Wednesday, March 02, 2005

My Exciting Computer Saga, in Handy Numbered Format!

Or, how to drive yourself completely crazy in 22 steps:

1. Notice that computer is behaving a little flakily. It keeps getting that "this system has recovered from a serious error" message (aka the Most Useless Error Message Ever), and it's lost its wireless connection. Grumble.

2. Go off for meeting with real estate agent. Leave computer on.

3. Come home a few hours later. Try to wake up computer. Discover that it appears to be in a coma. Power-cycling doesn't help. It's clearly getting power, but is sending nothing to the monitor (which is working fine), and the power button, instead of being green, as in normal operation, is red, as when it's in power-save mode.

4. Panic. Call computer geek friend. Leave message on his machine.

5. Have sudden thought on the way to work that it might be a UPS problem. Desperately desire to test this theory but can't because, you know... work.

6. Go to work. Use work computers to bitch and moan on internet.

7. Come home. Discover answering machine message from geek-friend's wife saying to bring the computer over and they'll look at it. Vow to buy said friend dinner sometime. Unplug computer from UPS. Plug it into power strip not connected to UPS. Rejoice! Then swear loudly at Socorro electric company, UPS manufacturers, and self. Also discover that lack of wireless connection is due to problem at ISP. Feel much, much better. Send computer geek friend relieved-sounding and mildly self-deprecating e-mail.

8. Jump through all the necessary hoops to get that damned "serious error" message to stop. Grr.

9. Go to Wal-Mart to buy new UPS. Discover that the one in Socorro doesn't carry them. Go to Radio Shack instead. Buy one of only two units in the store. Listen to Radio Shack guy badmouthing Wal-Mart. Say good-bye to $70.

10. Chuck out old UPS. Set up new one. Discover that "new" one has apparently been sitting at Radio Shack for a long, long time, and that power shutdown software comes on a 3.5" disc and apparently does not work in XP.

11. Debate taking UPS back to store. Decide, screw it, the battery apparently works fine, and the software isn't strictly necessary if you're smart enough never to walk off and leave anything unsaved. Make mental note to check and see if manufacturer has any current software available, anyway, once wireless connection is back up.

12. Spend a couple of days enjoying computer, minus the wireless connection.

13. Forget to turn computer off before going to bed. Arise in morning, discover that computer is once again having very similar problem. Swear loudly at stupid Wal-Mart-hating Radio Shack guy for being infinitely lamer than anybody at Wal-Mart. Plug computer back into power strip. Feel intense dismay when nothing changes.

14. Go to work. Use work computers to bitch and moan on internet.

15. Come home. Try everything again. No change.

16. Unhook every damn thing from back of computer, rendering it suitable for transport to geek-friend's house. Take computer to living room, try plugging it in there. Green!

17. Take computer back to computer room. Unplug power strip. Plug in different power strip. Plug computer into new power strip. Turn it on. Green!

18. Unplug computer from power strip. Plug it back into UPS. Turn it on. Green!

19. Look puzzled.

20. Hook everything back up. Successfully boot computer. Note that wireless connection, which was expected to be back up by now, is cutting in and out. Feel annoyed.

21. Realize several minutes later that wireless connection is cutting in and out because connector is loose. Feel stupid.

22. Use home computer to bitch and moan on internet.

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