How do things shut down?
Authored by: Sean  

There are many things in daily life that can simply come to a standstill. More often than not, this happens when you least expect it! You may have invested a lot of your hard earned money in some hotshot device. You set an alarm for an important meeting on this device. The next thing you know, not only has the alarm not gone off but the device is also enigmatically empty of all manners of display.

Perhaps the fallout of missing a meeting can still be fixed. But some kinds of shutdown have significantly more serious repercussions of course. The world is abuzz with the news of the shutdown that the US government is going through. Furloughs, heated debates, politicians seeking their own limelight in the confusion and general uncertainty. Watch this video on how Obama explains the shutdown.

How does a nation as mighty as the USA go into this kind of state and how does it recover? Well, I hope the solution is nigh and there is light at the end of this shutdown tunnel. But I am not going to dwell on this. Perhaps that is another topic for another day.

The whole business of shutdown actually got me thinking about things that crash when you least expect it. How does a cell phone die for instance? Today’s smartphones especially, are used to run a zillion apps. As interesting as these apps may be, they also drain the batteries like crazy. Apps may also run in the background.

The GPS is probably whirring away too. All of which simply means that they chug battery juice more than ever. The phone may even tell you that your battery is running low but the chances are that you are stuck somewhere without a charging point!


Take your watch. Very often, people dunk their watches into water with no thought about the water resistance levels. Oh yes, a watch may also die because its manufacturer or marketer decides to cannibalize the brand. Most watches stop when their cells run out of power. Other watches may stop because you have not moved your hand enough! Automatic watches get their power when you move your hands. So that’s a good point to keep in mind.


Take the laptops that we use every day. You will be typing away furiously and suddenly find that your words are not coming up on the screen. Your USB keyboard and mouse seem to have taken an unexpected break!

This may happen because there may be an itty bitty dust particle sitting where it is not supposed to be. If it is a wireless keyboard and mouse, it may be because the batteries have gone kaput.

How about home electronics then? Washing machines, dishwashers, microwaves and televisions can be rather eerie because they will be spinning along just fine and then stop without so much as a polite adieu!


There may be some small thing that has gone awry. Most modern day gadgets have error codes that they display. If you have the patience, read up their manuals and more often than not, you can fix it yourself.

How I wish we could say that of the US government. Take note of the error code, read the manual and bring it out of shutdown mode.

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