Computer, be healed!

By Phil Plait | August 8, 2008 4:00 pm

Well, this can’t be any worse than Norton or McAffee.

If that doesn’t work, then you may need to try something more drastic: Holistic Computer System and Network Solutions™. I know Master Guru personally — seriously — and he knows at least as much as I do about PCs. Really.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Antiscience, Humor, Skepticism
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Comments (57)

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  1. Videos of the Week (2008/32) :: cimddwc | August 10, 2008
  1. Fernando

    Seriously, there are people that stupid? That reminds me of a cectic comic, with a guy practicing acupunture in a car and ruining the paintjob. It was funny 😀

  2. Awesome LOL. There was a guy that was a very zealous christian here years ago, who’s car broke down on the highway, and he tried to cast demons out of it. It didn’t work. He needed oil.

  3. He’s not very good with the pendulum. You don’t need to move your had that obviously to make pendulums swing the way you want. I find that simly holding the pendulum and thinking about how you want it to swing will cause it to change motion in response to small and unconsious muscle movements.

    This came in very useful in school when the pendulum swing told you if someone was a boy or girl and I could make it tells boys they were girls and vice versa.

  4. IBY

    Wow, that was a really good satire! Anyways, Phil is right about Norton, they suck really bad. I reeaaallyyy hate antiviruses these days. They are as useless as a wooden stick… no wait, a wooden stick is more useful.

  5. *cough*Poe’s law!*cough*

  6. MikeS said:
    “This came in very useful in school when the pendulum swing told you if someone was a boy or girl and I could make it tells boys they were girls and vice versa.”

    You needed a Pendulum? Seriously… you need to get out more dude :)

  7. Thankfully this is satire, or my outrage meter would have been pegged. Being that computers are my forte, anyone actually trying to convince someone that they could figure out what’s wrong with the computer via hocus-pocus chicanery would probably induce me to start punching. This must be what Phil feels when confronted with ufologists and flat-earthers.

    Love the Native American computer virus catcher… I ought to make one and hang it in my office.

  8. ExtraBitterStoat

    Sweet! Homeopathic Memory! And here I was just buying more modules…Duh…

  9. PeteG

    “Next week how to make your computer more powerful by diluting it. That cracked me up.

  10. Bill

    Funny. But could you back the microphone away a bit, Lord Vader?

  11. Wow, this is just so funny!

    (I have a suspicion that it’s 99% satire, including the link in the blog post.)

  12. TA

    Phil, thanks for the best laugh of the day. Wheeeeeee! I needed that!

  13. jtradke

    Something sounds bad about that British accent, but as I’m American, I’m not fully qualified to judge – any Brits who concur?

  14. Charles

    P.T. Barnum is the CEO of Symantec. They seem to develop programs purposely to be buggy and ineffective. Their support is world-class – in its badness. That’s why they bought Veritas recently, I guess — they wanted to add another suite of programs that are unreliable and supported by mouth-breathing card readers incapable of returning phone calls.

  15. madge

    @ jtradke
    The accent is fine! I think he is trying for a learned professorial tone.

    Very funny video. I find randomly wiggling the mouse and swearing alot followed by shaking my fist at the keyboard and threatening the monitor with violence works just as well : )

  16. Don Snow

    @ Phil –
    It plays so slow. I’ve been sitting here for five minutes, to see and hear this thing, and it’s only half done.

    Is that my browser, laptop or did it do that to any of you, too?

    I rate it “ridiculous”.

    @ Michael L –
    I always check tires and under the hood, when I travel. However, I was once driving a used car that ran really rough. It was a station wagon with a V8 engine. It tried to quit on me several times, between LA and northern CA. I just kept on praying, and finally got there. Come to find out, it had been running on 6 cylinders.

    @ “Professor Brit” in video –
    So, there, take your pendelum and swing it.

  17. acj

    A pendulum for my pentium! I feel so holistically healed.

  18. Quiet Desperation
  19. madge

    @ Michael L
    Pendulums also work on eggs to tell if they are dippy enough for your toast soldiers! (a Farah Fawcett man huh? I am ashamed to say that I was a David Cassidy girl myself. I was young I didn’t know any better. I got in with the wrong crowd. I recovered. My heart belongs to the LHC now) 😉

  20. That is precious! Thanks Phil..

    Does anyone suspect it could be the guy who did the “Why Does Everyone Laugh At Creationists” series?

  21. Don Snow

    @ madge

    I carried a torch for Annette Funicello from about 1954 to 1965. Then, with Star Trek, Uhuru came into my life. But, I never told my second fiancee, who was staying with me, at that time.
    Now, as my autumn years draw near, my torch put aside, I look back. Then, I look around. Hey, all these real women in the real world, maybe… nah, I work the night shift.
    Makes it hard to observe the moon and planets other than naturally, but my hours do keep me out of trouble with the women. Went through four fiancees.

