June 14th, 2010
Time for a little rant:
It’s been a frustrating couple of weeks technology-wise. Apart from the usual hassles trying to persuade poorly maintained classroom computers to let me teach my lessons, I mean. Fortunately I have a student who is an absolute genius with computers.
Let’s start with our office computers. There are four. Until recently, only two were really useable, and one of them painfully slow. One is ancient, and needed some serious cleaning up. One is fairly old, and the problem with that is that technically naive and incompetent former colleagues got it stuffed so full of malware that it was simply unuseable. I had finally had enough of this situation and talked to my student the genius. He got me a new copy of XP and the product key, and I sat down with a colleague, we reinstalled XP on the malware-ridden and super-slow machines and cleaned up the ancient one. It was a long and frustrating process getting the malware-ridden machine fixed. Simply persuading it to let us see the desktop was hard enough. The other two simply required time and patience. The malware-ridden machine required some serious anger management. But we got there, eventually.
Fine, except that the formally malware-ridden machine simply refused to set up a network connection, meaning we couldn’t get online to “activate” Windows. And somewhere in the process of trying to get this thing working, my portable harddrive acquired a bunch of viruses. Brilliant.
So I had another talk to the genius, and he came by the office and fixed the computer, in the process having to reinstall XP again.
Anyways, now we have four functional computers.
But the troubles continued. A couple of nights ago, during a Windows update that came suspiciously soon after the previous update, Vista crashed and ate my computer. Everything, all gone. Unfortunately, not everything was backed up. A lot, including the important stuff, was, but still, we’ve lost a fair bit, including photos and videos from our trip to New Zealand in February. Some of that stuff was backed up on the portable harddrive that just acquired a bunch of viruses. I hope I can recover that….
I consulted my student the genius, wanting to know if perhaps there was some magic trick to recover all that lost stuff. His advice was, “Install Windows 7”. He’ll bring me a copy.
And then, just to add insult to injury, we were watching the Argentina – Nigeria game the other night. The TV kept showing Maradonna, which was bad enough. Argentina were playing hard-out, aggressive, and brilliant football. They scored. Then <BANG>, the TV went dead, with an odd buzzing sound coming out the back, and the smell of burning plastic wafted through the room. Attempts to revive the TV were futile. I blame Maradonna, or whoever decided to spend so much time broadcasting his ugly mug instead of the football.
The repairman came this morning and fixed it, so assuming nothing else goes wrong, we’ll be able to watch New Zealand’s first game tomorrow. 7:15pm on CCTV 5.
And would Firefox please stop checking my spelling like I told it to? ‘Zealand’ is perfectly correct, dammit!
Here’s hoping my run of bad luck with technology has ended.