Thursday, March 6, 2008

One of those days - technology gone awry

I have been known to post about the various technology issues that I encounter, and some of the things that I have posted - well, to be honest, one of the things that I have posted (the solution to the "no sound on my Motorola Q" problem) - has proven to be very helpful to others. I've posted some other things; in fact, there are a couple of series on this very blog that address one issue or another (msnphotosserver was solved, adobenortonzyxelcpu really hasn't been completely solved yet).

Well, if I were to start threads for all of the computer problems I've encountered lately, it would overwhelm this blog. So I'll just address them briefly, in bullet form.

  • I got a new computer at work a few months ago, and it often tells me during Windows login that I have inserted my smart card improperly. Only problem is that I'm not using a smart card. I finally reported this to one of the IT guys at MegaCorp, who then called an outside service group. Someone from this team came a week ago last Thursday, replaced the motherboard, and then realized that the smart card was controlled from a daughterboard. So another call was placed, and this time someone from the computer vendor themselves came out on Friday. (I won't mention the computer manufacturer by name, but its initials are HP.) Unfortunately, there was a lack of communication, and the computer person thought that the motherboard needed to be replaced. The motherboard was replaced, the computer was returned to me, our IT guy headed for home, I turned the computer on, and nothing happened. This is where we stand today, about a week later, because the computer rep hasn't been able to get all the parts he needs. Some of my stuff was online and could be accessed, but some stuff was on the computer, and there's been little complications along the way (e.g. I can't check something into the VOB because apparently my old account had the parent directory checked out).

  • One day, while on my borrowed laptop, I thought I'd try out the handy dandy 2 GB SanDisk Cruzer Micro drive that I got for Christmas. Nothing happened. One of my co-workers tried it, and his system froze. It turns out that the drive is "smart" - too smart for its own good. It has this wonderful U3 software that allows special resident programs to stay on the drive, and to do wonderful things. Only problem is that I don't really care about that, I just want to copy things to the memory stick - and I can't because the Cruzer Micro assumes use of particular drive letters that are already being used by my work computer. I wanted to remove the U3 software, but you have to be able to start the U3 software to remove it. Well, I finally took the Cruzer Micro drive home to run it on my computer. It runs fine, but when I try to remove the U3 software, I am told that U3 software can only be removed from one drive at a time, and that I have to unplug the extra drive that's plugged in. Unfortunately, a second drive is not plugged in; this is starting to sound like the smartcard problem. Should I install a bad motherboard to fix things?

  • Meanwhile, my daughter was having problems with PowerPoint running really really slow - so slow that I couldn't even exit the program. But one Task Manager kill and a file recovery later, that problem seemed to clear itself up.

  • In the middle of this, I got an "oh, by the way, the antivirus program is giving errors again." I checked, and found out my virus definitions hadn't been updated since February 20. This was solved by running LiveUpdate - three times in a row.
Personally, I'm about to buy a typewriter and start over. It's been one of those days...

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