On the 8th of July my computer decided it no longer liked the password I had been using for the four years it has lived here. Nothing I tried could persuade it to open into my stash of programs and documents and photos.
My first thought when technical glitches occur is to see if my cousin Ray, the technical guru in the family on this side of the Mississippi, can help me. He was busy that week and I would be out of town the following week and when I got home and called him again it sounded like his projects could keep him running for the rest of his life and I felt guilty asking him about what I imagined to be one of those annoyingly simple problems, that without the know-how, could not be resolved, certainly not by me.
I called the manufacturer technical support and learned that for $49.00 plus a required maintenance agreement for twelve months to the tune of $15.00 a month, they could remotely delete all the information, programs etc. from the computer and I could start all over again. Fortunately I have been a great believer and practitioner of backing up important data, since I first began to work with computers. I said I’d think about it. Thinking left a doubt in my mind that this was the most reasonable solution.
I talked with my friend, Marilyn whose computer I had been using to delete the incredible number of Facebook update notifications that clutter my e-mail almost daily and nine tenths of them are from one person. There were almost no messages of significance since most folks know I’m not available online right now. Marilyn said, in my shoes she would check with our local Office Max and Walmart, where she bought her current computer. Hmmmm, why didn’t I think of that?
When I arrived at the otherwise desolate City View mall, I found that Office Max was there and in business and the techie on hand said I should come back with the computer and some proof of ownership. All I had was a skimpy little excuse for a manual and the MS Office Package key (I remember when that was all part and parcel of any computer with Windows – but now has to be purchased separately. )
When I returned with the CPU and required proof of ownership he plugged it into the store’s monitor and mouse and said that the password was not the real problem, the system was corrupt and then he said what he could do was the same thing the manufacturer’s tech support said he could do remotely, but the price would be $79. Without any required maintenance agreement. He did back up a few of my files, I should have asked for a few more of the critical ones I had not backed up recently but did not think of them and so some data was lost. I agreed to pay the price and went home greatly relieved.
I called my cousin who said he would have come out and saved me the money, but I felt that I was no longer going to impose on him and that the next time a problem of this sort arises, I won’t ask any of the family experts, just go to the techie around the corner.
In twenty four hours I had my machine back home and began the process of re-installing the printer, camera software and my favorite game, then copying all the material I had saved on the external hard drive.
Getting back on line took longer and was a major pain, but eventually worked.