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View Full Version : Computer Death, Redux



Silver King
02-07-2008, 07:27 AM
I posted this earlier in another forum. Then it disappeared, along with all of the responses.

I trust we'll have better luck here:

Something happened recently that I've never seen discussed here before.

My wife's uncle, Bob, was visiting. He's a fairly old guy who had a pacemaker implanted not long ago. He was talking to my wife while I worked on a short story, and suddenly he became distressed, clutching at his chest, his face turning pale. I rushed over to help, and just as quickly, he seemed to return to normal.

I went back to work, but by now, I couldn't concentrate on the story. I logged on to AW, and as soon as I started typing out a post, Bob nearly had a seizure and could barely breathe. The strange thing is, when I stopped typing, he returned to normal again, though he was somewhat shaken.

I sat there for a while and then cautiously tapped out a few words and watched Bob's reaction. Sure enough, he immediately brought both hands to his chest, his eyes wide and fearful. I stopped typing.

It occurred to me that maybe the keyboard was to blame. Recently, I switched to a wireless model, and for some reason, it must have interfered with Bob's pacemaker in some way.

Has anyone ever experienced a similar problem with wireless keyboards? Do you suppose there's a frequency issue that could interfere with the proper function of a pacemaker?

Bob is supposed to visit again tomorrow, and until I can get to the bottom of this issue, I'll plug in my old keyboard.

Finni
02-07-2008, 07:35 AM
roflmao

brokenfingers
02-07-2008, 07:38 AM
I'm curious - how close was he standing to you at the time? Were there any other electronic appliances being used at the time?

Devil Ledbetter
02-07-2008, 07:43 AM
Was he using a battery-operated personal stimulation device at the time he seemed to exhibit chest pain?

Did you have gas, or was KTC standing nearby making that pfffft sound?

akiwiguy
02-07-2008, 07:57 AM
OK, I wil repeat my theory... SilverKing, it is linked to your current WIP and what you were typing at the time, perhaps the speed or something...


"My hand slowly drifted under the hem of her skirt.." [Bob turns pale]

(Excited, SK's tempo quickens) "Lazily my fingertips stroked her thigh..." [Bob has severe palpatations]

(Thumping at the keyboard as the climax nears) "She groaned loudly as I..." [With a sizzling sound Bob bursts into flames]

reigningcatsndogs
02-07-2008, 08:03 AM
I've never heard of this before, but thanks for the heads up because my mom is supposed to be getting a pacemaker and I have wireless everything here!!!

There are a lot of references on the net about iPods causing problems for people with pacemakers, and apparently many wireless keyboard user manuals indicate how far you have to be away from someone with a pacemaker.

Writer???
02-07-2008, 01:30 PM
Great, more new mod powers we need to worry about.

Silver King
02-07-2008, 06:13 PM
I knew this would be a better forum to seek help with my problem. The people here understand ME!

truelyana
02-07-2008, 06:33 PM
This is natural, as electric interferences can happen. By the way what exactly is a pacemaker? Is it some sort of electrical object inside a human being?

Ol' Fashioned Girl
02-07-2008, 06:34 PM
Disappeared, huh? So... the bribe worked?

What're you gonna do about these screen shots I saved, eh?

P.H.Delarran
02-07-2008, 08:16 PM
S.K., every time you type, my toes tingle.
actually, it's kinda fun.

K1P1
02-07-2008, 08:24 PM
The problem is that every wireless device is a radio transmitter.

Sooner or later all that RF flying around is going to cause problems.

Never quite understood the wireless keyboard or mouse idea. I mean I understand it, but it's not like you are going to sit six feet away from your PC and be able to see the monitor clearly.

I thought the wireless keyboards and mice used infrared communications, not RF?

davids
02-07-2008, 08:28 PM
Seems like you have the method and the opportunity for the perfect murder- now figure out the motive and write the book!

maestrowork
02-07-2008, 08:30 PM
"Death By Typing" written by Silver King.

