Odd MacBook Restarts — Maybe I’m trying to create Higgs Bosons

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Over the past couple of days, I’ve been working on a PowerPoint presentation for an upcoming training session for my day job. I’m using Microsoft Office 2005’s PowerPoint on a recently upgraded to Snow Leopard (10.6.1) MacBook Pro and I’ve had a couple of odd crashes that I’ve not experienced before.

Both times the OS-X window manager blue screened, brought up the Mac “Plasma” login screen and I was able to log back in and continue work. Now while this may be some Snow Leopard vs. M$OFT quirk causing the window manager to die, I’d rather consider other options.

Higgs Bosons

So just what do these sub-atomic particles have to do with this? Well this article explains why some
reputable scientists believe that the Higgs Bosons (I’m not responsible for the headaches from reading that Wikipedia article) are themselves travelling back in time, sabotaging the Large Hadron Collider to prevent it from creating them.

Time-travelling Higgs sabotages the LHC. No, really

from Newscientist.com. The article quotes the New York Times where it humanized the physics writing:

“the hypothesized Higgs boson… might be so abhorrent to nature that its creation would ripple backward through time and stop the collider before it could make one, like a time traveler who goes back in time to kill his grandfather.”

In my case, I’m going to be teaching a subject that the customers want to learn, but I fear the
Pandora’s Box (slightly NSFW image on the page) that I may be opening by teaching it. The topic is about a templating language we use within our tools.

Both of these quasi-reboots (it only rebooted the Window Manager, not the whole OS!!!) happend as I
was putting together one particular slide on “Lists and Hashes”. Something is telling me to not include this slide. Perhaps I’m going to let people know they can wield more power. Is it karma? An omen? An act from the programmer gods? or Higgs Bosons?

Is what I’m about to teach so abhorrent to nature that its instruction is rippling backwards
through time and stopping my PowerPoint slide before I can create it?

Of course, being a science geek, I should point out Occam’s’Razor would suggest I look for a simpler, more logical explanation. In this case, “Microsoft Sucks”.

I’m at a paradox with this. Should I continue? Should I take it as a sign to back off?What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below.

2 Responses to “Odd MacBook Restarts — Maybe I’m trying to create Higgs Bosons”

  1. Tom Rouillard

    Hi Rob, you’re just asking for problems when you combine older office products and Snow Leopard. I think one way to avoid issues like this would be to use OpenOffice for things like PPT slideshows. That may or may not help with stability.

    Here’s an extensive blog post on the subject. It seems fonts are a big issue.


    Also, here’s an MS support forum on the topic. I think you have Office 2004 (never made a 2005 for Mac).


    Finally, here’s a forum on Snow Leopard issues with OpenOffice. Again, fonts are the big culprit.


    Good luck with your demo!


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