191006 Page Fault
Years ago, a good friend of mine was explaining what it meant when someone leaves our lives. They don't have to die for this to happen. They can leave you; you can leave them. They can change from being in your school to one far away. Work could take you so that you go from seeing each other daily to hardly exchanging messages.
A verbal joke I use too often is 404. This is the official error number for a web page not found. This is Not a page fault.
Modern computers use memory a certain way so that they can run executable programs larger than the actual memory they have installed. A large block of real memory is fenced off for swap use. This makes even Less real memory available, but we need some kind of trick to compensate for insufficient RAM memory. Our computer will save the swap file to disk, and load a different one. This can be used to simulate a very large address space.
While this system works well, it's not without hazards. Modern computers also seem to do more than one thing at a time, and so more than one swap page may be needed often. The virtual memory works best when you load something, and it can stay there for a long time (as the computer measures it).
To experience a page fault, you only need to load Facebook using the Firefox web browser, and simply scroll down as we normally do when reading our newsfeed. At first everything is just fine. After perhaps a half an hour of browsing, the internet seems to have trouble keeping up and the waiting symbol keeps appearing. It's not the internet.
As you continue scrolling down, and try to comment, things take place that just shouldn't happen. You click into an open text box, and start typing. The first four or five characters are echoed into the box rather slowly, and the remainder take place slower and slower still. I used to patiently wait twenty seconds or more for each character to come up. The resources are running very low, but they're not gone yet.
The symptom that appears next will depend on which point in the program the failure happens. Perhaps you will wait over a minute, to find that the characters just aren't happening any more. Maybe Firefox will just disappear without an error message, surprising you in the process. If you happen to be also editing some document, the visual controls may move around or get very large or small as their values get reset to strange numbers due to the memory getting too full to swap accurately. If you run windows, you could start a blue screen error message (we call it The Blue Screen of Death).
Let's return to discussing people.
You are used to sleeping next to someone for many years, and now they are gone. This isn't about someone telling you he's not home. This is about you talking to him for a moment, only to realize his side of the bed is cold and empty, and you feel a burning inside you as your ulcer opens again, and start to cry aloud again.
Happily, our brains don't use a numbered address space and don't actually get a real page fault. If you observed that, it would look like a stroke or some other brain malady.
When I moved to Thunder Bay, my new girlfriend decided to take me with her to visit her family in England. I have a driver's license, and I could have drived us, except that our rental car was a standard transmission. Wait, I know how to drive a standard! Uh, the steering wheel and the gear shift were on the Wrong Side. Also the cars were coming at me on my side. Oh, in my head I knew that I had to convert to the British system of driving, but over and over I kept making terrible driving mistakes. Not just with regard to left and right reversal, but this problem interfered with watching in front, and lane changes, and all aspects of safe driving.
I always wanted to be closer to my dad. Because of that, I am not experiencing terrible system faults. Too bad my mother is suffering so much. I don't have a clue when this will get easier for her.
What is happening to me are odd isolated faults. I just tried to sleep but had to get up an hour later. Nightmares, of a sort. I'm reliving the time spent in the hospital. It's not a comfort.
Just a few weeks ago, he was telling me I should be taking Crestor pills to control my cholesterol. I found them to be a bad choice for me as they made me weak and drowsy all of the time, and took away what little romantic powers I have already. Then he would lecture me about how I shouldn't worry about that at all, that the cholesterol was all that mattered. That, and losing a hundred pounds.
He didn't weigh a hundred pounds when I saw him last.
2015 is upon us.