Monday, March 30, 2009

The Way It SHOULD Be Vs. The Way It Was

Here's the way it SHOULD have gone....

She was so excited about her computer upgrade. She smoothed her carefully coifed hair from her brow as she prepared her neat work area for the job ahead. She had Windows Vista 32 bit as her computer OS, which only sees 3.2 gigs of memory no matter HOW many gigs you load, and now she was upgrading to Windows Vista 64 bit. Why have a 32 bit operating system when you have a 64 bit machine - and, more importantly, a 64 bit operating system will see ALL 8 gigs of ram in the computer!

She removed the crisp envelope from the new 64 bit disc and loaded it into her computer. First, she had backed up all her files and documents to her external hard drive - and now the magic moment had arrived. She sat back in her immaculate room and looked out the sparkling window to the lovely flowers blooming right outside.

She followed the steps for the upgrade written for her by a coworker and as each screen popped up, she continued forward. Once completed, she turned on the computer - and - Voila!! A beautiful, brand new screen popped up faster than ever before, using all of the 8 gigs of ram.

Her computer fairly jumped with speed, the sleek screen keeping up with her quickest typing. She felt so competent as she commenced using her newly updated memory and software. It was Friday night, the best night of the week and life was good.

She went to the kitchen and poured a glass of wine to enjoy while she kicked back and surfed the 'net.


Now for the truth.

Here's the Way it Went:

She pulled the slightly scratched disc from her bottomless pit of a purse (after emptying its contents on the floor) and loaded it into the computer.

She held her breath, knowing it would be a disaster. Anything you do with a Windows computer is a disaster - thanks, Bill Gates!

She made sure to back up everything she could think of before beginning - onto her external hard drive.

Also - since she hadn't installed the whole 8 gigs of new memory yet, she pulled the computer forward onto the floor (from its little shelf) and opened it up, placing it on its side. Of course, she turned it off and unplugged it first, not wanting to get shocked or completely electrocuted.

Installation of the memory was difficult in such a confined space and she broke a nail, cursing lustily.

While she was inside the computer, she used the spray air to clean out all the dust bunnies, which caused her to sneeze repeatedly, so she vacuumed, too.

Vacuuming meant adding a large vacuum cleaner to the small, cluttered room, but it had to be done. While she was at it, she vacuumed behind the computer and behind all the wires, bumping her head on her thick real wood desk twice (real wood hurts more than pressboard covered with veneer) and twisting her neck in order to fit under the desk.

Finally, the memory and vacuum completed, she plugged the CD in and followed the instructions. It proceeded in a deceptively smooth fashion.

When the computer was finished installing and restarting, she saw that there were several peripherals that were not recognized, the most important being the wireless card.

This is a Catch-22. She needed to download the driver for the wireless card, but she couldn't get on the internet to download anything.

Her husband got on his laptop and downloaded what he could find, but none of them worked. They inspected the modem itself (thus requiring the computer to be pulled forward and put on its side again), but could find no identifier that would help them to find the drivers.

She had an idea. She ran to the living room cabinet and pulled out all the spare cable, phone, tv and computer wires in an effort to find an ethernet cord. She found one long enough and ran back to the bedroom, leaving the mess of wires on the floor - it was getting late, and she hoped to be finished in a few hours so she could enjoy her Friday night!

She ran the ethernet cord from the access point to her computer. In order to do this, she had to block the door with the wire, causing anyone who wanted to enter or exit the room to either:

a. fall over the wire, bringing down the access point and several books (it was on top of a bookcase - and no, there was no other place to put it)

b. walk under the wire carefully, but when letting the wire go, the force of it falling would bring down the access point and several books....

She also had to move the cpu to get to the ethernet plug in the back, so it was - once again - moved forward onto the floor just enough so that the wires in the back of it didn't pop out. She plugged in the ethernet cord, no longer unplugging the computer before touching the back, not caring if she got shocked.

A small jolt and......Success!! We have internet!! Now to easily and quickly download the proper drivers for.....everything!

After downloading and paying for Driver Detective, which, to be fair, DID manage to acquire a FEW drivers needed, she proceeded to try to locate the rest. (Beating herself up mentally for spending money on something that did NOT deliver as promised).

OK - so now she begins thinking.....this is not a "legit" disc - it is a 30 day tryout, so before going any further and downloading and replacing all her documents and software, she decides that she will follow the instructions her coworker had given her on how to trick the computer into accepting the software as legit, thus making it permanent.

