Monday, March 26, 2012

High tech hijinks: John saves the day!

It was all a very high-tech puzzle to me, but John, weekend pal and IT guru extraordinaire, managed to work a little magic the other day and re-introduce my lame printer to its high-tech host. For at least a week or so I had been searching about my computer’s innards in a futile effort to fix the problem.

Truth to tell, in this case – and many more involving the digital world we live in – it’s not what you know, but who you know! I’ll explain.

My problem began quietly enough earlier this month when I attempted to access the Internet on my laptop and got that irritating page that announces something is amiss and the web is now outside your reach. Generally that has meant I need to start pulling wires from modems and routers, shutting my network down and, when all else fails, tossing a bunch of chicken bones into a paper sack and waving it around my head while reading a few verses from the Book of Lamentations!

Despite my best efforts, nothing seemed to fix the problem and I realized I had little choice but to call my Internet provider. An hour later, after yet again pulling wires from my modem and router, typing in secret IP addresses that only IT specialists on the mother ship know, and zipping about the control panel of my hard drive, I was back to square one.

It was about then that the Internet rep suggested we try changing out the modem and router that has been part of my network and my life for the last few years and update the system with a combo modem / router that had been sent to me a few weeks earlier. I, ahh, acquiesced. Big mistake!

After spending another hour updating everything and still not being able to access the Internet, I heard Priscilla – that would be the IT specialist on the other end of the phone – say a word you never want to hear an IT specialist say – oops!

She then explained that she had just checked out the status of Internet service in my neighborhood – that would be my entire neighborhood – and it turns out that, well, the service was down! Can you say %&&$ %&$# *& %$ *@#%&!

Service was expected to be out the rest of the day and Priscilla said she’d be back in touch the following afternoon to help me setup the network she had me rip apart moments earlier. Check please!

Priscilla did, in fact, get back in touch the next day. We did manage to get my network up and running and, relatively quickly access the Internet. One itty-bitty problem remained; re-establishing contact between my printer and my new, updated Wi-Fi network.

Here’s something else you don’t want to hear your Internet provider’s specialist say: “We don’t have any documentation on printers.” Apparently that cute little aphorism that suggests if you break something, you own it doesn’t apply to high-tech idiots!

Thankfully, John – feeling good and atop his digital game after a quick visit to Five Guys – was willing to swing by my neighborhood and see if he could work up enough magic to bring my printer back to life.

I’d like to say it was a simple fix; just a little twist here and wiggle there. But, alas, John was forced to jump out onto the web and search for specialized documentation that he went about reading with gusto. I mostly stood about nodding my head, occasionally murmuring a few digital-centric words – cache, firewall, Microsoft and Apple – to offer my support and show my deep understanding of the problem.

The problem is we couldn’t seem to find the oh-so special program that would allow the printer to find and reconnect with my network. Despite John’s best efforts, the program remained hidden, just a little electrical impulse that seemed content to play hide-and-seek. And then, after an hour or so of searching, John suggested we take a look for the thingy on my laptop. And, as the saying goes, the rest is history.

I’m thinking there’s some sort of deep meaning behind all this high tech hijinks – perseverance, friendship and the importance of having a good burger joint in your neighborhood! I’m also thinking, as I already mentioned above, often it’s not what you know, but who you know; which essentially makes this entire posting a long and windy way of saying, “Thanks, John!”

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