Tag: frustration

On resolving technical difficulties

So, my day was fun.  As mentioned yesterday, both my pc and my laptop decided they didn’t want to work anymore.  I’ve had computer problems in the past (who hasn’t?) but always just one computer at a time.  This is the first time that more than one ganged up on me at the same time.

After running virus scans, malware scans, registry cleaners, disk checks, a system file check and scrolling through a few hundred entries in the system log I finally found the problem.  Turns out it wasn’t Microsoft taking revenge after all, but the latest update of the program I got from my bank’s internet banking site supposed to protect me against malware and phishing attacks.  Unfortunately part of the ill effects of this update was that it made the computer freeze every time I tried to uninstall it and system restore wouldn’t work either (and in case you didn’t know, you can’t uninstall programs in “safe mode” as the installer doesn’t run there).

clip-art-computers-608372I was weighing my options between doing a clean re-install (which would have meant wiping my hard drive and starting from scratch), taking the pc in to the shop for a repair install (which I can’t do as I don’t have a retail-disc of Windows but only the one that came pre-loaded when I bought the pc), or performing a bit of percussive maintenance by invoking the title of my blog, when I came across  The Windows Club.  They had the answer in the form of an application that could activate the installer from within safe mode and I was finally able to uninstall the offending program.

I am very glad to report that since 12 this afternoon neither my pc or laptop has crashed once and I haven’t had to test whether or not a laptop and desktop pc fall at the same speed when dropped from a fourth storey window.

I still think we should be careful what we say online about Microsoft, though.  I honestly believe they’re way more powerful than the world’s governments and a much bigger threat to privacy than PRISM.

Speaking of PRISM, click here for something funny.  I promise your IP address will be recorded and immediately forwarded to the US Department of Homeland Security along with a photo of you taken by your webcam.

On experiencing technical difficulties

I have a (I think) quite excellent blog post half-complete for today.  It has been half-complete for the past three hours.  That’s how long my pc has been habitually freezing the moment I try to do anything short of simply staring at the desktop.  I started up the laptop, but it’s doing the same thing.

Earlier today I made a rather negative comment (actually two) on a friend’s Facebook status regarding Microsoft.  I think they saw it and now they’re punishing me.  Either that or the last set of automatic updates were complete rubbish.  I’d run system restore to undo the last update, but then the computer freezes.  I’m pretty sure Microsoft is doing this on purpose.

Sadly, this means you won’t get to read that excellent post.  I’m typing this on an Android tablet, so should be safe from Microsoft interference, but it’s a very cheap tablet, so I can’t edit the pictures I was intending to include with the post.  Also, while I have a keyboard for the tablet it’s rather small and my hands are cramping up just from the few words written here.

So, I’m afraid you’ll have to be satisfied with this for now.  I’m running every scan I can think of that doesn’t make the computer freeze, so hopefully things will be back to normal by tomorrow.

In the meantime, be warned:  it’s not PRISM, Big Brother or even Santa Clause you should fear.  Rather, fear Microsoft.  They’re more powerful than you think!

Car Troubles – Chapter 2

I hate mechanics.  Okay, that’s not fair.  I don’t hate all mechanics, just like I don’t hate all lawyers and all journalists (though I’m pretty sure I still hate all politicians).  But I absolutely despise those mechanics who install sub-standard parts and who tell you they’d checked something when, in fact, they hadn’t.  (Of course there are also the ones who charge you for unnecessary work, by I haven’t had the pleasure of a run-in with one of those yet.)

Click on the picture. You won’t be sorry.

I take good care of our vehicles.  I never skip a service and if something major breaks I replace it immediately, even if it means that month’s budget has to be adjusted.  I replace tyres before they reach the point where I’d get a warning if pulled over and make sure the shocks are in good condition.  I regularly check oil, water, brake fluid and tyre pressure and after our last episode I place the bakkie‘s battery on a charger once a week if I’m not driving it much. Continue reading “Car Troubles – Chapter 2”

Car troubles

At 7 this morning I settled down to work, still in my jammies as it’s winter now, I work at home, and it’s easier to go shower once it has heated up a bit.  Around quarter past my wife left for school.  A few minutes later she calls me from our building’s parking area downstairs.  Her car has a flat tyre.

flat tyre

I grab my car keys and head down, thinking she could take my car and I’ll change the tyre and take it in to have fixed once I am dressed.  I put my key into the ignition and turn.  Nothing.  Not even a click.  Battery is dead, deceased, it’s spark snuffed out.  My car does that in winter.  It doesn’t help that I don’t drive it that regularly, preferring to walk if I need something from the shops.

I get out the jumper cables.  Our parking spaces are behind each other, so my wife backs out and I push my car out as well and manoeuvre it next to hers so I can connect the cables.  Turns out the battery is too flat even for jumper cables.

Eventually, realising she’s now later than she would have been had I just changed the tyre from the start, I got the jack and spare tyre out of the trunk and changed the tyre.  It was -1 degrees Celsius.  I was in my robe and slippers.  Without gloves.  At one point I feared my hands will freeze onto the lug wrench.

Now I’m waiting for her to come home so I can take her car in search of a battery charger.  Then I’ll need to get my car going so I can get it back up the driveway into my parking space (at present it’s partially blocking the gate to our parking area) where I’ll leave it to recharge.

Not really any deeper point to this post.  Just thought I’d share it with you.

P.S.  While searching for a picture for this post I found an inordinate amount of pictures of women in skimpy outfits changing tyres while in very impractical positions.  Why?  Just, why?

On Missing the Point

The other day I read this post by Matthew Wright which made me think of an experience I had with the post office a few years ago.

I was expecting a package.  It was an overnight counter-to-counter courier package.  They’re supposed to be available by eleven o’clock, so I showed up at the post office just after eleven.  The queue was quite long as the South African post office is also one of the largest banks in the country (in terms of client numbers – they don’t offer any credit facilities and all transactions are over the counter, so it’s the bank of choice for most low-income earners) and, as with any post office in the world, only two of the twelve cashier windows were staffed.

After 45 minutes of shuffling forward a bit at a time, in the process memorising all the notices and posters on the walls (this was before I had Twitter), I finally reach the counter only to be told that I cannot get my package. Continue reading “On Missing the Point”