Rob's Blog Archive

June 16, 2013

Welcome to Windows 8










Friday started well.  I had gotten into a bike wreck on Wednesday, my first on a mountain bike.  It’s not as bad as the worst I’ve had on a sled, but it is worse than anything I’ve done skiing.  Thursday was too soon to know if it would heal in time for the Taekwon-Do Summer Camp I’m running.  Friday morning, the ibuprofen had worn off and I was still able to sleep.  That was a really good sign.  I’ll still have my injuries on Monday, but I should be able to do most, if not all, of what I’ve been working toward.

The quality of the day continued.  I had chosen which items to put off for the camp based on some combination of the speed with which I expected they could be done and the downside of failure.  Getting parking permits for the University of Montana hit the “to do last” list.  Changing my tires from studded snows to three-season (get real about seasons) and buying a new laptop computer also hit the list of items that I’d use to finish supporting my procrastination regarding cleaning the house. 

It took one ten minute phone call to arrange for all the parking permits I needed.  A price of ten dollars each for the entire week--welcome to Montana--also put a smile on my face.  Finally, they’re already waiting to be picked up by folks as they check-in.

Tires came second.  I suspected that getting new tires would be fast.  It was.  I was in and out of the tire shop in less than an hour.

Then came getting a computer.  Actually, I needed two pieces of electronics, a new laptop and a new set of phones.  First stop was Walmart.  I’ve found they have great computer/price ratios and, in spite of what others may have found, good service. 

Once again, the service was good.  The only problem was that they didn’t have phones that accepted headsets.  I traipsed over to Best Buy and Target and ended up buying a set of Panasonics from the latter.

And then I headed home.  A day that could have gone so wrong had gone so right.  I should have been on guard, but I wasn’t.  Windows 8 was lurking, like one of our local cougars, waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting whitetail deer, me. 

When I arrived home, the first thing I did was replace the phones I had.  This took five minutes and most of that was unpacking the new ones and putting in the batteries.  A couple of tests showed they worked. 

I then unpacked and started the computer.  The actual start-up went okay.  I entered the info it wanted and got to the O.S.  Of course, this included a password for the system.  It took me a few minutes to get a basic understanding of the layout, something entirely different from the Windows and Mac standards, but I was picking it up. 

The problem, though, was that even the instructions required an internet hook-up.  In fact, it seemed that whatever I tried to do required an internet connection.  Along with being on only cell phone 2, lifetime, I also have never installed Wi Fi in my house.  The universal requirement of an internet connection definitely pissed me off, but it was workable.  I’d head over to Moose River, maybe get a bowl of tortilla soup, and take advantage of their Wi Fi.  And I did.

It’s about a ten minute drive to the Moose.  The bartender asks me what I’d like.  I see that the soup on the billboard is the tortilla, and ask for it.  He says they’re out.  That’s normal for a restaurant at the end of a dinner shift, which this was.  I debate on the soup that they have---artichoke blue cheese.  It sounds great, but it’s much more of a disaster for my diet than the chicken tortilla would have been.  I say I’ll think about it.

I then go to turn on my computer.  Imagine my surprise when I find that I can’t login.  It keeps on saying that my password is incorrect.  I don’t use many passwords and I had just double entered this one.  Even with this, I try everything I can think of.  I try all caps.  I try most of the errors I occasionally make with the password.  I even try shifting my hands one key over.  I don’t believe I would do any of these twice in a row, but I’m in town and the alternative is to drive back, call HP, then drive back again for the Wi Fi hook-up.  Nothing works.  I have the self-control to wait until I’m driving in my truck, alone, before I scream. 

The one bit of good news is adrenaline works well for me.  On the way home, I do figure out that the laptop must have an Ethernet connection.  If it does, I’ll be able to hook it up to my router and likely be more efficient than with Wi Fi at the Moose.  Certainly more secure.  More to the point, I can even do some cleaning while the computer downloads things it needs.  But first, I have to get it started.

I call HP.  Evidently, the traffic is huge.  Hmmmmm, wonder why.  Still, I’m talking to “Craig” within five minutes or so.  For the record, Craig speaks English quite well, but has a distinct Indian accent.  I quickly find out that, “there’s a conflict in the software” that’s keeping me from logging in again.  Happily, there’s a fix I can do and which Craig walks me through. 

Craig never uses the word bug.  To my mind, about the only bug worse than one that lets you log in once, and that’s it, is one that does this and can only be fixed by sending the computer back. 

Fixing this bug only takes about an hour and a half, real time, most of which I am able to spend with my dogs.  Craig did offer to stay on the phone with me as the computer went through its gyrations, but also offered to call back at a set time.  There’s a tough choice, playing with my dogs or hanging with a computer that failed me, watching it as it reconfigured itself. 

Craig called back exactly when we agreed, walked me through the rest of everything and, according to him, I should have no further issues.  I had also found the Ethernet connection and, voila, a fast connection at home.  I wouldn’t say life was good, but we had recovered.  I talked to the HP folks, told them that Craig did great but that Win 8 sucks.

And, with that, the normal balance of good things and bad things happening to me each day had been restored.

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