    I’m done, for awhile, with close relationships to the gentler gender.

  22. That video is really funny. My former housemate tried to “heal” our TV once in a similar way. My skepticism prevented the healing from taking place…

  23. fred edison

    What ever happened to an old fashioned cleansing exorcism to cast the demons out of the PC? Sometimes simple is the best way. Works for me.

  24. Thomas Siefert

    @ Quiet Desperation:

    As my mother used to say: Smart kids are never bored. :-)
    …and I’m now quoting my mum… Nooooooooo!

  25. Rowan

    Oh boy, the ending was the best – “Next week, how to make you computer more powerful, by diluting it!”

  26. Thomas Siefert

    @ Pieter Kok:

    Trying to get a decent signal on a TV with an indoor antenna is more related to what’s going on in that video, It’s more of an art than a science. :-)

  27. baley

    LMAO the ending was very funny.

  28. Mark Hansen

    What quackery! Any holistic computer healer worth his salt knows that a homeopathic remedy is in order. You must expose your computer to more viruses to effect a cure. Of course, each virus must first be run through many computers in order to dilute it.

    @ jtradke,
    I think the sound problem is less the accent and more likely to be due to mic eating. It does grate on the ears a bit.

  29. Thanks Phil – I was having a bad day, and this made me laugh! I really love the last line.

  30. Grand Lunar

    Thanks for a great start to the day, Phil!

    I loved the ending part too; “Making your computer more powerful by diluting it.”

    Classic!

  31. Gareth

    Very good! :oD

    I’ll pass that one on to the IT department in work. It might help them speed up their response time…

  32. StevoR

    Well the hand-waving and New Age malarkay isn’t going to help but I can sure understand and sympathiese with the fury, exasperation and downright torment a badly-behaving computer induces.

    All I want on my computer is a “Just #@$!#@@%@%^^%$$## WORK!” button that when presed makes the diabolical sluggiush, vile piece of sewage actually @$#!!%$^! WORK without stuffing me around! 😉

    Plus, I think the best thing about creating a real Artifical Intelligence would be having a machine that understands exactly what your threats and insults to it actually mean! 😉

    To err is human, to really stuff things up requires a computer! 😉

    ———————————————————-

    Off Topic : Please Bad Astronomer Can we have the second part / follow-up that you promised us for the “No Green Stars?” thread soon~ish please? I’m eagerly waiting to read that one!

  33. Charles

    I’ll pass that one on to the IT department in work. It might help them speed up their response time…

    It’s been passed around my group already — to great laughter. For a day anyway, the techs weren’t making to usual jokes about replacing executive’s PCs with Etch-A-Sketch’s (just shake it to reboot it, Mr. Vice President!) or grousing about having to go and remove malware — again — because users think it’s okay to go and download some cool dooflotchy that they Googled up.

  34. Dave Hall

    You sceptics are all the same!!!

    Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean it isn’t real.
    Asstrology works! you just don’t want to spend the time and effort to study it!!!!
    Aroma therapy and Feng Sui are also proven beneficial to people and inanimate objects.!!!!!

    Next thing, you’re gonna start in on the Scientific FACTS of INTELLIGENT DESIGN!!!!!!

    Well go ahead and laugh, you mocking mockers, you’ll be laughing out of the other side of your faces when after the Mayan Comet comes in 2015, only those computers with the Crystal Skull(tm) chip still works. But then with your puny mundane computers out of order, you won’t be able to blog your ignorant mocking mockiness!!!!!!!

  35. My first comment seems to have been moderated out for some reason. I didn’t even use any bad words! All I wanted to say Phil, is thanks for starting my day out with a laugh. Have a great trip!

  36. Was Dave Hall serious? Or was it satire?
    (Poe’s Law again.)

  37. Dave Hall

    WHAT DO YOU THINK, INFIDEL?!?!?!?!?!?!

  38. Dave Hall

    Seriously, was it that convincing?

    I was going for Fudd’s Law

  39. TheMagician

    It didn’t work :(

  40. @Madge,

    My dippy toast soldiers salute you!

  41. Mark Hansen

    Freiddie,
    One clue to the satirical nature of Dave’s post is in the alarming lack of capitals – only 4 words in screaming all-caps, Dave? Another is the pleasing level of spelling and grammar. And the dead give-away; !!!!!!!! as opposed to !!!11!!!1!!!1!.

    A very amusing post.

