Monday, October 18, 2004

Broken, Missing, Incorrect or Otherwise

Today I clicked on the start menu of my computer to get to the "Open Office Document" tab, but it wasn't there. There was some other tab in its place. (Okay, so I deleted the new tab and I forget what it was now) So I'm sitting there wondering: what happened to my tab? Why is this other mysterious tab there? The "New Office Document" tab is still there. I don't think anyone else was on my computer since I was last. Everything else seems in order. So what the heck happened? And how can I fix it?

So, like I said, I deleted the mysterious tab. I guess for some reason I thought my missing tab would pop up in its place. (Okay, I admit, that was a pipe dream) When it didn't, I started poking around to see if I could find a link to it somewhere so I could recreate it in my start menu. Now I'm not the most computer savvy person around, but I know a trick or two- so I thought I might be able to fix it. After searching high and low, I found nothing helpful. It's not so much that I cannot function without that tab, but I liked it. That's the way I liked to do things. And now, no more tab. The only thing I can think of to replace it is to re-install Office. Yeah. Riiiight.

So this incident gets me thinking about a few things.

First: uh-oh does this mean my computer is crashing? Do I have a virus? I ran the scan Friday, but perhaps I'll run it again today.

Second: I think computers fall into the category of things that are wrong, don't work or break for no reason yet we accept them because we need them.

You know what I mean. Your computer gets the Blue Screen of Death every hour or so. You call your IT Department. When they find it convenient to come visit, the look at the computer for a few minutes, open up explorer, maybe run a virus scan, open up MS DOS and pretend they are doing something savvy, then look at you, shrug and say that nothing is wrong with it. You continue to have the problem daily for months until you finally convince them to buy you a new computer. Then a few months later, the new computer starts to do strange things like take away your "Open Office Document" tab. :P

Other examples include:

Printer/Copiers/Fax Machines: Can these things possibly function for a whole week without jamming, needing toner/ink/drums, feeding pages out randomly, printing wingdings, sending only 3 of my 4 page fax, etc.? And it can't just be one machine that malfunctions, it's like they are interconnected and they all act up at the same time. Ever see "Office Space"? That scene with the fax machine in the field with the baseball bat is going to be happening in my office very soon.

Cell Phones: dropped calls, bad reception, etc...while this seems to be improving, there are still lots of problems that people accept and move on. Whoops, I lost him, he must be on his cell, going through a bad area, can you hear me now? Nevertheless, we all have our cell phones, and we feel lost without them. Have you ever forgotten yours? I forgot mine one day and I felt completely lost. I was so worried that I would need it for something. (And I was at work all day, where it sits turned off in my desk) Heck 10 years ago practically no one even had a cell phone, but today we all have our phones with intermittent reception.

Weathermen: It's not so hard here in SoCal, but in other parts of the country I really wonder. They seem to predict the weather somewhat close about half of the time. Yet many people still tune in daily to get that weather report. Heck, there's even a whole channel dedicated to weather. And it has been on for many many years, so people must be watching it. What's next tuning in to the Psychic Friends Network for your daily prediction. (Okay, I know, some people actually do call those, but that's a whole different issue)

Some Runners-Up who aren't too bad, but are worth mentioning:

Cable Television: I have DirecTv, but I remember the days when every time it rained, or the wind blew wrong or the sun came out the cable would go out. It was really annoying, yet we all kept right on paying for our cable. (Though they would give you a credit if you called- I guess that is something)

Post Office: I have several issues with the post office. We are stuck with them, as they are the only way to mail something. If they screw up or make you mad, you can't go anywhere else. They are it. And the postal workers behind the counter know it. Many of them are nasty and unpleasant a good bit of the time. But what are you going to do about it? Additionally, I don't know how true this is, but I hear that a good bit of our mail never makes it to us. (Of course our bills always get to us though :P) I also see a lot of mail in my box that is not for me, has a different name or address on it, etc... The good news is that you can minimize using the post office these days because of e-mail and online bill paying.

Caller ID: Now don't get me wrong, I like my caller ID, but why is it that half of the calls either say: Restricted Caller, NO ID or it solely lists the state the call is coming from (like California Call)? I just want to know who it is calling me. The number would at least be helpful...

The Police Department/911: This obviously depends where you live. I have experienced excellent service in some communities. However in the majority of places it seems that the response is not quite speedy. One time I tried calling 911 for about 5 minutes straight and I kept getting the message that all lines were full and to try again later. Now in that case no one was bleeding to death, but it really makes you wonder what would happen if it was a life and death situation and minutes counted. I've also encountered situations with officers and detectives that really make me wonder about the functionality of fighting crime.

Conversely, I was thinking of some other things that I wish didn't work most of the time: The Beep Beep backing up truck noise, the annoying noise Nextel 2 way radios make after someone speaks, the annoying loud and vibrating car stereos blasting bass, lighters to light cigarettes, etc..

Those are just a few of the things that don't work but should, and do work but shouldn't. If any of you have any other ones to share, feel free to post a comment.

Hummm...maybe my lost tab is hanging out with the sock I lost in the dryer...


Blogger thuringwethil2004 said...

ROFLMAO! Pixie that was great! I would like to add -Cable internet. Now it is superfast, and I love it, however, it goes down with out reason. Last week it took them four days to get to me because that was there earliest appointment. How many people can possibly be needing the cable internet guy? This morning I was having problems and Sensei was kind enough to help me out. His answer was it is use ISP. Well shortly after that, my internet went down. So I called, sure enough they had just received notice that it was down in the whole area, no explanation. Well by the time I had call to complain and started switching over to dial-up, it came back up just as mysteriously as it left.

And 911 -that is awful. I called tonight with a perpetrator in the house and they took at least 15 minutes to get here, of course by then he was gone. There reason for slowness in our area is a whole other blog. (Thanks for the idea pixie)

11:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do cable internet and Thuring have in common?
They both go down easy.

1:01 PM  
Blogger matpalm said...

don't always blame computers, blame the people that look
after your computers. if it's not your role to be
responsible for your own pc, as most people would be in
their job, then you are indeed at the mercy of your support
staff. but if computers are dying all the time it's not the
computers fault! i've always had the persmission, skills
and motivation to completely build my own computers for
home and work from scratch and afterwards be almost 100%
responsible for their running. as a result every time my
computer crashes, about once a month, it's probably
something stupid that i've done. i have a number of
machines that are my responsibility that i'm extra careful
with that have been running 24/7 for years and have
never crashed. it's just like a car. the best
second hand car you can buy is one previously owned by a
mechanic because they've known exactly what to do to keep
it in good nick. rant, over.

6:12 PM  
Blogger kalisekj said...

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11:10 PM  

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