Angie Fox here, posting this for Shirley Damsgaard who is, er, having a few technical difficulties. Take it away Shirley...
As I believe I’ve mentioned before, I do love my technology. I believe I’ve also mentioned that I’m not exactly the sharpest pencil in the box when it comes to understanding said technology, especially when it comes to computers.
And I’m okay with that...when I turn the sucker on and it does what I tell it to do, I’m good. I’ve never felt the need to know about gigabytes, USB ports, flash drives, processors, etc.—I’ve always figured that my brain is crowded enough without clogging the circuits in an effort to understand the inner workings of my computer. Usually this attitude works fairly well for me, but not so much this past week.
I bought a new desktop.
Normally this would be a good thing, but first let me tell you a little about my old desktop. It has everything I’ve ever written contained in its memory banks, all eight books, (it’s probably silly keeping these files since the books are in print, but I just can’t make myself delete them!! Not after all the work that went into creating them!) every short story, every blog, the notes for every workshop, and even notes on ideas for future manuscripts.
It also has pictures AND financial records, including the information that I MUST have to do this year’s taxes. I guess one could say most of my life is on that computer, and needless to say, I was a little nervous about HOW these files were going to be transferred. If I would have been a better consumer and taken the time to learn a little more about computers, specifically how to store files, I would’ve backed the most important files on a flash drive, but I didn’t.
Instead, I bought a service where the files are transferred via the phone and their service center. And it did work pretty slick...you make the call, hook the two computers together via a USB cable, then the service tech remotely transfers the files. The other thing the tech is supposed to do is remove any of the little buggies that, unbeknownst to you, might have attached themselves to your files.
Two things happened—1. My financial records have disappeared, and 2. Now there’s this lovely, little box that pops up continuously on the new computer telling me its infected with close to a hundred viruses and that I need to purchase their software in order to be protected. (Did I mention the box also has a sound effect? It screams whenever it appears on the screen. Kind of disconcerting when I’m trying to write, to say nothing of the way the noise makes me jump!)
The only way get rid of it is to click on the box, go to the website, then close out of the website. This happens about every 5 to 10 minutes and I can’t continue working on whatever it is I’m working on until I do. I did call the service center back, but they told me it wasn’t their fault and I have to purchase yet another service in order to get rid of it.
To prevent making a long story even longer, right now the store is working with me to retrieve the financial documents, and when I stop by today, they are going to call a supervisor at the service center about removing the annoying little box. We’ll see if the situation gets resolved.
Do I wish I would’ve done things differently? You bet! But I have a friend who says “it’s never a mistake as long as you learn from it.” So what did I learn? It does not pay to rush ahead, willy-nilly, which I must admit, I’m prone to do, without doing a bit research first. As a consumer, I should’ve shopped around, made myself more knowledgeable about files and file storage. I should’ve asked more questions, and next time, I can assure you, I will.
That’s it for this week—oh and btw, this blog was written on my laptop, not the new desktop. I didn’t think I could stand that screaming box this early in the morning.