Friday, November 20, 2009

Anyone have a virtual-Advil (for my techno-migraine?)

Until two weeks ago, I lived in a happy, safe little Computer Cocoon. My home PC chugged along, playing music, downloading digital pictures, cruising the Internet, getting my email, organizing my financial data, etc., all with minimal fuss. And I, a comfortable Technology User, felt fairly savvy about computers. Then...we were hit with the debilitating Virus That Ate Windows (announced, of course, by the dreaded Blue Screen of Death.) In a panic, I called my New Best Friend and Computer Whiz, (that's very wordy, so let's just call him:  Tom) who leaped to the rescue, vanquishing the nasty invader and restoring our data. I did have to re-download or re-install some applications, but since the alternative was "chuck the stupid machine out the window and buy a new one", it seemed a small price to pay (even AFTER Tom's fee). All was well in the Home Office.

This honeymoon lasted about a week.  Then came the catastrophic Windows Explosion. Oh, Tom?  This time he just took the thing back to his house, worked his magic on it, and called me when it was ready.  The diagnosis?  Windows had "corrupted" due to a bad "driver"...whatever the heck that means.  MUCH more important was what went unsaid, but I implied from his explanation: "YOU DIDN'T BREAK IT." So, again with the stinking re-downloading and re-installing of the same things I did last week.  Grrr.

But there may be a Silver Lining to this experience. I had to figure out how to locate executable files, re-initialize programs, re-sync some data, create desktop the time I was finished (admittedly, HOURS later) I felt somewhat less like a raving idiot, and a bit more like a Tech Goddess.  Then Tom checked in to see how I was faring (see why he's my new best friend?  a computer genius with social skills!) I asked a few follow-up questions about minor glitches I had encountered when attempting to locate and transfer some data from Old-Bad-Windows to New-Well-Behaved-Windows. I was feeling quite intelligent and pleased with myself...that is, until he launched into an earnest, detailed recommendation that I "set up an Internal Backup Drive and configure it to make an exact copy of your C: drive (and some other inexplicable phrases in Advanced Computer-Speak)" .  Oh, Tom, just when I thought we understood each other...I'm retreating to my Computer Comfort can find me on Facebook.

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