Last week, Spouse told me that a CD had been stuck in her car stereo for a week (it’s the default radio for a 10-year-old Hyundai Accent). The stereo didn’t think it had a CD loaded and the eject function wouldn’t work. She was getting tired of listening to the radio.

Yesterday, I had an idea and disconnected the battery and waited a few minutes. When I reconnected the battery and pushed eject, the CD popped right out.

We tend to forget the extent to which the devices we interact with are (a) digital; and (b) always on. Sometimes a reboot is in order. I could probably have found the fuse for the stereo and pulled it and it might have done the same thing, but I always worry that in highly-interconnected systems like this (where, e.g., the radio illumination interacts with the dash illumination settings) there are hidden connections.

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So the next time you have a device that’s misbehaving, consider giving it a good kick right in the battery. That is all.