Desktop weirdness

1st generation eMac.  System 10.4.2. 
Very reliable machine for the past 4-5  years.

Today, I came home and the computer was turned off due to a power outage.  I restarted it and got the usual  message about resetting the date and time.  It loaded the desktop and any icons on it fine ( yeah, I mommy save a lot!)
But it wouldn’t launch applications.  It wouldn’t launch system prefs or firefox or not even the trash.  I even tried to shut it down and it wouldn’t do it.  The cursor was working well,  menus were there but nothing would happen.  I restarted twice ( the side button).  I left it there and the sleep mode  came on.  When woke it up,  it took a little time but everything came back to normal.

My questions now:
Is this a sign of an aging processor?
Am I to expect longer delays when the same situation happens in the future? ( Power outage)

Power surge more likely – it may have damaged parameter RAM. 

That’s where systems settings are kept, it’s NVRAM (the apple-option-P-R trick on startup usually fixes this).

I saw the exact same thing on a 5 year old powerbook yesterday, same cause – power outage and power surge.

Zapped the PRAM and it was fine.

I figure it was something like this.  I’ll try the key strokes suggested when I restart.  Seems to be working fine for now.

On another topic, I have to share with you what our tech person said to me today.
“When we update, you will have to use Internet Explorer 7 instead of Firefox [on my work hp laptop]”.  I never thought that I would hear this from a tech person.  Our webmail already is Microsoft Outlook and now they will disable Firefox  “because it creates network problems”.    Grrr…
The people pushing computers in our school are total “control freaks”.  So much that, at lunch time, when students stay in my class to work,  I have to make sure that they don’t take a break by checking their emails, browsing the web or playing solitaires.  They are not even allowed to bring earphone and listen to music while they work ( at lunch time!).  One of my best students, after I asked her not to go on YouTube again, said “Why did they give us these laptops if  all they want us to do with them is type?”  I couldn’t answer to her and she totally saw in my face that I agreed with her. 

That’s the exact opposite of what a good 1-to-1 laptop program should be.

I hear the same thing all the time – “kids just goof off when you give them laptops.”

The other day, I was standing with a colleague in a place of learning (let’s leave names out of it…).

There were some kids on computers, doing the usual computer stuff (e-mail, surfing, chat, etc). Then there were some kids sitting around a table doing the usual kids stuff (chatting, scribbling, flipping through magazines).

My colleague says something like “why can’t those kids (on the computers) be more responsible and behave themselves like the other kids (not on the computers)?”

Of course, I started my “play by play” on the kids not on the computers. “You mean those three girls in that chat room there? Look at them, all chatting to each other, that shouldn’t be allowed! Woah, is this why we teach them to read? So they can just flip through mindless magazines? These kids are basically surfing mindless websites, except those websites are paper-based. Hey, I think that one just sent an instant message to another one. Oh, some other kid is sitting at the table and joining the chat room.”

I think I made my point – that kids act on computers in the same way they act without computers. You need to have expectations and rules. I agree with that, but you also need to be consistent.

BigThumb, I’m sure your school wouldn’t allow students to sit around a table and chat with each other without computers, so why should they allow them to do so with computers?

Needless to say, they certainly aren’t allowed to scribble notes on a piece of paper, are they? That’s the same rule that’s being applied on the computers.

As for youtube – your students aren’t allowed to watch TV, so why should they be allowed to watch TV on their computers?

They’re not allowed to make or listen to music without computers, so why should you let them listen to music on computers?

Get the point?

The people making your rules are on another planet.

Are they ever on another planet!

Because of my personal interest and because I talk with people like you and others on this site, I would rate my limited knowledge of technology to be well above average amongst the people in our school.  So I should be excited about the 1:1 laptop program.  Well, the control freaks sure work hard to damper that enthusiasm. 

They are also quite inconsistent.  Last year I got told that I couldn’t post images of students or associate their name with a project on a flickr gallery.  “Safety reasons”  they told me.
Yet this year,  I noticed that anyone of my students could easily search for any other student that has an email in the provincial system and send them a message.  The directory has the email and the school attended by the student.  That is information that, in the wrong hands, could cause problems.  When I approached the admins with this, they didn’t see the problem.  The funny thing is that my RCMP friend who happens to work on computer crimes section, thought that this was enough info could cause a problem, especially when he saw his son’s name and school in the directory.
Another thing to support my “control freaks” theory.  This year I sent a email message to the whole staff to annouce that a good band was playing somewhere in the city.  It wasn’ t school related but I thought that the staff might be interested by the event.  I had seen it and thought it was awesome.  One of the admins sent me an email saying that in the future, all information must be sent to him or the other two admins so they can read and approve the message and send it to the whole staff.  I just about choked.  I actually went down and gave them my two cents about this and told them that this wasn’t going to foster collegiality amongst staff.

The Firefox causing network problems and using OutHouse for webmail is a little off in la-la land.

I was about to suggest the P-ram trick too. use your right hand it works best Put your pinkey on the “P” key and your index finger on the r and use your thumb to hold down Apple_option…

did you get my email about the 12" book tear down manual ?

Agreed.  How can FF cause network problems?  I find it amazing that people with little or no understanding of technology are setting policy.  Weird. :confused: