Sometimes I wonder if computers are really productivity tools. How much of our professional and spare time do we spend figuring out why the damned thing just does not add one plus one to a total of two?
The thought often crosses my mind when we start a meeting, and five people, all IT wizards with an IQ way above average, fiddle with the laptop, the video plug, the remote control and the projector trying to make the resolutions between computer and projector to match. Up to the point that the presentation is dwarfed by the fact that whatever is shown on the screen is not readable.
If we spend 30% of our lives sleeping, then I must spend at least another 10% of my life debugging silly IT problems. When I am home in Belgium, pump that up to 20% of my time. I have two laptops at home in Italy. But at home in Belgium, add another two desktops and two laptops to make our family complete and happy. And have me pull out my hair...
In the past two weeks I have come across a couple of IT problems I know I will probably never solve. Or will take an unreasonable amount of time if I would want to solve them.
- One computer is running on Windows 98. An operating system doomed to the Stone Ages by Microsoft. I understand. But I will probably never be able to upgrade this computer to XP with all the correct drivers.
- Another computer is running Windows ME. Same despair to upgrade. We need it though, as it is the only one with a parallel port. Which our shared printer needs...
- Our cable Internet connection goes bazurk when you upload too much data. The girls have just started their own YouTube channel, and upload masses of data. I will never figure out why the Internet connection then dies. And I know if I'd call the ISP, they will charge me loads of Euros to end up with a silly answer. Like "please don't upload that much data!"
- One laptop has a vicious worm virus since a month. Despite the fact I have not used it for a month, leave alone downloaded any software or visited any dubious website. And it has two up-to-date and reputable anti-virus programmes on it. Several nights of disinfecting leaves me with my hands in my hair as I only seem to disinfect whatever malware the worm itself is generating. But can not delete the worm itself.
- Since two weeks I am trying to find a way to create a new domain for theroadtothehorizon.org which forwards to my new server. Helpdesk help in vain.
- On one computer, the email program keeps on prompting for a password. Can't get it to store passwords. All known solutions don't work.
- I tried to move a Microsoft Outlook Express mailbox to another computer, using Microsoft Outlook. Exporting mails doesn't work. I am left with forwarding dozens of emails from one account to the next.
- The wireless LAN repeater does not seem to work with data encryption. And when I leave the access open, the neighbour's son pirates it.
- One computer keeps on hanging.
You want more?
Either my days as a computer professional are over, or I am too old to cope, or IT systems are just meant to cause problems these days...
Picture courtesy Zoe the Smooth Fox Terrier