Saturday, November 03, 2007

technological advancements

I've had some technological woes just lately. I think it probably started when our TV died but that actually turned out to be a good thing as we're now the proud owners of a fancy-schmancy flat-screen LCD TV instead.

And then there was my new laptop. I wanted to love it, I really did. It's all sleek and shiny, and really quiet - you hardly hear it running at all. And it's fast, too. I no longer have time to boil the kettle and make coffee decaf while it boots up, and my email opens in a flash.
But...
I've had intermittent problems, mostly surrounding the wireless broadband / internet. I noticed that sometimes the internet was really slow - I was genuinely surprised that I actually got my photos of our trip to SA uploaded to Flickr the other night. I almost just gave up.

The night before that I was ready to throw the "bloody new-fangled thing with all it's fancy new bits and pieces" out the window because the wireless broadband just would. not. work. And it wasn't the router, because young Cinderella had no problems with her connection... using the wireless card from MY old laptop (how annoyed was I?!). I even uninstalled Norton Internet Suite because I thought it might have had something to do with the auto-update it had run the night before, but no, it was just not working. The fact that the LAN connection worked fine should've given me a hint but by that stage I was too far gone to think straight.

But then on Thursday night I switched the offending machine back on and started from scratch and chose to follow my favourite motto:

WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS.[1]

And when I found the e-manual and browsed to the "Wireless Networking" section, the first thing I saw was a diagram. Item 5 was labelled "Wireless Networking on/off switch".
D'OH! I must have unknowingly flipped it to Off when I was putting the machine in it's bag... a quick flip of the little sliding button about 2mm to the right and hey, presto! My wireless net began working again.

Terri - 1
Technology Gremlins - Zero!

So that was one problem solved.
Today I decided it was time to look at this intermittent performance issue. I reinstalled the Norton software because honestly it didn't make a noticeable difference and I don't want the cyber-aliens abducting my data and performing nasty experiments on it when I'm not looking.

I searched all the settings I could find in both Firefox and the Norton stuff. I downloaded IE7 and checked all those settings too. Luckily it made no difference whether I used Firefox or IE - they were both dog-slow. I couldn't even open my own blog - how bad is that??!
And then something went PING! in my head[2] and I went back to the wireless network settings that I had spent so much time looking at during the week. Sure enough, there it was - one little slider that I moved from "min" to "max"... the one that controls throughput vs saving battery life. Screw the battery - gimme Megs!!!
So this message may pop up a little (?!) sooner than it did before. I can live with that.

Terri - 2
Technology Gremlins - still Zero!

You may applaud :-)

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[1] Yes, that really IS my motto. I hate reading instructions - I'm a true Techie at heart.

[2] Not literally, of course.

5 comments:

-Ann said...

As a technical writing professional working in the software industry, I am glad that you did read the instructions and that they proved instantly helpful.

Fence said...

Consider yourself applauded.

It is always nice to figure something like that our.

DelBoy said...

And let me guess... it runs Vista too, just to make things a little more interesting.

angel said...

oh i am impressed!!! and i'm so glad to see a little more of you in blogland again!

Terri said...

-anne - Always glad to validate someone's hard work :)

Fence - {taking a bow} Thank you. Thank you very much (it's difficult to put the Elvis twang in writing...)

Del - No, thank goodness it's still XP. I may be a techie but I do hate change!

Angel - As you should be. You're in the presence of greatness ;)