1980s Technology Troubles (Or, Technology Troubles – Day 2)

Technology Troubles

There are days in life, it is said, that will become so troublesome there is no point in getting out of bed. I say nay. I say there are entire weekends in that category and now I know they can spill over into the following week.

After losing half of last week to what was a bad cold or light flu – take your pick – and mainly recovered by Sunday, I intended that day to catch up with a pile of email and other computer chores.

But among the surprises are two technology problems involving this blog and my email – big problems. I won't bore you with details but neither are simple fixes and unlike many necessary tasks that are only irritating and/or tedious, these are also crucial, detailed and difficult.

Well, difficult for me but not impossible. That's unfortunate. If they were impossible, I could justify spending money for someone else to do it. But (another) nay. I'm just half-smart enough to do this.

I understand the general idea for each and I've fixed similar issues in the past but not for a long time so they require a lot of reading, testing, time. Like all day. Maybe two days. Maybe more. Who knows what will go wrong or what I'll screw up and have to figure out how to fix before I can fix the original problems.

This sort of work requires a lot of cigarette breaks. Oh, wait. I haven't smoked tobacco in years. Damn.

You can probably tell that this kind of stuff, the kind that can go wrong with just one misplaced keystroke, makes me really bad-tempered. Yes, I know that doesn't help but it's baked into my nature so I've packed Ollie the cat's bag and sent him on vacation for a few days.

Well, not really but before I'm finished, he'll undoubtedly wish I had.

Heh. Look at that. I intended a short note to have a place to post the link (below) to today's Elder Storytelling Place story and got carried away. I'll shut up now.

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Sharon Ostrow: A Muse


We've all been there, and we feel your pain. Just a thought ... maybe you should turn to a consultant to fix the problem; might be worth the money if it saves your sanity. Anyway, best of luck!

Unfortunately our techy woes don't have any mythological gods or goddesses to help, by asking for some kind of pagan support...but wait, Mercury was somehow connected with fast moving communication, so he's pretty close. So may his winged little feet patter all over your work...or not, whichever might help!

I feel for you Ronni, how can things be working fine one minute and not the next - so frustrating. I sometimes have the same problem with cars....

Technology problems are so annoying! I always feel panicked at first,and then after trying to contact Tech Support I feel angry, and after waiting 24 hours for them to respond, I feel hopeless. I wish I weren't so dependent on internet and email, but that's the way it is today. They are lifelines to stay in touch with others. Hang in there! It WILL get fixed for you.

I am pretty savvy with technology but as the years have passed I am more inclined to leave repair work to the experts.

Maybe you should be taking a different kind of smoke (toke) break.

If you are having problems with your own machine, that's one thing. If it's a web host or email provider problem, it may be time to go with someone else.

I used to be fearless and reasonably knowledgeable about computer problems and how to fix them. But in recent years (5-7), having migrated from desktop PCs and to Mac laptops (because hand-me-downs from my son started coming my way), most of what I used to know is forgotten or no longer applicable. So I'm dependent on my son. And I'm not above promising him almost anything if he'll get me up and running again the same day. My dependence is that bad. You have my deepest sympathy.

My goodness, you people who are recommending I hire someone must have a lot more money than I do.

There are gazillions of instructions on line, places to do live chat or get phone help that are free. The only problem with them is how time consuming it is to find the right information for your circumstances from a competent place or person.

But I don't have a choice to pay someone and besides, it would take me forever to find a person who actually knows what he or she is doing for each of my difficulties. Come to think of it, that is highly unlikely anyway.

I'm getting back to it now.

One piece of advice: Do anything, absolutely anything, go to any length possible to avoid malware and suspicious downloads. I've learned the hard way that they can come even from highly reputable websites.

Wishing you well on your tech fix. I hate stuff like that, and admire your ability to take it on and fix things. My husband has that kind of patience and ability.

Yes, I got an email that looked like it came from iTunes and I was about to click on it when I realized that iTunes had NEVER sent such a notice before and wouldn't be doing so now. It is indeed a dangerous world out there.

Oh, good luck, and the largest measure of patience and several "Ah ha!" insights.

Like everything in my life now, tech problems are more difficult to resolve and my patience level has downgraded to nearly zilch.

I can't concentrate long enough to research how to fix technical problems. And I can't remember what I need to do from one site to the next.

Getting malware is the worst of computer problems and now I finally got smart enough to pay for a good Malware prevention program that has kept me sane.

I also feel your pain, but you made me laugh in writing about it. I do apologize for my lack of sympathy.

Best of luck. I drive an older car. Compared to the new computers-on-wheels nowadays, I prefer the simplicity of its parts and problems. (And to whomever gave the rearview mirror adjustment advice recently - thank you!)