  42. Dave Hall

    Never could get the hang of the caps lock.

  43. @Dave Hall; @Mark Hansen

    It was easy for me to imagine someone typing in fury like that. Of course, I didn’t have the eye to see it was faked. 😉

    And what’s Fudd’s Law.

  44. Quiet Desperation

    As my mother used to say: Smart kids are never bored.

    Well, I”m not kid, my mom died three weeks ago and it takes true genius to get as bored as I get.

    I wound up going to YouTube (on my Wii using the BIG television) and watching tornado videos for two hours.

    I totally have to spend a summer storm chasing when I retire.

  45. Dave Hall

    Freiddie Says:
    And what’s Fudd’s Law.

    Fudd’s Law is: “If you push something hard enough it will fall over.”

    Quiet Desperation Says:
    I totally have to spend a summer storm chasing when I retire.

    Sorry to hear about your mom. from what I’ve seen here, she raised a smart kid.

    And about storm chasing: Ever read _Heavy Weather_ by Bruce Sterling? Its a (reasonably) cyberpunk story about storm chasers in seeking the ultimate thrill: an F-6 tornado. Sounds like fun.

  46. Quiet Desperation

    Sorry to hear about your mom. from what I’ve seen here, she raised a smart kid.

    Thanks. She taught me to card count in Blackjack, and she was designing electronic assemblies to military specifications back in a decade when most women still aspired to be housewives. I’ve tossed about the idea of a web tribute somewhere, maybe. She had an interesting life, and left behind the rough draft of an autobiography she was toying with.

    And about storm chasing: Ever read _Heavy Weather_ by Bruce Sterling? Its a (reasonably) cyberpunk story about storm chasers in seeking the ultimate thrill: an F-6 tornado. Sounds like fun.

    Eh… never got into Sterling. He always struck me as a bit of a wanker. Is that the one where they hack weather control satellites?

    Some of the storm chaser groups offer tours of sorts. I think they expect tourists handle their share of the workload, but that’s fine. I *want* to help.

  47. madge

    @ Michael L
    I raise a nice Cuppa Tea in silent toast to you :)

  48. Gary Ansorge

    Back when I was repairing Univac computers, we had one Field Engineer(call him John) who seemed able to ,,,literally,,, stumble over solutions. He was observing another F.E working on a particularly intractable problem(the mainframe had been down for two days). As he leaned in for a closer look, he inadvertently leaned against the computer(remember, this was in the day when a computer occupied many square feet) and pressed his hand against a slightly extended printed circuit board, which reseated and CURED THE PROBLEM!!!

    He was immediately referred to as THE WHIZ,,,which, I know, has other connotations,,,

    GAry 7

  49. Dave Hall

    Quiet Desperation Says:
    I’ve tossed about the idea of a web tribute somewhere, maybe. She had an interesting life, and left behind the rough draft of an autobiography she was toying with.
    Sounds like a worthwhile project. Go for it.

    Eh… never got into Sterling. He always struck me as a bit of a wanker. Is that the one where they hack weather control satellites?

    More like the weather is out of control. Environmental chaos rules and the weather hackers, are tracking storms with homemade gear, seeking a meteorlogical white whale. He is kind of wankish in some of his books, but this one is pretty entertaining. The thought of a group of renegade storm chasers is kind of appealing–even though they are kind of high tech hippies.

  50. Dave Hall

    Gary Ansorge Says:
    He was immediately referred to as THE WHIZ,,,which, I know, has other connotations,,,

    GAry 7

    Do you mean he resembled Richard Pryor?

  51. Don Snow

    QD –

    My commiserations on your mom’s demise.

    Don

  52. ipgrunt

    Phil,

    Many years ago, I was enjoying the heady lifestyle of a high-priced Silicon Valley contract programmer. One summer, I took a 3 month assignment in PA (through one of the large San Jose talent brokers), debugging a well-known commercial application. The project was very hush-hush and I’m still bound by terms of the non-disclosure, but I can say that I learned a great deal about harmonic motion simulation algorithms on that job.

  53. Tyler Durden

    Finally, I know what was happening back in the 90’s when I, tragically, tried an AOL account and was forced to call customer service (being that, in and of itself, AOL is a technical problem.)

    A trained monkey could have given me better advice.

  54. StevoR

    My condolences Quiet Desperation.

    Sorry to hear that. Well, sorry it happened anyway. :-(

  55. sayadina

    I’m going to get my crystals now… think they’ll work just fine :)

  56. dowsingdan

    Thanks for all the feedback on the video. Will be working on another at some point in the future. I did reconsider doing the audio on the video, but I thought that distorted audio made it all the more cheesy.

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