Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Why Does It Make Us Crazy?

Those of us who live much of our day on a computer know the kind of frustration that comes with the inability to get on it and work.

This morning BJ and I were working away on our computers after putting our time in on laundry.
We had one of those “blink of an eye” power glitches” that’s so fast a person isn’t really sure if it happened. I was on me wee laptop. BJ was on her desktop. I had no problem with mine. She came up with major problems on hers.

She rebooted and knew that all was moving along, except for one thing. The monitor didn’t return to its former colorful glory. Its blank screen stared at her from across the desk, daring her to fix it. She thought it had blown its power cord and had no spare for it in the house. All the spare cords are in storage in the garage.

She turned to her laptop for solace. It came humming to life, awaiting her every whim. Her first whim was connection to the net. Alas, she was doomed to yet more frustration. Her laptop couldn’t find a server, a link, a connection, or the driving software that had been there for over 18 months. The software programs had mysteriously disappeared.

I downloaded the software from my desktop onto a flash drive. We uploaded it to her hard drive, and waited. No dice. It didn’t recognize any kind of authorization. We’d slid back behind the starting line yet again.

Speed dial still worked on my cell phone and before three rings had passed I had Best Buy on the line to enquire as to the price of a new power cord for her desktop. We could pick one up­--we had to go to the store anyway later—for a mere $15-30.
By now we were used to that slide back to square one. Sorry, there is no budget for a cord. Another doomed attempt with the laptop gained no ground for her. We sat in the living room, individually thinking through where to begin again.

A bright shining glow formed above BJ’s head. “I’ve got one more thing I can try,” she said as she rose and headed for her bedroom. Naturally I followed.

When I got there, she beamed at me. “It worked.”

I looked at the monitor and saw a colored patch in the center of the screen. “I plugged it into a different socket in the power strip,” she said with enthusiasm. “The power surge must have blown just that one socket.  It’s all better now.”

She works as I write this. Two pieces of advice from this new experience of ours:

1.      Surge protection strips can lose a single socket from a small power glitch, so try another socket before beginning to pull out your hair, and

2.      Never get between a photographer and her access to Photoshop when she’s working.

Most of us have encountered such days. Ours had a happy ending, fortunately. It didn’t cost any money—also a good thing. In all we lost nearly three hours of working time because of it. And blood pressure pills take time to work. Mine should be kicking in sometime soon. We can finally concentrate on productivity.

That’s been our day here in the North Country. I wish all of you a cool evening. We were supposed to get to 82 deg. today, but I don’t know if we’ve made it. We had a slight cool front come through this afternoon. We might make 85 deg. one day by the end of the week. It’s in the 40’s and 50’s at night. We did have a t-storm about 4 am this morning.

So, why does such an experience with our computers make us crazy? Is it the frustration of no long being the master of the machine? Is it the fear that BIG BUCKS are going to be needed to fix it? You tell me what you think it is.
Until later,

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