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Julie the Tech: My first You-Tube in ages….

Computer trouble slowing me down….

My computer was a refurb when I got it, so I knew it wasn’t gonna last all that long. When I first bought it it was a huge pain. All the drivers were out of date and some of the components aren’t the right ones. To top it off, the power cord that came with it was the wrong one. It fit, and it was usable, but the output power was too high. It was designed for a different model I think. I purchased a new power cord right before I left the USA. That’s when I found out why the machine was overheating all the time.

It’s about to die now. I’m backing up, then I will do a disk check. Wish me luck.

Oh, by the way, don’t even bother with cloud storage unless you have unlimited internet. If you have limited, the cloud backup will eat up your bandwidth. Don’t even bother. You’ll be paying so much for Internet that with the money you save by not backing up, you can easily buy an external hard drive.

I have one by GoFlex. You’re not going to believe this. It survived high humidity (fog in home), three floods (it was wrapped), and it fell off my table twice about a month ago. It’s still going strong.

The cloud backup I have is called Crashplan. Don’t use them. I tried to get Crashplan to backup to my external drive. Know something? It was gonna take DAYS. I backed up by dragging and dropping, same files, and this is taking about an hour. I think I may uninstall Crashplan and see if the computer runs any better. I have to shut it off all the time anyway.


Why does my laptop’s wired Internet connection not work?

I had trouble with this a while back, too.  I made the following discovery:

If you are a computer “dummy,” you need to know the following, and I have no clue how this applies to Mac computers or Linux as opposed to Windows ones: Most laptops nowadays are made for wireless Internet connections. So they have wireless devices built right into them. Laptops have been made like this for years, so nowadays when we purchase a new laptop, we no longer have to purchase a separate wireless adapter. These are already included and most likely, your laptop has one and it’s turned on.  If you want to turn it off, there’s usually a very easy way to do this, usually a keyboard shortcut. You might see a symbol on an F key that looks like either an airplane or a signal tower perhaps with waves around it, or just a dot with widening waves.  On a Windows computer, press and hold the F key on the bottom of your keyboard, then while holding this key, press the numbered F key on the top of your keyboard, and this turns the wireless adapter on and off.  Sometimes you can just press the F2 key by itself. Sometimes, it’s a different key.  If you go to your laptop’s manufacturer’s site you might be able to download a manual which will give you instructions if you have any doubts. You can ask a computer guru or a reference librarian.  Or if you live near a computer store that sells the same brand, go in there as if you’re interested in buying, then casually ask the most enthusiastic salesperson how the wireless is toggled on a similar model.

(BTW: “Toggle” is one of those funny words meaning a switch that confuses the heck out of the average person. Why? Because you never know if it’s on or off.  A caps lock button is a toggle switch unless it’s like the old typewriter caps lock switches that you pressed and they actually stayed down.  Nowadays, the caps lock key doesn’t change at all after you press it unless you’ve got one that does you a favor by lighting up.)

I’m not a computer “dummy,” however, a while back when I connected my Windows 7 laptop to a wired connection, guess what I forgot? Yep, you guessed it.  I forgot to disconnect the wireless connection.  So both were running at the same time.  I wondered why on earth my connection was so darned slow!  This went on for a few weeks before I caught my error.  I was rather thrilled when I realized my mistake and was easily able to correct it.  You can bet I was laughing my butt off at myself.

Some computers won’t allow both at once.  Actually, I’m surprised that this one did.  Looking back, that’s most likely the reason my Windows 8 machine never accepted a wired connection. It was because I wasn’t disconnecting the wireless connection first.

In conclusion: If you fail to connect your laptop to the Internet via an ethernet cable, be sure that the laptop is not already connected to the Internet via a wireless connection.

This is only one of my many amusing “tech” experiences and it may not be the same as anything you will go through. I just thought I’d share.

I use boxcutters for their intended purpose, and none other….


This is a picture of all the recycling I just took out.  I cut apart all the boxes I had to compress them so that I could take them out all at once.  I feel liberated!  I no longer have zillions of boxes cluttering up my apartment.

You would not believe how many boxes this was.

It was dumb to save them up for that imagined “moving day.”  I mean, dream on, Julie.  I can get boxes from UHaul in a flash if I really need them, if this moving day actually materializes.  Or, shall I say, when.

