Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thinking outside the box

Typically when a PC has major problems and becomes too expensive and time consuming many would give up because typically there are 3 choices

1. Leave it alone
2. Wipe it clean and start over from scratch
3. Get rid of it and buy a new one

This was going to be the case here because the system lost the ability to function in a normal environment – in controlled situations with no other interference it functioned fine.

Sometimes despite your knowledge, intentions and best efforts you cannot some things cannot be fixed. It does not mean you are bad at what you do just that the operating system or hardware is so corrupted that it is not worth trying to save any parts of it, the effort and price exceeds any possible return.

However there is a forth answer that requires a new and creative approach = separating the problems and dealing with each seperately. Once it was determined that the legacy protocol (TCP/IP) worked the solution became obvious and option number 4 presented itself – give the computer a translator so to speak – enable it to communicate the way it wanted and allow the smart device to connect to the

The Solution: Essentially installed a device that connected to network port. The network port talks to the smart device and the smart device connects to the wireless network. Basically what was done is the computer was given a built-in translator because it forgot how to speak French. So this device speaks French 9talks to the wireless) translates the information and in turn tells the computer in English. Another way of thinking about it the computer is unable to learn a new way of dong things so connected a device that would do and tell it in a way is understands. In short the computer thinks it is connected to a wired network.

When you look at the above picture the two devices on the right are those that rely on the hard ware/software and software respectively and the one on the far left is the one that is a smart device that solved the problem because it does not depend on the newer technology.

The moral of the story – often the best answer is the last answer one you never would have considered and often it requires a non traditional approach instead of relying on the same old patterns of troubleshooting – as the saying goes to get something you never had you must do something you have never done – leave the familiar and risk trying something new – in this case taking the solution out of the case and making it independent allowing each issue to be resolved separate from the other.

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