Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Lesson in Technology

Once upon a time, when you spent $70 on a piece of something that plugs into the wall (like a lamp or a radio or an electric blanket), you expected it to last for a day or two.  More literally, more than just a day or two.  Even more than just a year or two.

Yes, Technies in the readership, you may now laugh.  ROFLYAO.  But one among you might have suggested a possible solution to my computer issues some time ago.

Ever since the current computer arrived, I've been complaining that it was only marginally acceptable in connecting to the Internet.  It arrived with a new virus protector, Kaspersky.  Kaspersky introduced itself by locking out one of my favorite California genealogy websites, one I use daily when I am working with California families.  Kaspersky said the site had a virus.  The website vendor said they had lots of false virus reports from Kaspersky users.  Funny, my fellow researchers were not getting virus reports.  I over-rode Kaspersky, and had no further "virus" problems, at least from that website.

Despite the protests of  Daniel, my very expensive computer service provider that he had never had a problem with Kaspersky being too sensitive or causing other connectivity problems, my brain linked new computer, new virus protector, and slow connection speeds.  Besides, I had been given very little reason to trust Daniel's ability to troubleshoot computer problems or to "think outside the box".

Then our museum in Groveland ordered -- at my suggestion -- a software package that magically transforms our database into a webpage, and a companion web hosting service that, with a single click of a button, posts that webpage to the Internet.  I was charged with doing the posting.  Couldn't post; the computer kept timing out.  

Gave up on Daniel.  Traded out the modem with my cable service provider.  Small difference.  Talked to tech support people at my ISP and with my cable provider -- two different sets of support folk.  Got lots of suggestions, including, "It might be your router."  Hey, the thing was only 3 years old, why would it be dead already?

NETGEAR® N300 Wireless-N RouterYesterday I trudged back up to the mall and asked the nice young man at Radio Shack about the life expectancy of a wireless router.  He smiled.  "One to one-and-a-half years," he replied.  We looked at routers, and he recommended one.

"Do you need it right now?" he asked.  "This model goes on sale all the time.  If you can wait a little, you will save $20." He didn't come out and say this would be on sale the next day, but sure enough ....

The new router makes all the difference.  I'm feeling smug.  Still not a techie, but feeling confident that it's worth trying to resolve problems on my own.  Without Daniel's contract price, I can just by a new computer if I cannot fix the problem myself.  That IS something I learned from Daniel.

Give thanks each time you can find a positive lesson is dismal experience.  Look for those positives.  Don't forget to pray!

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