Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Electronic vibes and white air blips

Yesterday this old desktop, HP PC gave me a plateful of fits seasoned with the "shoulda's" and basted in "been meaning to's".   Saturday was the last I'd used it  and all was as well as it can be.  For one the Internet Explorer has long been non-interfaceable (recognizable, acceptable) with Google which is how I access my gmail and this blog and it is impossible on Facebook where I try to keep up with folks around the world.  Well not to be stopped, I switched primarily to Chrome and all was well.   
Yes,  I have been talking about replacing this HP since fall, truthfully for a year or so, how time flies.  Well then again, it could wait until after we return, supposing we get southbound soon, maybe this summer. I come from a family of people who used things up, fixed them to last and am happily married to a fixer upper all around handy person.  So just because it's older, why can't it last?  But oh no, electronic consumerism imps  and ever changing Microsoft  discourage longevity--buy new, upgrade, replace...that's the melange of these times.  

We have a lap top and Samsung tablet and smart phone but this old desk top is where I  do most of my blogging, photo work and is the keeper of data on Quicken.  It's 8 years old, well past it's prime and despite upgrades and now plenty of excess memory, even my buddies at the Geek Squad have cautioned, "It's Window's XP and there's only so much that can be done."  Yeah, yeah I know but as long as merrily we rolled along, I could make do.  

But yesterday morning it had no Internet access neither through Explorer nor Google Chrome.  I was off to the Y and  thought nothing of it, until later that afternoon, same scenario.  So I called our friendly ISP, Ace, could they be down?  After several busy signals I was sure that would be so but if so, why not the other  computers, on our network?  After a connecting with the technician who was unaware of any system wide outages and who walked me through some pinging and preliminary diagnosis of the router, we reached a blank wall.  This followed with the nasty revelation that all the network device drivers were blank, gone, fitzed out to a white as the snow today.  WTH? He could do no more  but suggested it needed a trip to the fixit shop, Geek Squad here we come tomorrow will be soon enough. 

Jerry who is excellent with all things electronic tinkered too and same result, zero, zippo, nada, naught, kaput.  Curiously all the software worked, it just lacked connectivity.  Other attempts were to repeat the unplugging router and computer, restarting, to no result. With a reluctant sigh I acknowledged maybe this was it, the end, time to buy that new one with the swipe monitors and Windows 8.  This old buggy could not  be upgraded to Windows 7 and so the XP was it's lifeline a time long past maybe the white winter had seeped into its bones.

But this morning we awoke to another blanket of white that started overnight and just kept on coming down...not the prime weather for me to be out computer shopping.    Just yesterday it was greatly melted but I spoke too soon besides, the SUV was washed.    So today all is white and the wind is blowing sideways.  A winter white that was to stop by noon did not get the message, instead has not relented all day.  Well if the old XP was deserting me I'd best hook up the external drive and back up the works again.  This is another occasional challenge where sometimes the ancient one recognizes the USB drive and other times it takes hours to be coaxed to do so.  On a whim I clicked on to the Geek Squad log in as I sat down to get it backing up.  

What a surprise it connected to Geek Squad.  How? Could it be the air gremlins or the electrons vibrating, those mysterious befuddlers that generate nasty language?  I tried the Internet, bingo right there.  I logged out restarted and again it worked.  So here I am, blogging away about impossibilities of logical explanations.  And just as mysteriously this AM all the network devices and drivers are showing up right where they should be.  While I am elated, I know it is only a matter of time and a replacement is imminent.  After all, I've been meaning to.........


  1. Minnesota is having it's usual unexpected spring one day and a frozen tundra the next, if not a blizzard of fresh high reaching snow. Oh yes, it's winter here! We've had a bit of internet woes as well, is it the weather, gremlins who knows. But when it works life is good again. Good luck on your end too!

  2. Sometimes electronics surprise us by suddenly working again, but as you noted it's only a matter of time before they completely fail. I too have an HP desktop PC, which though not as old as yours, has recently failed one of its maintenance tests with the error code indicating that the HD may fail soon, but who knows when. In any event, I keep backing up to an external drive so that when it does go, I will say farewell with no upset or angst. Years ago, I would be very upset, now not so much because these are only "things." We had all day rain today.