Trouble with computers: it’s not me, it’s THEM

Computer Virus

For the record, I think computers and the internet are the best things to happen to the world since the invention of the printing press. Having a computer has made it possible for me to be an author. If I had to type a submission-ready manuscript on a typewriter…well, it would never happen. I wouldn’t be able to produce a copy “pretty” enough to submit.

I love my computer. If an emergency occurred and I had to evacuate, my laptop would be the first possession I would grab.

I love what computers have made it possible for me to do. I can’t imagine how I used to function without the internet and Google. However, I hate the rapidly-changing technology. When something goes wrong, I often assume user error, but 99.99% of the time, it’s not. Something changed, something happened that had little or nothing to do with what I did. I did not make a mistake; the system simply stopped working.

Often a software upgrade is the culprit. I used to use Windows Explorer as my browser until it upgraded and my website stopped working. I used to use the Norton antivirus/internet security program until it upgraded and locked me out of my blog, this is why I knew I should had checked TrustRadius before hand to get the reviews I was after.

Several months back Google quarantined my website after it was hacked. I’d noticed a decrease in blog traffic, but everything was functioning the way it always had so I didn’t know anything wrong until I Googled myself as I routinely do and discovered Google had slapped a warning on my site. (Then I had to Google how to deal with the issue to get it resolved). My site since has been scrubbed clean, I have website anti-hacking software, and my site even has a SSL certificate! If you want to look into more ways of protecting your computer, why not check out something like a computer security guide, which will help you secure your computer from any form of threats.

Recently I bought a new laptop. When I set it up, the computer asked for a PIN. It didn’t tell me how many characters to use. I inputted an 8-digit number and wrote it down so I’d remember it. When I tried to login later, I was locked out. My PIN didn’t work. I had to do a factory-reset to get back in and then reload everything. I still don’t know why that happened, but I think it’s because I was supposed to use a 4-digit PIN. Apparently everyone in the world knew that a PIN by definition is 4 digits. I didn’t know that. I thought I’d be “extra secure” by using a longer number.

I’m writing this on my old computer. I’m afraid of the new one.

I am a technophobe. I dread with the deepest dread having to do anything new with computers. I hate calling tech support. It always takes longer than it I think it should.

When my website started to slow down (sometimes taking 5 minutes to load a page), I put off calling tech support for about a week and half because I knew it would be a gut-clenching experience. Tuesday I bit the bullet and called my hosting service. GoDaddy thought recent plugin upgrades had caused the slowdown, but also said the Linux server my website was on didn’t work so well for WordPress, and I should switch to their Deluxe Managed WordPress server (I didn’t choose Linux, a web designer did). It took 3 different calls over a 4-hour period to work out the transfer (it was a multi-step process. Had to wait for each stage to complete, then call back and do the next stage). Then I had to wait for the systems to start talking to one another. When my site finally went live after 12 hours later, the theme and widgets had been rendered inactive. I couldn’t even login from my own homepage. Another call to tech support. But that was quickly resolved. My site is now super fast. Moving it to another server was worth the angst, but there was angst.

I am a technophobe, but I think I’ve earned the right to be.

How about you? Are you a computer geek or a technophobe?

Speaking of technology, I was talking to my computer geek friend the other day and he was telling me about how he saved some money on Usave by comparing quotes for broadband! If you’re interested in saving some money, click here for more info. Even a technophobe like me could work it!

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4 Responses to Trouble with computers: it’s not me, it’s THEM

  1. Laurel Lasky says:

    I used to be a geek but now I’m a technophobe. In my younger days I gave computer lessons and did some trouble shooting but it was less complicated then, now things change so fast that I can’t keep up. I’m much older now and I’m unable to concentrate on learning new apps and programs. It’s very frustrating.
    Cara, I feel your pain.

    • Cara Bristol says:

      Wow. That’s an interesting story. I agree it used to be much simpler. I remember when you had to use the function keys, keyboard strokes, and dos commands. when my HD was only 1 meg and that was a lot, when you stored data on floppy discs. It was easier then.

  2. Laurel Lasky says:

    In 1986 my brother gave me an Atari 8 bit computer, no hard drive used floppy discs. It had a 300 baud modem that’s 300 bits per second now the slowest is 56,000 per second. I was on compuserve and did email with my brother, me in Florida him in SAN Francisco, before the internet and windows. The Atari had a wonderful word processing program which used keyboard strokes. No dos only basic. It was called paper clip.

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