Monday, November 2, 2015

Technology vs. the Blog

Inexplicably, the printer stopped scanning my illustrations or even printing. I tried turning it off and on. I tried lots of things on my computer, but it was just “looking for printer.” I turned the computer off and on. Then I went back to the printer and played with its little buttons for a while. That’s a more complicated endeavor, but I actually re-confirmed the wireless connection and it said, “The printer is connected to the network.”

The computer didn’t know that. It was still looking.

Tim’s printer printed. Mine was “not found.”

You know what this means, don’t you? This means I have to enter Google-land and hunt for solutions. First, I have to figure out how to describe the problem. I have to decide which to type in first, the computer (Mac) or the printer (HP), because that determines which junk I will have to wade through to find the problem they both share. But they think the problem is the other guy’s fault so there are all sorts of blind alleys and dead ends.

This is all very depressing because basically you’re sifting through old posts, records of other people’s technical nightmares. They all ask panicky questions and get incomprehensible answers. Some of them are in such a state of crisis your own heart starts pounding.

If I finally end up with an HP printer not working on a Mac, then I have to include “suddenly” in my problem description – as in “suddenly can’t find printer” – and that’s where I finally find a solution: I need to delete my printer and then add it back in. Deletion is no problem, but when I try to add it back in, nothing shows up. “There are no printers on your network.”

It’s here, right here! You can see it, right? It's gigantic.
This was about three hours one night and then the printer printed a test page. Yay…. Short-lived. That was just a fluke in the universe. By now, I’d joined the HP Support Forum so I could ask my own question and not just pore through everyone else’s disasters.

Five hours the next night, and then I tried turning the router on and off. Victory!

I remember reading an essay once about a man trying to get his elderly mother to use a computer. Whenever it crashed, he knew to just turn it off and then on again, but this seemed so … wrong to his mother. She just couldn’t trust a machine or a problem that needed to be jiggled as a solution.

Why should turning things off and then on again work? Why is that even useful? Does it take those 30 seconds to heal? To calm down, take a breather? This is advanced technology – do heart machines need to be turned off and on, too? If there’s some sort of glitch that gets cleared, does that mean glitches are ever-present but just some of them erupt?

So now I have my printer/scanner back … but I lost Google. It’s there, and it lets me type in a search, but then it just sits there. Unmoving. So I had to search around – without Google – for a solution. I learned that if my time zone is incorrect on my Mac, Google won’t work. ??? So I made sure it showed I was in Alaska Standard Time, and it came back.

But now it’s gone again. And then it comes back. And then it’s gone.

I am NOT a tech dinosaur, but there is a problem in our Third Thirds: most of us don’t come with IT departments.

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