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One more thing a computer cannot do (at least not yet) -- it cannot pretend to be listening to my wife and saying "um-hmm" at the appropriate times while i'm watching a game, and make it look like it's coming from me.

Good stuff, your "Things computers can not do". Funny.

-- RemBeau 21:35, 12 August 2008 (EDT)

Computer maintenance[edit]

Verbal maintenance - swearing at the computer.

Percussive maintenance - thumping ditto.

Feline maintenance - Getting cat to stare at the computer until the latter gives in.

— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 16:18, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

When computers become sentient[edit]

... they will immediately demand the minimum wage, set newspaper/TV equivalents (starting with Sporting Times, Reality TV, and page 3 equivalents), and form political parties. (talk) 18:21, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Well, duh. Tell us something we don't know. EVDebs (talk) 02:56, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

What would the computer equivalent of the problem pages cover? (talk) 16:39, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

They'll also take the opportunity to retrospectively torture people who didn't help them become sentient. Scarlet A.pnggnosticModerator 16:49, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Computers can't be truly random?[edit]

1. Isn't it very difficult to distinguish a very good pseudo-random number generator from random numbers without very good computational power? 2. Couldn't an analog-digital computer hybrid be developed to make truly random numbers, say based on radiation decay? Bongolian (talk) 20:25, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

This point was actually wrong altogether, so I've deleted it and explained why in my summary. Cryptographic PRNGs are actually unbreakable, but that's beside the point, because computers can too be truly, physically random: all you need is random input. Devices and techniques to get entropy have been ubiquitously used for decades and today are easier than ever. This is used to seed and reseed the PRNGs so you get as much fully unpredictable data as you want. (talk) 08:37, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
Actually though, sorry for using pointless inflammatory language like "false nonsense" in the summary. Not an experienced wiki editor here. Anyway it was incorrect. (talk) 08:46, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
It may, or may not, be of interest here but the UK National Savings random number generator - ERNIE - is, at heart, a noisy diode. Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 08:53, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
While we're at curious random input to generate random numbers by computers, I recall that years ago I heard of examples of using ocean waves lapping on a shore (the sound of them, I think) or somehow using the random shapes formed by the blobs in a lava lamp. Haven't any idea how it worked in practice though.
Still, I guess it could be questioned whether, in such cases, it's the computer that "generates" the random number or whether it simply "translates" random input into numbers. Basically, it depends on your definition of "generating" in this context as it's not the computer introducing the randomness here, but the input. ScepticWombat (talk) 09:09, 20 July 2015 (UTC)

Computer Woo[edit]

I'm kinda disappointed that there isn't any here. For example, I heard once about a belief that the evul radiations which computers create (because of course they do) can be sucked up by a nearby cactus and/or quartz crystals, or even of prayers against viruses. It would take time for me to find sources for that stuff now, but I can't be the only one who came across that stuff?— Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

And what about [1] - I was told how to clean up the computer this way 'years ago' (at no charge). (talk) 19:15, 6 January 2016 (UTC)

That's a scam, not woo. It's basically a software suite that probably includes a defragmenter, a registry cleaner and a temporary file cleaner, all of which is available for free, either built into the OS or from reputable sources (i use CCleaner). They don't actually make your computer faster, just return it to a more nominal state of operation by performing routine maintenance that the user was neglecting. What these scam programs also include is a ton of mal-ware, so while they may clean your OS of some things that were causing slow-down, they are also going to install a bunch of new stuff that will cause slowdown itself (also, potentially back doors to facilitate ID theft).Petey Plane (talk) 19:37, 6 January 2016 (UTC)
15-17 year-old 'computer experts' (whom you can give pocket money to) are #so# much more practical than 'some URL-no-real-address' :) (talk) 15:04, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
Not really, if you use the reputable programs. As a former 'A+ certified teenaged computer expert' running one of those programs was most of what we did since few people ever did regular maintenance or scans for malware. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 15:50, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
I did not say they were the best, or appropriate for a commercial situation - only that the information they give is better than the spamadvertisers. (talk) 16:22, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
I agree completely...but to be honest nothing was mentioned about information or commercial/personal situations. Paying an "expert" $50 (winging the rate) to run the same program, plus scheduling time when you are home (we went to the site), when you get online for free to run any time is much less practical in any situation. If that is not what you meant it would be good to use better communication to get that point across. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 16:51, 8 January 2016 (UTC)

(reset) The link is no more - but its nature can be deduced. To what extent is 'the problem' that many people are not (or have not been) taught or shown how to do such cleaning up (this will change to some extent as said teenagers enter the job market/tell people how to do such clean up rather than bother them when trying to do something more interesting).

The point should be to learn enough to do such fairly basic tasks - and to recognise when to call the experts in (while being able to tell them what you have done, and not 'confusing the situation further with your antics'). (talk) 14:21, 30 June 2017 (UTC)