She followed each step carefully and completely, getting the message, "the command syntax is incorrect". She tried leaving out spaces, then including spaces, leaving out parts of words, spelling differently - you name it....nothing worked. She Googled it to no avail. Nothing worked. The computer would not be tricked.

She realized she was stuck with a 30 day version and needed to purchase a REAL one, hence Bill Gates WOULD get his pound of flesh

Cue the husband - Best Buy closes in 20 minutes (it's almost 10pm) and we need to race to the store to purchase the 64 bit version of Windows Vista for a mere $200.00 and change, plus tax. Once there, she carefully asks the salesboy (he was barely 12 years old, she swears) "does this include the 64 bit version?" He says - "oh yes, it includes both 32 and 64." She then asks, "does this have all the drivers I'll need for my computer (thinking since it is legit that it will be better), and he says, "yeah, sure - they're there - no problem."

She gets this disc home and tries to use the new legit software license number to activate the 30 day copy - no go. It doesn't recognize it. She thinks it is because the new license number includes "Windows Service Pack 1", which the 30 day copy disc does not have.

OK - she thinks, "I'll just start from scratch again - I know what I have to do now". So she does.

She gets everything loaded, starts to look for drivers - and then a little demon on her shoulder whispers that she should just check to make sure she has loaded the 64 bit version, since it never asked her to choose.

Sure enough, she has now loaded the 32 bit version. Crap. She checks the box and there it is. A small paragraph that says, "IF you want the 64 bit version, just go to this website - - and order it for a NOMINAL ($9.95 OVER the original $200.00 and change plus tax) fee PLUS shipping and handling (no doubt shipped by camel caravan). The salesboy lied and Bill Gates is a creep.

It is now 12:00AM. She is furious. There are wires and various discs (she actually thought she might be able to reload her software that night - foolish girl) scattered everywhere. Since she has been at this for over 6 hours, there are various empty dishes and glasses on the floor waiting to be stepped on or knocked over. She is not ordinarily sloppy, but she kept telling herself, "I'll straighten up when I'm finished - I just have to FINISH this!".

She now gives up and does a restore on her computer to it's original state, thinking it will recognize it's original peripherals (thus saving time – this is why she doesn't just keep the 32 bit legit one loaded on there – because, contrary to salesboy's statement, there are no drivers included).....guess what? It doesn't recognize any peripherals either. She has to search for all the drivers - 32 bit drivers - again. Finally, she is down to the external hard drive and just cannot get it working.

Her husband went to bed 2 hours before, gingerly stepping into the room of horrors to give her a kiss, whereupon she greeted him with, "I don't think you should come near me - I'm in a horrible mood." At which point, he gracefully and silently departed, asking no questions as he knew better.

It is now 1AM, and she is angry, exhausted, disgusted with herself for spending money when she knew they should NOT have for something so irrelevant (her computer was working just fine, thank you, before she just couldn't resist upgrading like an idiot).

The most stubborn driver is still the one for the external hard drive where she had stored EVERYTHING!! (It turned out that it wasn't the hard drive itself, but the ieee ( pronounced ay-eeeeeee very loudly and high pitched) Firewire ports that weren't being recognized.)

She wakes up her long suffering husband who, being a saint, does not get upset at being awakened (unlike herself, which he could tell you about at length if you have time). She is in capital D for Despair. He gets up out of bed to console her, and actually wakes up enough to approach the problem.

He makes her leave the room to get herself a glass of wine (to calm her down) and then jiggles some wires, going to unknown places inside the computer guts - and pronounces VICTORY!! The external hard drive is now working.

She collapses into bed, defeated, exhausted and feeling very guilty for wasting an entire Friday night on something that didn't need to be done, as well as spending money in a bad economy on something they did NOT need.

The next day, the work continues, albeit more calmly, as all the software is reloaded and her computer becomes workable again - even the wireless!!

Check in for chapter 2 when the Windows Vista 64 bit disc arrives via camel and she goes through all this again. What? You don't think she gave up, do you? Absolutely not. She sent for the $*!!#&*$ disc and paid the *&!!**$*@ fees. And when it comes, she will go through this nonsense again.

Because.......she WILL use ALL 8 gigs of memory and she WILL not be stopped! (And of course, her husband will help, otherwise she might go postal – and also, because he is a saint possessed of geek powers sometimes greater than hers.)

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

too funny - pobrecita!!!!