Wish I could do the same for this machine. I quit smoking also, but retain my range of swearing and screaming at inanimate objects. Keep on keepin on...

I hate tech problems! Good luck with yours.

Oh, Ronni, I am by turns impressed at your ability and determination that you can fix these tech problems on your own----and intimidated by your ability that you can fix them on your own. When my tech toys mess up, I have no choice but to take tem in to the " geniuses" at Apple or call someone. I don't envy your day or two of trial and error. I DO envy that you can do it. Sending positive thoughts you way.

Nope, even if I can't afford an expert to fix computer glitches when my G can't, I hire one. We are all sending you our best.

Did anyone else pick up on how specific Ronni was about how she hasn't smoked tobacco in years?

"This sort of work requires a lot of cigarette breaks. Oh, wait. I haven't smoked tobacco in years. Damn."

Hey Ronni--what have you been smoking?!? :)

Just trying to lighten up your day!

PS Go for it on fixing it yourself--my sister calls the Geek Squad for the least little problems, many of which she could fix herself if she'd just take the time and/or be sensible about what she clicks on in the first place!

My husband was "The Compleat Geek" when computers were reasonably straightforward (remember the c:> prompt?). Although I'm fairly proficient at the user level, I never really "got" the inner workings of computers and their operating systems. Today's machines and software are specialized to the point that few ordinary human beings can figure out what's wrong--let alone the fix--when they go belly-up.

We can ill-afford tech help, either, but since major computer malfunctions are often beyond our ability to resolve, what choice do we have if we wish to remain connected to the outside world? We've installed what I hope is a good malware/antivirus program, and I try not to download stuff I don't recognize, but if the federal government, multi-national corporations, banks and huge healthcare entities can get hacked, what chance do ordinary citizens have?

Good luck, Ronni--hope you're successful in finding and fixing whatever is wrong.

So many of us here were early adopters and once felt we had a grip on this technology. I would not be surprised if quite a few of us taught computer usage at some point. And then ... the tech moved on and now we are nearly as unable to cope as the next user (though maybe a little more likely to be able to find our own answers.)

All that certainly describes me,

I think this might be one aspect of "what it is really like to get older."

I'm helpless at this sort of stuff too. Best of luck Ronni.

But it reminded me how years ago I bought a DVD player and started playing around pushing different buttons. I clicked into Spanish, French and German directions and knew just enough words to find which buttons to click out of them. Then I clicked into Chinese and had no idea what to do. I called the help phone number in the manual. It was in Ontario, CA. That was great. In Detroit, we're just across the river. I couldn't understand why a recording said to call back when they opened at seven because it was already 9 A.M.

Turnout it was Ontario, California. I was something like number 32 in queue. After an hour I got a very nice lady who consulted with someone else and guided me out of my Chinese puzzle. Apparently I was not the only one who had experimented.

This subject confounds even the best of the experts. The way they usually solve these problems is by wholesaling all the software out of the PC, then troubleshooting and repairing the internal components, then safely reloading all your software back into the PC. This procedure takes years off chasing those hidden demons!

If you decide to go that route, and turn it over to the experts - make darned sure you backup (place on DVDs) all your material. Often the experts are not responsible for lost data.

If you haven't a clue about: the specific names, functions, and operation of all the peripheral components, their respective applications and what the each perform, or able to be specific in your symptoms and descriptions - leave it to the experts. That said, DO NOT pick the friendly neighbor next door or the guy down the street who has a fancy "PC Repairs" sign in the window. You are simply asking for even more trouble. (I fix my own stuff - but I assume the Geek Squad is someone who MIGHT be trusted.)

Also, if you think even remotely you have picked up a virus, spam, phish, malware of any sort - invest some money into a first class Internet Security System; as an example Kasperskys Internet Security. Lots of time can be avoided chasing down ghosts by using preventative measures.

All said, have you attempted to Restore your current software to the last level in which it worked?

I guess when problems get too expensive folks simply go buy a new one . . .

My Geek Squad contract only costs me $100/year, covers up to three devices (for me that means my iPad & desk top), and includes security software updates (Kaspersky) as well as unlimited troubleshooting and tune-ups. I'm not trying to shill for Geek Squad, but that seems to me to be a bargain in terms of peace of mind, convenience, time-saving, etc, in an area I know little about and could do considerable damage by trying to fix things myself. It's terrific to be able to let one of the geeks (especially my favorite geek, Wesley) "take over" my computer remotely. I have used them many times and always with completely satisfactory results. And believe me, I am capable of royally messing up a computer or computers. This is not an ad masquerading as a comment. I really mean it. - Meg

I hope everything is running smoothly by now. Like you I won't spend the money because there is free info available. (Worse case I have to use my phone to read it.)

And, um Judy? You must be new here. :)

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