marked Drivers. Uninstall the driver.

The next step is to get some Cat 5 cable and connect your computer directly to the modem/router using connection number 1 on the router. Your computer should automatically locate the appropriate driver for that hardware via the working Internet connection and the 651 Error should be solved.

It’s fine to try all those complicated solutions recommended in forums by people trying to be overly smart among peers. However, none of these complicated solutions worked when I tried them. The simplest answer was to re install those drivers. Hope it works for you, too.

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About the Author

Steven Clark Steven Clark - the stand up guy on this site

My name is Steven Clark and I live in the Derwent Valley in Southern Tasmania. I have an MBA (Specialisation) and a Bachelor of Computing from the University of Tasmania. I'm a mazer & a yeast farmer (making beer, fruit wine and mead as by-products of continuous improvement in my farming practices). I'm a photographer, although my film cameras are currently silent. I do not tolerate idiots. I do not tolerate bigotry. I do not tolerate excuses. Let's be clear, if you sit with my enemies you my are my enemy for life.

Blogger. Thinker. Brewer. Drinker. Life partner to the amazing and incredible Megan.

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