Thursday, March 17, 2011

Progress and Technology......Oxymorons

Caution: This is a rant.

So a few days ago (actually by now, I think it was a week ago), BH discovers that he cannot get on any game sites on the computer. He loves to play cribbage -- for hours -----and hours. No go.

"You must've done something wrong; you hit something by mistake" says techie me. "Let me see".

BH: "I didn't touch anything. I went on-line the way I always do."

Now I'm fiddling with buttons, sites, restarts, etc. Nothing.

ME: "I think it's a problem with Yahoo. You know how they're always screwing up the game sites. Just give it a few days".

And that is the extent of my computer tech expertise. Let me also mention that while BH and I were trying everything in our Microsoft power to correct the situation, the computer kept restarting on it's own! Right in the middle of opening a page - bam! Down she went and restarted. By this time, I could chew nails - hardware, not finger.

So we let it be. No games. Until 2 days ago. I had to make copies of some documents. Low and behold -- the scanner doesn't work! Won't scan docs, won't scan pictures. This funky error keeps coming up. Believe me, I looked high and low; went through all computer searches; entered the error in the homepage search box -- nothing. Went to HP's web site. Oh, that's a joke!! And I'm not laughing - I fail to get the punch line.

There is nothing, no where, that leads me to find the remedy. Ahh, then I seem to recall that last year our sonwhowaslivingwithus, and who IS a computer tech, told me I needed driver updates. And he proceeded to install them with no hassle; everything was up and running; all was good.

Well, I can do this. So, I have spent the last 2 days looking for FREE driver downloads. Yes, I first went to HP website. Oh, the downloads were there alright; and I did. Only to find out that after the initial installation and the system scan to see which ones are needed, you are now required to sign up and PAY $29.95 before it goes any further. OH NO. NO WAY. I bought your product, now you supply me with the free downloads to keep it working. What, was I just born yesterday??!!

So, this morning, I have just spent 2 hours searching techie websites that I know "sonwutlwu" uses for free software. I got excited. Thought I was finally on the right path. Downloaded the drivers, scanned the system ----shit. Sign up and pay a "1 year membership fee". Nope. Ain't gonna happen.

Well, the last resort is to call son and ask him what to do. The bad thing about this is, he might decide he has to come up here this weekend to fix the whole thing. I don't want him doing that. It's a 3 hr. drive one way. And I can't be sure he'll give me instructions over the phone. You know how these techie guys can be. Don't want to give away professional secrets! But, a phone call is probably necessary.

Especially since I read in the Microsoft users handbook (another waste of money - yeah, user if you have a computer degree!) that if drivers aren't updated and things start to go wonky, it'll continue effecting all aspects of the computer until you finally reach the dreaded "Blue Screen of Death"! OMG!!

Oh, there is one more option. I will go to the Microsoft support site and write a little nasty question as to why I can't install a driver without paying for it. It'll just be a little nasty, though. You know how those technie guys can be!!

BTW: Happy St. Paddy's Day!! (I hope the experiences of the past few days is not associated with "Luck of the Irish!")

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