An instant best-seller, I reckon.

davids
02-07-2008, 08:50 PM
SEE SILVER IF RAY SAYS SO-SO IT MUST BE NOW AND FOREVER MORE AMEN AND AMEN!! NOW GO WRITE THE DAMN THING!

Little Red Barn
02-07-2008, 09:01 PM
Again: Sk, I told you that this happens to my cat when I use my wireless mouse. Vet said, this is rare, however whiskers, not too unlike human hair, produces molecubeus which aggravates the stimula abesti causing sometimes small seizures...of really no concern, however, he said to rub KY jelly on cat's whiskers. I'm assuming you can rub some on Uncle Bobs as well.

Hope this helps! :)

rhymegirl
02-07-2008, 09:09 PM
What happened to my responses?

I am truly insulted!!!

benbradley
02-07-2008, 10:00 PM
SK, I'd have your uncle ask the doctor about this as well as the pacemaker's manufacturer. As an electronics designer, it's my opinion that this should NOT happen to a well-designed pacemaker (all these wireless electronic devices are so ubiquitous it's almost impossible to avoid them), and if it does, I'd consider it a defect in the device. If I had a "medical condition" that kept me away from my toys the devices I use daily, I'd consider this a big reduction in quality of life.

This is natural, as electric interferences can happen. By the way what exactly is a pacemaker? Is it some sort of electrical object inside a human being?
Yes, a box surgically implanted in the chest for people with irregular heartbeats or who are otherwise 'at risk' of heart problems. The original ones from decades ago would just put out an electical pulse every second or so to cause a stable heartbeat, but surely modern ones are much more sophisticated, monitoring the heartbeat and only "kicking in" when needed.

Back 20 to 30 years ago, convenience stores had "Microwave Oven In Use" labels on the front door so pacemaker wearers would know to beware of entering (no one wants a cold Honey Bun). Some things could indeed cause problems with pacemakers.

But I had the impression they were much better made nowadays than before, that they would have better shielding and be much more immune from interference.

There are a lot of things that put out electromagnetic radiation that could interfere with other electronic devices. A CRT monitor or older TV with a CRT "picture tube" immediately comes to mind, as the deflection yoke puts out a large, changing (AC) magnetic field that could easily induce small voltages in nearby wiriing, especially any unshielded coils. Anyone who has plugged up an electric guitar within ten feet of a TV or monitor has heard the buzz of the vertical deflection.

The problem is that every wireless device is a radio transmitter.

Sooner or later all that RF flying around is going to cause problems.

Never quite understood the wireless keyboard or mouse idea. I mean I understand it, but it's not like you are going to sit six feet away from your PC and be able to see the monitor clearly.
Well, it depends on how big your monitor is...true, computer monitors generally have better resolution than TV's and more expensive for the same size, but don't underestimate how big a monitor a geek/power user might have.

I thought the wireless keyboards and mice used infrared communications, not RF?
I dunno about currently, they certainly used to, back in the PCJr days, and operated much like infared TV remote controls.. But with so much bluetooth and such, RF is almost certainly cheaper and more reliable than infrared ever was (for reliable communications the IR receiver has to 'see' the IR transmitter in the keyboard or mouse). But these things are REALLY low power (compared to, say, a cell phone at the edge of its range to the nearest tower), it still seems to me a pacemaker should be immune.

Writer???
02-08-2008, 03:51 AM
I thought the wireless keyboards and mice used infrared communications, not RF?

Some are Infrared but they require "line of sight" to communicate I think. Most are RF with a limited range of reception.

Of course, none of that has anything to do with the wires SK has running from his computer to Uncle Bob's favorite chair...just sayin'. :D

tallus83
02-08-2008, 06:13 PM
IR is line-of-site. The path cannot be blocked.

That's why the cordless keyboards and mice use RF. Most of the ones I've seen will also let you change radio frequencies if they interfere with other devices or other keyboards.

There are also documented occurances of wireless keyboards being hacked into.

Pacemaker and defibrilator wearers still have to be careful with cellphones. As in use your left ear when talking on one.