Computer Guy

A brief note before I embark to give a shout out to my Good Friend, Greg, without whom I’d be useless as … a Democrat … in fixing computers.  Let us journey onward…

I am our home IT (Internet Technology)(Computer) Guy.  The schmuck who fixes computers.  Or more accurately, the ‘tard who attempts to fix computers.  Those who know me understand the ironic humor of this situation because I am often the perfect example of the proverbial pig gazing at the proverbial wristwatch in search of understanding of said watch <insert photo of me staring at a computer with puzzled expression here>.  Exactly why I am the designated Fail Puppet for this kind of shit, I have no idea, because as Di points out every time there’s an issue, she completely knows and understands the problem before I embark on my journey of digital exploration.

Sometimes this process is fun and rewarding, and I get to bask in the glow of manly accomplishment after Taking Action To Solve A Problem.  Sometimes I am emasculated by an inanimate object, an appliance really, that has no more free will in it than my electric circular saw or my sweaty Army sock on the floor.  Here are some excerpts of the unending adventures:

The Three-Day Virus Fix.  All of our home network virus adventures seem to start with this comment: “Babe, the (one of our computers) is acting funny.”  This statement, by the way, is always made by my wife, who according to her version of the story already knows the problem and the solution.  In my head, inevitably, I think: “Oh shit.”  This weekend of digital surgery was epic.  I was lucky I had a long weekend courtesy of some random federal holiday, because it took fully three days to fix, a minimum of eight hours each of the days occupied.  Though I quickly determined there was a virus problem, the fix was the rub.  Apparently this nasty beastie was a boot sector trojan, so much downloading and disc-burning was necessary.  Final Score: Virus 1, Neander-Husband 2.

The “Where’s My Globe?” Melodrama.  Beginning: after helping Di eliminate some ‘unneeded’ programs on her system: “Babe, my internet globe is gone.”  Again, in my head: “Oh shit.”  Di noticed that her internet connection icon in her system tray did not have the little round Earth icon with it as she was accustomed to (brand: HP; OS: Vista; headache factor: ∞³).  She is the lone Vista user in the house, by timing of laptop purchase, not by choice.  Anyway, I carefully poke around and look and snoop.  Nothing is amiss, no apparent viral infections.  I return the laptop to her lovely lap and state that all is well.  Conversation ensues:

    • DI: “There’s still no globe!”
    • ME: “Yeah.  It’s ok, you’re still connected and connecting to the ‘net.”
    • DI: “But I like my globe. How am I supposed to know if I’m online or not?”
    • ME: “Hover the mouse over the icon in the tray.  Or right-click it and have the status pop up.”

Suffice it so say that was not the acceptable or anticipated outcome of my actions to that point.  Ultimately I wound up rolling her system back to the last known good image.  Final Score: Di ∞ (Uber-win), Vista 1, Man-Tard 0.

The “What-Do-You-Mean-My-Email’s-Gone” Fail Fest.  Beginning: Di’s Outlook inbox was “full.”  My inside voice: “Praise the Lord and pass the potatoes, I know how to fix this.”  At the end of the day, I managed to unclog the mail server, establish Di’s *.pst file, and along the way confused Outlook to the point that the program could see the email but not open it.  The re-fix was to import her old, 25GB *.pst file, which turned out to be corrupted, and virtually eliminated a lot of old messages since it wouldn’t open, let alone import across.  Because it was 25 giga-freaking-bytes… Giga. Bytes.  I noted to Di that clearing the server after ‘receive’ or not, she really needed to practice some email discipline, such as permanently delete the Victoria’s Secret Thong and Food Pit Supermarket emails from the past seven years.  She agreed and did, but there is the rest of the conversation:

    • ME: “Unfortunately some of the email was lost.”
    • DI: “Lost?  WTF does that mean?  Where is it?”
    • ME: “Gone.  Dead.  In Narnia.  The *.pst was corrupt.  Believe me I tried everything.”
    • DI: [with full and sad pouty-face] “Baaaaabe!”
    • ME: [To Self / In-Head Voice] “Fuck me… no, shoot me…  with a rusty bullet.”

Final Score: Outlook 2, Di 0, Defeated Warrior 0 (fixed the email account +1, lost the email -1, sum=0=Fail)

The “And Where Did My Contacts Go?” After Party.  Beginning: Read above-email-Fest.  You know what happens after this.  Final Score: Me -1 by AutoFail.

The “I Can’t Go On The Internet” Triple Header.  Beginning: “Babe, I can’t go on the internet.”  My inside voice: “Shit. Here we go again and my o-ring is still chapped.”  This turned out to be a virus that would deny you access to antivirus (AV) sites to include the updates for your AV software.  Ultimately this initial contact with the viral enemy was quickly resolved because I was able to tap the experience of the Three Day Virus Fix Event and quickly find, fix, and destroy the damn thing.  Then I got it on my laptop, but in a new version that is nastier and more difficult to remove, and also blocked my AV software from even opening at all.  I amazed myself by defeating it in only two hours, before Di even wakes up.  Then the Elder Daughter Unit calls with the same problem some weeks later.  I find a tool and email it with explicit instructions.  Calls ensue, misunderstanding of our common language (English) are resolved, problem is ultimately fixed.  Final Score: virus 0, Me 3.

Please don’t let the overall tally of these brief tales lead you to the conclusion that I succeed more than I fail.  I ought to stick to hammers, saws, and chisels because in that arena, I do have a positive tally.  At the moment of this posting, I shudder at the thought of the last time I turned on the Dell we bought in 2001, when it made a heinous screeching sound that eventually went away after five hot-starts but served as my warning order from the Computer Demon that I’d soon be locked in digital combat again in the near future.  You awesome readers will likely get a full blast on that experience.  Probably very soon, unfortunately.  Greg… help!

Overall, I peg the running computer tally this way:  Everything/everyone else 0, Me 0.

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