My Computer and I

My computer and I should have the best relationship ever. We spend more time together than a married couple who are partners in business with a home office. I do my best to treat it kindly. I show my appreciation for its many talents on a daily basis. Yet, like a spiteful friend, it turns on me on occasion; it really hurts when this happens.

Yesterday was one of those times. We were working together seemingly without any qualms with each other, and then, it turned on me without warning. In the little tray at the bottom right hand side of the screen where the running programs are shown, a new little icon appeared. What caught my attention was the fact that it was flashing. It had the shape of a little computer with tiny yellow balls on either side. After I realized my buddy was not declaring its gender, I clicked on the icon for identification purposes. What I received in return was a message that is was trying to make contact with the IP host.

For the last two weeks, I have been getting any annoying message on the Internet stating that my connection was reset by the host and I had to try again. This was consistent across platforms. The same issue arose with Firefox, IE 8, Outlook Express, and my Incredimail program, so I could presume that it was not software related. So, I had to break down and call my cable company to have it checked out.

After listening to three minutes of instructions in Hungarian, I was finally informed that to speak to an English speaking operator, press 7. The last time I called it was ‘press 8’. I think they change this periodically to confuse me. I pressed 7 and a lovely apologetic voice told me that all reps were busy and though my call was important, I could press 2 and leave a voice mail message and they would call me back. Being an untrusting soul with these promises, I waited…and waited…and waited.

Five minutes later, I did get an actual person who asked for the usual information: my account number, the account name, the account address, my mother’s maiden name, my place of birth, religious affiliation, political bent, phobias that have been cured and those that I still suffer from, and so forth. I really should record all of this information to do an instant playback whenever calling a company here to save my breath, but I never remember once off of the phone.

The rep asked me to hold on while she checked my modem. I did and she did. She advised me that the modem was in perfect order, but there may be a problem with the IP, so she had to get someone from that department to check it. She asked for my phone number, the last bit of data not provide earlier so they could call me back after they checked it. When I asked how long this would take, claiming I did not want to be held hostage all day, she said within two hours.

In the meanwhile, another glitch came about. The batteries in my cordless keyboard died. Now, I did have fair warning, since slamming a key ten times before getting any results is usually an indicator of something. Did I have spare batteries on hand? Nope! Ron was headed to the store, so this was put on the shopping list. Meanwhile, I tried every set of four AA batteries I could find fearful that the cable company would call back and need for me to navigate in the Network Connections or some such place. No batteries worked.

One hour later, the phone rang; it was the cable company. Before the gentleman could say a word about do this or do that, I shared my dilemma. Although sympathetic, he said it did not matter since the IP was fine. It seems that it is my router that is causing the problems. They did not provide the router so it is my issue. Ugh! I hate having an issue.

Ron returned with the batteries, so I thought I was set to go. The keyboard did not work. I repeatedly hit the reset button on the control and the back on the keyboard, but nothing happened. I uninstalled the software and reinstalled it. Nothing. Using the computer in the kitchen, I looked up troubleshooting for cordless keyboards. I had followed the instructions implicitly, yet still without positive results. By now, I was fuming. Buying a new keyboard was not on the agenda for the day. Ron had gone for a nap, so I decided to wait for him to get up to see if he wanted to go with me.

Without a keyboard there are limited things you can do on a computer. I felt helpless and abandoned by my good friend. Pouting, I went to read the book I had started. After two chapters of being absorbed in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon, I had an epiphany. The keyboard has a different antenna from the mouse. The reset button I had been hitting was the mouse reset. When I reset the correct antenna, the keyboard kicked into action.