Technology Woes

Unbeknownst to either of us, Katy and I wrote similar albeit opposite blogs this week. Yesterday, she talked about her love for new technology, today, I’m going to talk about my (sometimes) hatred of it.

Technology and I don’t get along all that well. We tolerate each other in order to get the job done, but occasionally technology decides to break the truce and play merry hob with everything.

Take my computer, for instance – we bought it in 2004 and, since then, just about everything inside it has been replaced. Usually due to catastrophic failure. The last catastrophe was in 2009 when, after listening to the faulty advice of HP’s service tech, I plugged my brand-new printer into the wall socket instead of a surge-protector. Less than two weeks later, we got hit by a massive thunderstorm and a bolt of lightning went through the printer and fried my motherboard.

The only thing that hasn’t been replaced is the harddrive. Not for lack of trying, though. After the motherboard issue, I thought it might be a good idea to replace the harddrive which, at that time, was almost six years old. So, I talked to a friend who is a tech-God (This is the same friend who, when I was looking for a laptop, suggested I buy a Macbook. A Macbook I can’t even use very much because it gives me intense headaches. At least my husband likes it.) and he suggested I order a new one through New Egg and do it myself since “harddrives are so easy to replace. They’re pretty much just install and play.”

Of all the jinxing things to say. I bought the harddrive he suggested (and was sent a much bigger one instead for the same price) and asked him to install it for me since I know how technology and I interact. He agreed, but when the time came, he slapped himself upside the head and said, “I forgot that these things don’t come pre-installed with Windows. Do you have the install disks that came with the computer?” *blink blink* You want me to find install disks from six years ago? Did it even come with install disks?

I searched and searched for anything that might resemble an install disk without any luck. Finally, one of my husband’s employees offered up his Windows disks. Only they were upgrade disks instead of install. *sigh*

This was around the time that Windows 7 was released , but I really didn’t want to spend another $100+ just to buy Windows 7. After checking Amazon, I found somebody selling a brand new Windows 7 install disk for $75. So, I ordered it and waited for it to arrive. And waited. And waited. And waited. Two weeks later, I filed a complaint with Amazon and got my money back. Still no disks.

And then life got in the way. Financial issues, family issues, my tech-God moved out to San Jose to take a job with Malwarebytes, we decided to buy a house. One thing after another conspired against us.

As we were packing for the move to our new house, I found the install disks from when we bought the computer. Of course that’s when I’d find it, when we could least afford to mess around with it. To the back of the line it went once again.

Once we were finally somewhat settled in the house and we weren’t scrambling to get things done, a friend who works in corporate IT offered to install the harddrive for me. I’m going to be honest here, I have no idea what the heck she did to my harddrive. I know she ghosted everything over to the new harddrive and there was an issue finding the BIOS. Other than that, all I know is that she didn’t get the harddrive to work.

That was last summer. After her unsuccessful attempts, I was simply too disgusted by the whole process to care any longer. I kept debating whether I should pay an actual computer person to install it, but always decided against it because I really didn’t want to shell out possibly hundreds of dollars for something that was supposed to be “so easy”.

Right after Christmas, I met up with a very good friend who is taking IT classes at one of the local colleges. She offered to take a look at my computer and try to figure out what was wrong with it.

After two visits, both of them several hours each and highly aggravating, she’s almost certain that she’s finally found the problem: the motherboard wasn’t set up to run a SATA harddrive since my current harddrive is an IDE. Don’t ask me what either of those acronyms stand for or what it means because I really don’t know. She was supposed to come over on Wednesday to work her magic and get it running. Alas… fate had other ideas. Due to a personal emergency, she wasn’t able to get over here and now I’m not sure when it’s going to be done.

There are some days when I dream of a life alone in the woods without any sort of technology at all. Then I slap myself in the head and remind myself that for all of the cost and aggravation my computer has cost me, it has also brought me many more wonderful things.

Ana

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8 responses to “Technology Woes

  1. *laughs and hugs* Poor Ana!

    I think sometimes the reason I love tech so much is I have my own personal tech support for when things go wonky like that. It certainly makes life a whole lot easier! If we lived closer I’d send him over to fix your troublesome HD.

    K

  2. Ana, if you ever think of starting over — get a MAC…works right out of the box, no install disks, spam/virus software crap, and all the other stuff that is just “Windows PC bloat”
    eden

    • I actually love my PC. This is the first major issue we’ve had with it that isn’t the fault of an outside force and we’ve had it since 2004.

      We have a Macbook that I can’t stand. It’s nowhere near as intuitive to use as Windows and it gives me intense headaches if I use it for too long.

  3. A Mac’s definitely the way to go, especially when it’s time to upgrade your system software. Although you should always back up, upgrading doesn’t eradicate all of your files. Further, no malware and, as Eden says, no viruses, AND it never crashes. If an application goes down—and those are usually Microsoft products—it doesn’t crash the computer. My wife, who has been faced with all the issues you describe, finally tossed her Toshiba and went Mac. Aside from a gentle learning curve, she’s been working without a hitch ever since.

    • As I said to Eden above, I’m not impressed by Macs. I haven’t had any issues with viruses or malware and other than the occasional issues with Flash Player, my computer doesn’t crash. 99% of the issues we’ve had with our computer are due to outside factors.

      For me, Macs don’t offer anything that justify their outrageous price tags.

  4. I have a friend, Bill, he knows all things computer. I no longer mess with anyone else, I just call him and he fixes it. I have, however, given him a new nick name, “Hundred Dollar Bill” because that seems to be what a visit ends up costing me. I look at it as kind of an insurance policy payment. The upside is, I avoid all the frustration tied to a non-tech person, working on high tech, or for that matter, low tech stuff. As I tell Bill, “Just make it do what I want it to do, damn it!”

    Wally

  5. I’m not too demanding of my computer; it’s really used just for writing, the Net and iTunes. The last four we’ve purchased (laptop, desktop and a netbook for each kid) have been Dells and we’ve had nothing but good luck (knock wood!) with the product and the service.

    It’s a good thing, because I’m totally techno-challenged and my husband isn’t much better. We need “plug-em-in, turn-em-on” PCs for sure!

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