Also, I cleaned up the hard drive of the computer I’m writing on and wow, what a difference.  No more freezing!  I thought this computer was on its way out. All the programs were freezing and the screen was turning white every few minutes.  It hasn’t turned white once since the cleanup, and there isn’t any keyboard lag anymore, either.  All I did was to move the large files onto a portable hard drive. These had also been backed up into cloud storage as well.   Then, I shredded those files, the ones on the hard drive of this computer.  Poof!  Fixed.

My technology crash and what it meant to me

What can I say?

A complete technology crash within about ten days.  I can only say it sucked, but I’m back.

One day (as I think I mentioned on the You-Tube I made, you-tube channel juliemadblogger) I was walking out of the bathroom, innocently enough

I was trying to rescue my clothes, because Puzzle was throwing up on them.

Now, this is a moment of panic if ever I saw one.

A naked, not-so-great-to-look-at 55-year-old woman running to rescue her clothes because her dog is puking on them.

It’s morning.  Not that early, only a couple of weeks ago.

So like I said, in the process of rescuing my clothes, my rather newish laptop went crashing to the floor and it’s more or less totaled.

Well, I told myself there wasn’t all that much data in it that wasn’t duplicated on my old reliable desktop, and I never really liked Win 8.  The little  laptop didn’t cost an exact fortune.   So, I decided I’d take it as a loss, and maybe go to my nice laptop repair guy someday and have it repaired for less than the other store was quoting me.  Someday, sigh.  But now, the screen was popping and stuff.  Time to turn it off.  Just go to bed.  Cry or whatever.

Puzzle, don’t puke again for a good long while, okay?

So, maybe a bunch of days later the other disaster happened that I’ve probably told you about…technology, again.

I was asleep and woke up to find my old desktop computer was completely kaput.  Gone.  Dead as a doornail.

Now only the night before, I’d done a backup using my portable hard drive.  I had no clue why I was doing the backup but I figured I might as well.  I hadn’t been doing them that often.  The last thing I expected was a crash.  And right before I fell asleep, I backed up the book I was writing on one of those thumb drives.

So this is all rather weird cuz I had just changed Internet services and just downloaded a file having to do with this modem they sent me.  So I call this new Internet service and they tell me,

“Your new service isn’t starting till October 31st and you aren’t supposed to be using that modem.  Please discontinue using it and restart it October 31st.”

They had sent me no mailings saying the service started October 31st.  In fact, their mailings stated stuff like, “Plug your modem in and have Internet in a jiffy.”  And their contract was all confusing and had all this legal stuff in it….They were calling me at all times asking me questions, it got to the point of what I would call harassing.   I am still getting calls but they seem to disconnect as soon as I answer.  I’ve canned them and gone back to my old service.  There is talk in town about people who received these modems and were told the same thing, no service until the end of October.  Many were Apple modems but mine was a different one and I paid $30 for mine…I should ask for that back.

So, all that bit rather sucked, relying on a cell phone to reach the outside world for a bunch of days, and thinking I was going to have to go that way through October, snatching free Internet outdoors when I could.

One night, I sat outside the library (this is a scream) and used their Internet one night, cuz I wanted to see my e-mail on full screen.  I was tired of looking at the tiny screen of my cell phone.  The laptop I was using was like an antique practically and worked at a snail’s pace, but it was what I had.  It was darned late, well after hours.  I had a large umbrella with me.   So I was packing up, decided to head home.  Now, folks, here was my mistake.  I decided to turn off my laptop instead of “sleeping” it.  Why was this a mistake?  The darned thing did an update.  Now, there was only one Windows update but it was the Update from Hell you never, ever want while you are sitting at the library late at night while the cops are driving by and might nab you for loitering.  Of course, I’ve already called the library and they’ve told me it’s fine to go sit there after hours, but it’s so late that I’m wondering if a cop is going to ask me to leave.  Do cops understand Windows updates?  I wait…oh geez, longer and longer.  The freaking update from Hell like you would not believe.  So it starts to rain.  I put up my umbrella and it’s still updating and updating and updating forever.  I start to wonder if I’m going to have to call a cab and hold my computer open, telling the cab driver I need to rush home and plug the damn thing in.   Surely, I can’t walk home holding the computer open, cuz I’ll trip and fall.  So about ten more minutes pass while it’s raining on me and the thing is updating still.  I am meanwhile writing an e-mail, under the umbrella, with my cell phone.  This is so comical, a 55-year-old woman and her dog under the umbrella into the night.  Microsoft, did you have to do this to me?  Finally, the Update from Hell was over.  We were home when?  12:30pm.  Jesus.  I was exhausted.  I’ll never forget that night.  I guess that was one thing that made me decide I wanted home Internet back.

