Adequacy front page
Stories Diaries Polls Users

Home About Topics Rejects Abortions
This is an archive site only. It is no longer maintained. You can not post comments. You can not make an account. Your email will not be read. Please read this page if you have questions.
 Netscape, the Light of My Life -- An Invention That Will Change the Way We Live

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Jul 19, 2001
Many computer users have experience a phenomenon known as "crashing" when using the popular "Netscape" browser from America Online Corporation. I can count myself among these frustrated individuals. Many times I have come just short of putting my fist through the screen when this lousy program crashes. Some people just give up and switch to Windows 2000 and Internet Explorer, but I am very stubborn when it comes to these things... I happen to like my Unix operating system, and except for Netscape it has always run perfectly for me. Furthermore, I am known as an optimistic person - I have always tried to look on the bright side of life. I am also an engineer and student of physics.

More diaries by Logical Analysis
My Presidential Campaign: Revoke All Corporate Charters
Older, Wiser, and Closer to Death
The Death of Free Software
Wikipedia / Nupedia
This just in!
One night after Netscape crashed for about the tenth time that evening, wheels began spinning in my head. For some time I had been searching for the "bright side" of Netscape's crashing. It was a difficult and troublesome search, but suddenly a lightbulb appeared over my head (not literally, of course).

Electrical energy!

It is a little known fact that when used RAM (Random Access Memory) is released by a computer's software, a short burst of electrical energy is discharged by the RAM module into the surrounding air. I had read about this fact this in an obscure scientific computing journal, and at the time I had merely stuck it in the back of my mind as useless trivia and I had forgotten about it until this moment of insight. As I considered the large amount of memory a typical running copy of Netscape consumes, I realized that when the program exited, it freed a huge amount of computer memory and could possibly generate a tiny, yet noticeable, electrical shock.

Intrigued, I removed the case from my computer, and held my electrical measuring tool near one of the two protruding RAM modules. After I few test runs with Netscape, I realized that a normal program exit generated about .7 volt, whereas a drastic crash could generate as much as 1.3 volts! After some studying of the operating system source code, I found that all the memory being used by the program is not immediately released when a program exits normally - it is held in what is known as a "cache" which often results in faster loading time if the program is started again. On the other hand, when a program aborts unexpectedly (usually a "crash") the memory is released immediately. Of course I am leaving out some details here, as my goal here is to convince the reader of the general importance of my invention, and not to bog you down with technical details. Suffice to say, a crash generates a greater electrical discharge than a normal program exit does.

By the time I had finished my measurements, the hour was late and I was growing weary. I lit my pipe and rested in my easy chair, and I pondered how I could best harness this energy, which was being wasted by the repeated crashing of my nefarious web browser. I have always felt that smoking fine tabacco in a pipe helps the mind work, and this night was no exception. Within an hour I had a plan drawn up for a device that could capture the wasted electrical energy. Satisfied with my drawings, I headed off to bed. At this time, I merely thought I would be doing my part to prevent waste... if only I knew then what I know now!

The next morning I was roused early from my slumber by the noisy chirping of a robin. Preparing a steaming cup of coffee, I headed off to my workshop. I am a collector of gadgets of all sorts, and my workshop reflects this fact. Heaped in every corner are objects whose original function has long ago been forgotten, and are useless to the average man on the street. With a sense of duty in my heart, I set forth and gathered the parts I believed useful for my device. As the sun marched on its eternal path across the sky, I soldered, cursed, and hammered my device into working condition.

Returning home later that day, I installed the energy-gathering device on my computer and plugged a small lamp into the device's socket. I launched Netscape and started to browse a favorite website of mine, which happens to make extensive use of Java and cascading style sheets. In no time at all Netscape had indeed crashed. After a few more minutes of browsing and crashing, the small lamp began to beam brightly. I smiled, immensely satisfied with my invention.

With my mission accomplished, I unplugged all the cords from my computer and proceeded to return it to the desk from whence I had removed it the previous night. Cursing the endless amounts of plugs and cords required to operate a modern computer I finished placing it back on the desk and powered it on. While waiting for the computer to boot, I puzzled over the extra power cord in my hand. As far as I could tell the computer was running fine. Despite this, I knew the extra cord was supposed to be plugged into the computer somewhere.

Annoyed, I turned on my flashlight and examined the back of the computer. Imagine my surprise when I saw that the computer was not plugged in! I shook my head as if to clear cobwebs from it and looked once again. Sure enough, the monitor was plugged in, but the computer itself was not plugged into the wall socket. In fact, it was plugged quite sturdily into the device which I myself had built to gather the energy wasted by the RAM modules! Just to be certain, I unplugged the monitor and placed it aside. The computer still ran. I nearly fainted, but determined to keep a scientific mind, I took the computer outdoors, where I was certain there would be no hidden electrical sockets to power it. Again, it ran with no power source!

As I write this, I sit in my workshop among several new computers which I have also tested with my device and have received similar results. At the present moment I am still trying to understand its workings, and have disassembled it with the utmost care, documenting and photographing each part. Yet despite all my efforts to the contrary, it seems I have truly invented an Infinite Energy Device.

Ahead of me I realize I face a life of limitless wealth and international acclaim. This invention is unsurpassed in its importance, rivaled only by the discovery of fire by the earliest cave man. Yet I still wonder... will this device spend more time serving the forces of evil than the forces of good? Already, I have noticed black helicopters hovering overhead and men in military uniforms hiding in the bushes. Why? What are they here for? Only time will tell.

Alfred Windhall III


Addendum (4.50 / 2) (#1)
by Logical Analysis on Thu Jul 19th, 2001 at 06:35:37 PM PST
Some of you may have seen this story on the "Slashdot" web site. Unfortunately, they marked it as "Funny." Really shows their lack of intelligence, doesn't it?

I swear this is 100% factual, and it disgusts me to see the intellectually-handicapped moderate it as "Funny" out of their own ignorance.

The participants of this web site seem to be a bit more intelligent and open minded than the people over there, and I hope you can read it and see that I am being honest in my statements.

Just one question... (5.00 / 2) (#2)
by geekchic on Thu Jul 19th, 2001 at 09:14:12 PM PST
Does your computer have a battery somewhere in it?

Another question (none / 0) (#4)
by Orion Blastar on Fri Jul 20th, 2001 at 08:04:24 AM PST
Is your computer a laptop plugged into a docking station? If so, it is running off of battery power.

BTW, switch to Mozilla it will crash on you less.

An additional idea for you... (none / 0) (#3)
by iat on Fri Jul 20th, 2001 at 01:21:23 AM PST
It seems quite obvious to me that Netscape is crashing because of the large electrical discharges from your computer's RAM. I am certain that if you were to put a large layer of electrical insulation around the RAM, the electricity would be unable to escape and you would have a crash-free computer! The wholy grail of all OS designers! - love it or leave it.


All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments are owned by the Poster. The Rest ® 2001, 2002, 2003 The name, logo, symbol, and taglines "News for Grown-Ups", "Most Controversial Site on the Internet", "Linux Zealot", and "He just loves Open Source Software", and the RGB color value: D7D7D7 are trademarks of No part of this site may be republished or reproduced in whatever form without prior written permission by and, if and when applicable, prior written permission by the contributing author(s), artist(s), or user(s). Any inquiries are directed to