Friday, September 2, 2011

Purgatory for the Technology Challenged

By Kim

As that magical first day of school approached, I tweaked the outline for the remainder of  The Oak Lovers. I had every intention of sitting down at my desk at 8:15 AM on August 22nd, 2011 and cranking out a good 1,500 words or more before my two bundles of joy returned home.

How many did I write? Zero.

How many have I written in the week since then? Zero.

Let me explain. The night before school started, while at Best Buy with my husband, I spied a shiny black Gateway and had visions of downloading the latest version of iTunes, graduating from Windows XP and Office 2003, and living happily ever after.

“Happy Birthday,” my husband said. I brought my new love home.

Our honeymoon period consisted of one blissful day when I successfully transferred all my documents, photos and iTunes library from Dinosaur Dell to Gateway. Our first lover’s quarrel started when I then tried to burn a playlist, and Gateway informed me that my CD burner couldn’t be ‘found.’

“Baloney,” I said. (Actually, it was another ‘B’ word.) “Where do you think the blank CD is now?”

After a bit of research, I learned that this is an iTunes program bug and not Gateway’s fault. We made up and I added the issue to the list of problems for my personal computer doctor (husband) to deal with when he got home from his business trip.

My genealogy program went in without a hitch, but it took considerable bickering before Gateway agreed to display the files in a readable format, an action it seemed reluctant to repeat on command. My rose colored glasses came off and I felt the first real twinge of resentment toward my new companion.

The flicker flared to a flame when Gateway refused to download the newest version of Web Easy (the program I use to edit my Carl Ahrens website). I’m not an ‘administrator,’ Gateway informed me, and only administrators can make that request. Dear Husband assured me I am indeed the administrator, but suggested that perhaps the old version of Web Easy would do. I inserted the circa 2000 disk and prayed Gateway would not turn up its Windows 2010 nose and spit it right back out. It didn’t, but it also claimed several items on my website could not be ‘found.’

You don't want to know what I had to say about that.

Dinosaur Dell may be old and slow, but at least he doesn’t behave like a five-year-old on a power trip. I long for the good old days when I knew which quirks to expect and which battles to pick. I long to escape the purgatory of being both technology-challenged and torn between two not-quite-working computers.

I long to get back to work.

Feel free to share your technology related horror stories. We can laugh/cry together!


  1. Kim,I share not only your pain, but your experience. Except my Dinosaur Dell isn't working--well, it does work when someone else stops by and turns it on, but I no longer appeal to it, so it refuses to start for me.
    I have a lovely Gateway One, about a month older than yours. I'm editing a 110,000 Word manuscript, but Gateway handles file retrieval in its own manner, which early on, resulted in some desperate searches for "lost" files that had been saved to an inappropriate folder.
    Mine has a camera up top, but I fixed that with a Band-Aid. It can still hear me while I argue with it, but it can't make fun of how I look in the process.

  2. Hi Carol,

    My big problem with Dinosaur Dell was that it refused to download pretty much anything - always got stuck somewhere. If I wanted the new version of iTunes or Adobe Flash player, I had to have my husband download it on another computer, put the program in the shared files and download it to mine kind of through a back door process. That was a pain!

    I'm happy to report that Gateway now cooperates with absolutely everything except burning CDs from iTunes. Hopefully Dear Husband can fix that, as I like to burn CDs!

    Haven't had the file retrieval problem yet, BUT I also haven't done much yet! Yikes!

    Dinosaur Dell has a new life a a six-year-old's computer. Demands are slight beyond Jump Start or Webkinz.

  3. Hi Kim,

    That was absolutely brilliant. I loved the way you took those key words, "my love" and carried through in fashion! Good writing once again!

    Yes, I can relate: I remember when all my Old Word Perfect files were being transferred to Word
    and came out like gobbly-gook! Panic city!


  4. Paula,

    I can only imagine...yikes! You have a lot of genealogy files that would not be good to lose!

    Thanks for stopping by!


  5. Love your humorous take on this, Kim. All of us can relate to your pain and how it feels when the new computer starts to feel like a relationship on track.


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