PC problems at work; Atkins diet

Well first off, just in case anyone out there is interested. The problems with the PC communicating with the cash registers at work has been resolved. As I suspected the faulty part was actually the communications board within the Master register, well, one of the communications ports on the pc is also a bit buggy, but I have known that for years and know how to get around the problem.

The unfortunate part of this situation is that the repair guy from NCR was down here for unrelated problems. The scanner on one of the machines would not send information to the register. We had the same problem a couple of weeks prior(while the bosses were away) and I remedied the situation by removing the scanner from the system (just the little part with the laser, not the whole scanning system) and swapping it with the other register. When they both worked, I just swapped them back. When the problem happened again, the boss just called NCR to have them try to find a more permanent solution. After a couple of visits to the store, the guy ended up doing exactly what I did. Swapped the scanner units and then both of the machines were working again, here I must say that “I could have done that”.

The NCR guy then swapped out the communications port on the Master Register, which took some convincig to get him to do, and waited while I tested it out. Everything worked perfectly. NCR man made a beeline for the door. Within fifteen minutes of him leaving the scanner that he had fixed quit working entirely, no beep, no whirring mirrors, nothing. We tried unplugging it for a bit then trying it again and were met with a long speech by the scale which involved phrases like, “Stop. Check. Cannot stand mechanical vibration. Stop. Check. Code 6. Change Scale Board. Stop. Check. Change Low Cell. Stop. Check. Code 4. Recalibrate System. Stop. Check. …” The list went on for about a minute or so and I can’t remember the rest of it, but come on, that certainly wasn’t functioning correctly.

There was someone out there again today fucking with the scanner problem. I sure hope it is actually fixed, as this is getting progressively more boring to recount and likely not going to get me onto the best-seller lists for fascinating non-fiction.

In a previous post, I mentioned that I was going to ask the technician why it is that any power surge can completely disable the newer registers while the thirty year old ones can live through it and still function perfectly (the old registers are always kept powered on, which I find a bit humorous, since whoever sold the old registers to them told them that it is better to have them powered constantly, even when not in use. I have repeatedly tried to get them to leave their pc turned on all the time but they never will. I don’t honestly know if it is better for the PC to be left on all the time, but that is the way I have always done it and I don’t have Nearly as many problems with my machine as they do), I got the opportunity to posit that question yesterday. I don’t recall his precise quote so I will paraphrase, Well, the newer microprocessors are far more power-sensitive. That’s how they’ve made them so much smaller, they are using less metal to make connections and sometimes they can’t take the power of an electrical spike (he said spike, not me, I usually say surge, so spike is probably the correct term). Now to skip a bunch of the tech-babble, it came right down to him saying, “Well those old registers probably weigh forty or fifty pounds, these ones only weigh fifteen.”

Great. So by making everything smaller and lighter we are making it also less and less reliable. No wonder you can buy a digital camera for sixty bucks nowadays, they know you are gonna buy another one in a few months…

• Now for the Headline of the century!

Atkins Diet Weight Loss Doesn’t Last – Study

Dear Random Fluctuations of Time and Space, stop the world from spinning. I, for one, did a triple-take at this news. I mean limiting your body to taking in nothing but fat doesn’t lead to actual long-term weight loss? Next these ‘science geeks’ are probably going to try to tell us that the earth isn’t flat, or even the center of the universe…Such Rubbish…

I am sure that any human of sound mind (and therein lies the key) understands that eating only one type of the basic food groups is not a healthy, long-term solution for weight loss. My wife (who knows a few people on this said ‘diet’) and I have talked about this a few times. Our basic take on it is that no one is going to lose much weight, but a couple of pounds seems pretty good at the start. The couple of pounds at the start are just wringing some of the water out of you, if you stick to the diet for a couple of months, even a year, the health risks are going to far outweigh (pun definitely intended) the loss of body fat. The majority of the people who are getting into this, it is not a diet, it is a ‘low carb lifestyle’, are at the point where the metabolism starts to slow down in the late twenties/early thirties. Sure, it is possible that this low-carb diet could work for some of the people, it is not going to work for the majority of the people that try it though.

My theory, one which my wife shares, is that in about twenty or twenty-five years the people who are currently on the ‘Atkins diet’ are going to have their hearts start to explode like popcorn. While it is possible to lower your carb intake and lose weight (which I know after having gone from 205 lbs. to 165 lbs. in just a few months after switching my 12-pack a day habit from Coke to Diet Coke), it is certainly not a reasonable assumption that you will stay at the lower weight if you take in nothing but fat calories.

Hell, I am creeping ever closer to the weight that I was before the soda change a decade ago. I suppose I should start eating nothing but beef and cheese, yet, I think I am going to have enough problems in the future since I smoke, drink, and come from a family that is almost all diabetic.

I suppose that a really bad analogy could be, If you didn’t brush your teeth for the first thirty years of your life, then someone offered to sell you a tube of something that would make them look like they did when you were fifteen or so, and you bought it, expecting results. Your teeth are still going to be nasty and rotten. No ‘snake oil salesman’ can turn back the hands of time. Taking care of your body yesterday is the only way to make sure that you are how you want to be tomorrow. If you notice you have put on five pounds, limit portions on food, excercise more and marvel at the results.

The point where you know your heart is going to explode in your early fifties is when you ask for a cheeseburger without the bun.

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