Traumatized by Technology

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Gone.  It’s all gone.  Why the despondency?  It all started on Wednesday night . . .

. . . my friend and I were commiserating about digital technology and how it had wronged us in the past.  As of last week, the worst thing I had experienced was all of my music disappearing from iTunes about a year ago.  In that case, I was fortunate enough to still have the CDs, and the music was saved to my iPod.  It was still upsetting, though.  On Wednesday night, the last thing I said before going to bed was, “Technology isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”

I went upstairs to get ready for bed and flipped open my new laptop to listen to some music before bed.  This time, I saved all my music to my hard drive.  I’m still too nervous to return to iTunes just yet.  Since receiving this laptop I’ve done a lot of traveling, and I uploaded 100% of my current music from other people.

You can guess what happened next.  Yep, my music library was empty.  100s of songs gone.  The music was there three days prior.  I had no idea what happened.  No problem, I’ll just restore the system.  I’d done this plenty of times on my old laptop with no problems.  I hit “System Restore” and went to bed.  Little did I know the horror that awaited me in the morning.

When I awoke on Thursday morning, the first thing I did was check my computer to  see if my music files had been restored.  Before I could check my music, I noticed that the color on my touch screen was different and tiles were missing.  That’s when I noticed that the picture on my desktop was the default picture.

That’s when the panic set in.  I became dizzy and flushed; accompanied by that hot tingly feeling down my spine, and feeling like I was going to vomit. 

Not only were my music files not restored, but the missing tiles on the touch screen were missing programs.  Every program either installed or downloaded was gone.  All passwords were wiped clean.  It’s like the laptop just came out of the box. 

On Thursday, I spent eight hours downloading, installing, and configuring all the programs that I could.  Like many people, I check “remember me” so I don’t have to remember passwords for every site.  I also keep a list of usernames and passwords just in case. Being the brilliant person that I am, that list is saved on my computer, which I’m now unable to access.  I lost count of the number of passwords I tried before I was finally able to log onto my blog.

Much to my dismay, I was not able to reinstall every program; most notably my security and my Windows operating system.  This laptop was a gift, so these programs were installed by the gift-giver; whom I frantically called.

Even with internet security, my previous laptop was attacked twice.  So it was important to have top-of-the-line security installed on this computer.  To reinstall the security I needed the password.  Unfortunately, no one seems to have this information.  Fine, I’ll accept the loss and buy some inferior security.  At least I can still use my computer, right?

This is when I discovered that I no longer had an operating system.  All of my documents were intact, I just couldn’t open them.  No problem, all I had to do was type in the 25 digit licensing number to reinstall Windows.  When I received this computer Windows was already installed, but it wasn’t working correctly so I called Microsoft.  They fixed the problem and gave me a new licensing number.

I have spent the past three days going through every shred of paper in my filing cabinets and flipping through notepads looking for this magic number that I wrote down in December 2013.  I’ve also moved since then.  I’m just hoping that that one piece of paper made the move with me.

Fortunately, a friend of mine in my new location “knows a guy.”  You know, the guy we all call when we have computer problems.  I described my computer problems to him over the phone.  I’m not sure if he understood me due to the fact I was hyperventilating.  He said that it sounded like I “zigged” when I should have “zagged”; which is a fixable problem.  We’ll see.

The one good thing about all these computer problems is that I’m no longer upset about losing all my music.  I also realize that if losing my operating system is my biggest problem, I have a pretty comfortable life.

by:  Ana Henry – 15 June 2014

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