Saturday, March 29, 2008

Blue Screens Galore

Last week or the week before I downloaded a This American Life story on my i-tunes at work. I'd planned to sync it to my i-pod and take it with me to the gym or for a walk. Instead, I got this awful error message that asked me to restore my i-pod. Which meant I wiped my little Nano clean. And after I did so, it never synced again. Each time I restored and then followed the instructions, it would recycle back to the message telling me a horrible error had occurred and I needed to restore the i-pod.

So I gave up and decided to wait until I got my precious Dell laptop back. I'd loaned it to my friend, whose own Dell was a little less than reliable, so that she could use it to take the bar exam.

This morning, I decided to boot up my Dell and plug in the i-pod to see if the damage would magically get undone.

Instead, not thirty seconds after booting up, I got a blue screen telling me something was terribly wrong with my laptop and I needed to shut down immediately. I repeated this process three times. Then I went and dragged Jason out of bed. He had the same experience. So he worked his magic for a while and then asked me about a bunch of applications on the computer and whether I'd installed them. I don't really install anything on my computer on purpose. And so we quietly cursed my friend. We talked about un-installing the exam software she used to take the bar, blaming that as blue-screening the computer. Which of course didn't make sense because I'd had the exact same software on this very computer for the past three years.

In the end, it turned out it was our wireless connection. Once we dis-enabled the laptop wireless, the computer began functioning just fine. And so I feel a little badly about blaming my friend. I wasn't even mad at her. Just mad at the not knowing what happened.

But the computer trouble didn't end there. Oh no. Because then I decided to see if I could get my i-pod functioning again. The thing is that I'm not particularly technological. And Jason is. And so I pretty much rely on him to fix anything computer related. And I think that really irritates him. But he's so much better about trouble-shooting. At one point he turned to me and said, "Why is it that you have three degrees and you can't figure this out? Why do you think my one computer science degree means I can fix anything?"

My response? "It doesn't? I think a single degree in the computer science trumps English, Spanish, Education, and Law degrees when it comes to things computer related, don't you?"

He grumbled.

"Well, you could at least tell me how you would approach solving the problem-- tell me where you'd find the solution. How you'd figure out how to fix it."

He rolled his eyes. "I'd google it," he replied.

"Well, you're at the computer now. Can't you fix it?"

A heavy sigh later, and I decided it'd be best if I just left him alone. So I went off to change so I could go for a light job. Jason following not long after and sheepishly admitted: "I turns out it's not you after all. It really is the i-pod. I think it's gone."

And then he disappeared. And when I returned from my jog, my miracle-worker husband had unlocked the key to the i-pod mystery. He fixed it. And I have all my music back. And I have my This American Life story back. And I've vowed never to plug my i-pod in to the i-tunes at work.

So here I sit, typing away on my beloved Dell laptop, i-pod charging next to me. And I'm a happy girl.

1 comment:

Johnny said...

I have sorta the opposite problem. When my wife has computer problems and I offer to help, she swats that offer aside with the words, "I KNOW how to use a computer. I've used a computer for over 20 years!"

The key word is "use", not debug.