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darkskywatcher

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Computer troubles [Sep. 2nd, 2006|03:29 pm]
darkskywatcher
My computer has developed a strange problem: The display freezes randomly. However, sometimes the mouse can still move for a while (without being able to do anything), before finally freezing. The other weird things is that if iTunes is on, the program will most of the time finish the song while everything else is frozen, and then either start skipping badly or stop once the song ends.
The other strange thing I noticed occurred last night; I decided to play a rather old game (Sid Meier's Colonization), which requires that I set the monitor to 256 colors. I played for about 8 hours with no problems (with iTunes running in the background), something I haven't been able to do with any other program so far. Same thing this morning: no detectable problems playing the game.
The computer always restarts fine, it's mostly just annoying, but I'd like to get it fixed, or at least get an idea what's wrong, before it gets any worse.

Any comments/suggestions?

(For reference, it's an Apple G4 eMac, about 2 years old at this point. It had the display and battery replaced in February)
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Comments:
From: peojkl
2006-09-02 09:16 pm (UTC)
The most obvious possibilities are a virus and some other program that is taking over all your memory. Over the years, I've had a variety of aggressive programs that would create a symptom something like this.
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[User Picture]From: lerite
2006-09-03 12:31 am (UTC)
virus is unlikely on a mac, but some kind of memory leak in a graphics program maybe?
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[User Picture]From: genghisishippie
2006-09-03 12:51 am (UTC)
Have you tried just running in 256 colors for a while, while not playing colonization?
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[User Picture]From: darkskywatcher
2006-09-03 01:41 am (UTC)
Not really. Things really look weird in 256 if they weren't intended to be in it.
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[User Picture]From: genghisishippie
2006-09-03 02:49 am (UTC)
Check, even if you just leave the computer on and leave to go do something-- it could be a crash related to the resolution.
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[User Picture]From: darkskywatcher
2006-09-04 12:48 am (UTC)
Running it on 256 does seem to work, but there I things I can't do with the computer like that.

Can you explain more what you're talking about?
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From: peojkl
2006-09-04 01:12 am (UTC)
I'm sure his idea is controlled experiments to figure out what conditions do and do not lead to a crash. You could experiment with other software using the high colors to see if that crashes too. You are trying to figure out whether it is something specifically with the video or specifically with that game and its video.
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[User Picture]From: thegelf
2006-09-04 05:58 pm (UTC)
Did you install anything new before the freezes began? Any apple updates, driver updates, etc?

Right now it sounds like a problem either with your graphics card or graphics card drivers, since changing the number of colors displayed prevents the crash.
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