Remember Skynet from the Terminator movies? Did you know it had a less-homicidal cousin? Well, recently, I’ve had several run-ins with said cousin, a rash of very annoying computer related problems that some might describe as “coincidental”. Coincidental? Nah.
In early September, I ordered a new tablet for the dojo. It was set to arrive in late September, and I was so eager to receive it, I’m sure I checked the shipment status
twice eight times a day. Well, one morning, the status read delayed, so I called Company A to learn there was an under-stock issue that would soon be resolved.
Okay, that was going to mess with my plans for unveiling the new dojo management software, but I figured I could adjust by using my personal tablet. Then, one morning a few days later, I received an email from the company informing me that the tablet was not going to ship at all, and, they were canceling the order.
Turns out, that model was discontinued. Yeah, and yet it was on their site and I was allowed to order it. Oh well, full refund.
Skynet’s Cuz, 1, me, 0.
No sooner than I got off the phone with Company A, Company B sent me a message about their cool new HD tablet. It looked sleek and sexy, and by the specs, it was going to be powerful and full of useful stuff, and it was just about 4 bucks more than the canceled tablet. I considered the loss of the first order a blessing in disguise, so after some research and consideration, ordered Company B’s new device.
A few weeks later in mid-October, before dawn on a Monday, I got up and turned my (non-internet) desktop on, ready to spend a couple hours working on The Hidden. Groggy, I slipped into the kitchen then stepped back into the room between the kitchen and my writing room and I noticed…a bright blue glow blazing from my computer… Well, crap.
The white words on the screen read, “blah, blah, blah, Safety mode, BIOS, restart…” Holding my breath, I restarted the computer. It restarted, and…blue screen popped up again. Not quite thinking straight, already starting to notice the bad feeling in the pit of my stomach, I restarted it again. This time…it didn’t come back. Blank, black screen.
Well, %@^&! @^#%! @^#%! Double @^#%!!
I was so pissed that all I could think to do was shut it down and go back to sleep , so that’s I did. This happened almost a month ago and man, writing about it now still triggers me… Thankfully, my writings and most of the other important stuff on that computer is backed up on an external hard drive. Still, what a pisser.
Skynet’s Cuz, 2, me, 0.
A day or two later, the new tablet arrived, but due to a planned trip, I didn’t power it up until the following week. Eager to use this bad boy, I started it and went through the set-up routine and…it froze. Hmmm…. Maybe I did something wrong, I thought. So I tried again. It froze again. Calm but just a little irritated, I put it away and waited a couple days until I could devote more time and energy to it. What happened then? Same result–it froze. I got in touch with the company’s tech support and after 2 hours of the same failure occurring no matter what we tried, I decided to return it and the accessories that I’d ordered. They emailed me the shipping labels, and I dropped the boxes at the UPS store a few days later.
Oh, almost forgot, before I sent the packages back, the faithful tablet that I’d been using at the dojo decided to blink out at the end of classes, right when I was ready to sign up a parent to the new software. Seriously, what the hell?
The score was now Skynet’s Cuz, 4, me, 0.
Thankfully, the dojo tablet rebounded a day later and has been working fairly well since.
It’s interesting how “when it rains, it pours”, how one challenge after another comes at us at an unrelenting and ridiculous pace. But we have to remember, whether minor annoyances or major problems, it’s all part of it. It goes without saying that we will have problems ’cause that’s just life. We’ll encounter obstacles everyday, yes, and most especially whenever we choose to strike out on a new path, or challenge our own, or THE, status quo. They, these problems, come to redirect us and / or to test us: will we find another way and keep going, or will we simply thrown in the towel and give up?
I choose to keep going.
While I could connect the external hard drive to a laptop and write on it until my desktop is repaired, I feel the need to wait. Suspending work on The Hidden is really uncomfortable, like, not cool at all, but I’m still writing. Last week I finally published my Patreon page and posted the first of many character-building stories designed for kids and youth. Check it out and become a patron here: https://www.patreon.com/Eric_unPublished
My technological issues seem to have eased for now. Well, wait, the other day while doing some light research on Electromagnetic Pulses, EMPs, uh, my power blinked… No joke. Coincidence? I hope so, but I’m still holdin’ my breath…