And I was glad when this machine that I am writing to you on arrived safely a bunch of days later.  It runs.  It’s a refurb.  I was lucky to get it.  It runs Win7, not bad, not too hard to get used to.  With it came a little webcam.  It took me ages to get the webcam running but now it does.

I’d like to restore my old files from the old machine.  I’ve written to the tech support people for the portable hard drive, cuz I want to restore the files properly.  I expect them to respond Monday.

Well, why am I telling you all this?  It all kinda affected me in a big way.  It’s ironic that I live in the most densely populated town in Massachusetts, but I can’t walk out my door and say, “Hello, how are you.  You can pet my dog if you want.”  It totally sucks that people take one look at me, judge me based on my appearance, and decide they want nothing to do with me.  So where are the folks that care about me and love me for who I am?  I speak to them through technology, through the phone and the computer, and that’s why I need this machinery.  That’s why the technology crash really affected me.

Watertown, wake up, folks.  I’m not a monster.  I don’t carry weaponry, and I’m not from outer space.  I’m flesh and blood.  I have feelings just like you.  I’m not on drugs.  I’m not violent, never have been, and I don’t hurt children.  What’s the deal?  It’s too damn hot to turn our backs on each other.

My laptop fell off the table and it cracked on the corner of the screen.

I thought this was covered on the warranty, but apparently I was mistaken.  I had to get some other protection, that I don’t have.  Oops.

Funny, just last night I was able to repair a program I thought I’d lost, and transfer it over to my desktop computer.  How nice.

I’m trying to find out if I can get my laptop backed up before I bring it into the shop.  Does anyone know if those seagate GoFlex things back up more than one computer, or if you are limited to just one?

I have nothing really valuable on there that I know of.  Just a bunch of stuff, some programs i downloaded for free, some stuff in cloud storage, etc.

It all happened when Puzzle started throwing up while I was in the middle of brushing my teeth.  I didn’t want her throwing up in some yucky place, so I went to call her and at least find out where the heck she was.  The laptop was plugged in and somehow, the cord was twisted on something that I pulled on by accident…Wham!  Down it went.  Everything’s all fucked up on it now, but I can bring up the desktop and I’m pretty sure I can get the data off of it.

Gotta get it fixed.  Damn, more bills.

Oh yes, I got rid of Jolly Wallet

And I didn’t have to pay a cent, or download anything that promised to do miracles.  No, I didn’t have to call anyone and say I was a helpless stupid woman living alone with her dog who had no money to pay anyone anything to help her with her computer.  Yes, I got rid of Jolly Wallet off of every fucking browser you can imagine, and I even have a machine with Windows 8, which means you can’t do a damn thing the normal way.

Actually, it wasn’t all that hard.  Don’t pay anyone ridiculous sums of money to get Jolly Wallet off your back.

Oh, by the way, if you do happen to get pop-ups that say “Jolly Wallet,” get them the hell out of your machines.  Tell ’em a helpless old lady with a raggedy dog told ya so.

Any techies out there? I have a complaint about my server people and don’t know where to go

My e-mail keeps going out. By “out,” I mean, I am unable to log in with any device here at home and not only that, I am unable, right at the same time, to log in with my cell phone.

I can easily access other sites such as weather dot com, nextbus, or whatever I need.  I can get Facebook. I can get into other e-mail accounts just fine.  But this IMAP account won’t log in.

I phoned my server people. I’m kind of straddling between two servers right now because is a site that not all servers do.

So once a week, my e-mail goes down. Not for five minutes, not for ten minutes, but for just about the entire day. Then, guess what. Poof!  It’s back.

At this very momnent, my cell phone starts e-mail working like magic.

They tried to tell me it was a compatability problem. Then they said it was my firewall settings.  I turned off my firewall entirely and STILL couldn’t log in. They claim nothing’s wrong on their end

And they claim I am crazy.

Today, my e-mail works.  By magic.

Is there some administration I can turn to, telling them I get a different answer each time I call, depending on which tech support person  reach?

I have received e-mails from them days later with an apology, saying the problem was on their end.  Gee, after they called me crazy. This blows.

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