# 722: Computer Problems

 Computer Problems Title text: This is how I explain computer problems to my cat. My cat usually seems happier than me.

## Explanation

Cueball explains to Megan that he is having computer problems. Normally, he is able to manipulate a "pattern" on his "metal rectangle full of little lights" (a reasonable, if oversimplified description of generated images displayed on a monitor). Today, however, the "pattern" is "all wrong". Megan suggests that he might be able to fix it by pressing more buttons, but following her advice doesn't seem to have the desired effect.

According to the title text, Randall uses a similar technique to explain his computer problems to his cat. Cats have the habit to walk over or lay on keyboards so they press a lot of buttons. This is however not to fix the "pattern" which they usually don't care about but either to get the same attention the keyboard receives from the cat's owner. Often cats prefer to lay on a warm place — and a keyboard belonging to a notebook is designed to dispense some heat.

Randall likes to make an effort to explain things for simple minds.

Speculatively, Randall may be commenting on the abstract nature of events that effect Cueball's happiness or well being. While the work Cueball does on the computer seems very important to him, the deconstructed version as discussed by Megan and Cueball make his resulting distress seem out of proportion. This interpretation is further supported by the title text in which Randall's cat, unaware of more abstract representations of activity on the computer, enjoys greater happiness overall.

## Transcript

[Cueball and Megan are looking at his computer, on the desk.]
Cueball: You know this metal rectangle full of little lights?
Megan: Yeah.
Cueball: I spend most of my life pressing buttons to make the pattern of lights change however I want.
Megan: Sounds good.
Cueball: But today, the pattern of lights is all wrong!
Megan: Oh god! Try pressing more buttons!
Cueball: IT'S NOT HELPING!

# Discussion

I think this might be also a joke on how computer programming and/or hacking is presented in action movies. 77.254.185.80 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I think the explanation of "explaining in simpler terms" should be expanded as how interactions with computers can be so complex (i.e. trying to make something specific work in Linux) but at the same time look absolutely pointless if observed by someone who understands little to nothing about computers. 108.162.212.196 13:56, 11 January 2014 (UTC)

I've thought a similar thing about video games. The way you win is by moving the controls in a precise sequence, which if you knew, you wouldn't need to look at the screen to be victorious. 108.162.238.114 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

I'm a software developer and have this comic hanging up by my desk. It helps keep things in perspective when things get a bit too overwhelming. 108.162.216.13 21:49, 20 October 2014 (UTC)

Cue the rubber ducking. 162.158.2.139 03:20, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

I was under the impression that cats gravitated to keyboards less for the warmth and more for the "Hello you are paying attention to that thing and not me, which is ridiculous because I am obviously the most important thing and now I will remind you of that." factor. -Pennpenn 108.162.250.162 05:23, 19 October 2015 (UTC)