Sunday, September 2, 2012

Technology Hates Me

Today has been a frustrating day.  A very frustrating day.  Since my great plan to get my laptop fixed in one day while I was still on vacation failed, I've been lugging not only my laptop but a mouse and keyboard with me.  It kind of defeats the purpose of having a laptop when you have to drag those around with you.  This week I finally decided it was time to take action.  After weighing my options and pondering cost and time, I decided to ship it in to get the mouse replaced.  It's still under the extended warranty, so the repair will be free.  I'll be without the computer for a few days, but I won't have to tie up over 4 hours in traveling to a repair shop to deliver it and back several days later to retrieve it. 

I transferred my documents over to Daughter's computer and decided to begin using it now.  Hopefully I'll be able anything I've forgotten from my computer before sending it in.  I'm running Office 2007 on my laptop, and I'd installed Office 2010 on Daughter's.  There are some minor differences, but I'll adjust.  When I got to the church today, I realized I hadn't installed the printer drivers yet to print out my sermon.  No problem.  Windows quickly found the printer on the network, but couldn't find the printer driver (even after searching the web.)  No problem.  I know how to download drivers.  I went to the manufacturer's website and started looking.  It wasn't with the other drivers, but eventually I found the page that would get me to the proper driver.  I got to the page and looked at a list of probably 100 files that had mysterious names.  I had no clue what one I needed.  I took my best guess, and when asked if I wanted to save it or run it, I chose to run it.  It downloaded, and then told me I needed to unzip the file.  Fine.  I know how to do that.  I didn't worry about where it put the files, I've done this before.  So it told me it had successfully unzipped over 100 files.  I quickly discovered it had unzipped them to a hidden system directory that I couldn't find.  I was beginning to get frustrated.  I finally found the directory, but there wasn't a setup file there.  Administrative Assistant arrived.  I told her I needed help.  I emailed her the liturgy and PowerPoint, and she printed them out for me.  Of course, I hadn't transferred my directory, so it wasn't as easy as it normally is to email her the files, but I managed. 

Her son, the Engineer and Computer Geek was in town for the long weekend, so she suggested maybe he could figure out the problem.  I retrieved what I needed from the printer and found ECG.  I told him he'd been volunteered.  He followed my back to my study.  He began working.  He finally told me he'd have to look at it again after worship. 

I had a friend in worship this morning, so I wanted to go to lunch with her.  ECG had installed drivers, but couldn't get a test page to print.  The printer would make noise, but it would go back to sleep without printing.  He was still working on it when I left to go to lunch.  I thanked him for working on it and also for protecting my ego by struggling with it.  AA had suggested we get the technician to come install the drivers, she thought that would be covered by our service contract, but her son wasn't ready to admit defeat.  We had theorized that they intentionally made the drivers hard to install so that we'd have to pay for a service call. 

I left with Daughter and my friend for lunch.  On the way to the church, my car had warned me there were problems with the battery charging system.  I was relieved when it started right up.  We drove to a nearby restaurant and enjoyed a wonderful lunch.  On the way back to the church, more warnings appeared.  The stability control system wasn't working.  There was a problem with the anti-lock brakes.  It was going into battery saving mode.  I pulled into the parking lot and stopped near my friend's car.  I decided to pull into a parking place and grab the computer (and see if he'd succeeded).  When I tried to move the car, I realized the power steering was gone. 

I got inside and found a print test page on my computer.  ECG had beaten one bit of technology into submission.  I called AA and told her I needed to be rescued, I was having car trouble at the church.  She said she'd take care of it.  A few minutes later her Administrative Assistant's Husband and ECG pulled into the parking lot with the electronic gizmo that will read error codes on cars.  I was just expecting them to transport Daughter and me to our respective homes.  The car now wouldn't start.  They checked to see if maybe the problem was the belt, but it looked okay.  There weren't any engine error codes, so they suggested the alternator might need replacing. 

After we dropped Daughter off, AAH said he had a battery charger at home, and if I'd give him my keys, he'd see if he could get the battery charged enough I could take it into a shop on Tuesday.  I gratefully handed him my keys.  Depending on what's wrong with the car, I may need to wait until next year to get my problem tree removed. 

I had planned to go see Sister Best Friend tomorrow.  We were going to paint and then have a barbecue.  Instead, I'm going to be stuck here at home.  I was really looking forward to tomorrow.  I've worked the last two Fridays, and yesterday I recognized the toll it has taken on me....  I really do need Fridays off. 

Maybe tomorrow I can figure out why the new exterior light I installed yesterday doesn't work.  I was going to write a hilarious post about trying to change out the light fixture on my own and how hard it was since I kept dropping screws and such when I was up on the ladder.  I guess you'll just have to use your imagination....

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