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Friday, June 17, 2011

My adventure with a malfunctioning computer program

            A couple of days ago, I set myself towards figuring out a little bit more about what makes a blog work, given that, during the first six months of my writing this, I perceive that few persons have actually looked at it.  To that effect, I got a book from the library, which told me that a website, was like a search engine for blogs.  I went to it, found that they had news stories on their home page, and began to read one.  I was about 10 seconds into reading a news story (oddly, I no longer even remember the subject), when I was hit by a program that was telling me I needed to buy a program to repair Windows.  About a month before, I was at a point where I could not get online, at a time when the other computers in my house had no problem.  I had a promotion for a repair program pop up, and, silly me, I bought it for $39.98.  It did get me back online, but the computer was still running slow.  Threee times, they called me about a week later to check on how things were, and each time they were on the phone with me for about 1½ hours attempting to correct things, but I could see no improvement.   I could easily figure out that, even at the minimum wage, and phone tech persons make a lot more than that, they had spent far more than $39.98 on me.  I called them, mentioned that they had run their diagnostic three times in the past month already, and I was running it again.  After a few questions, the person said that what I was talking about demanded technical help, which they could provide for an additional $249.  Since I knew that I could buy a brand new beginning of the line computer at Sam’s Club for $298, I declined.

            About a year and a half ago, I took a supposed intro to computers course at the local community college.  I say supposedly introduction, as, after I got in it, I found that the only people who were actually learning from the course were persons who either had a bachelor’s from another school or had received training and experience in the military.  I commented on that long in the past.  Anyway, one of the few things I learned from that course was that one should have on one’s computer two accounts, an administrator account for significant adjustments and a user account for day to day work (yes, if you have Windows 7, Microsoft corrected the flaw of allowing users to work on administrator without knowing better, as had been the case previously).  Therefore, since I couldn’t get on my user account, I thought I would try deleting my user account, making a new one, effectively starting from scratch, I hoped.  Since I am in no way a computer geek, I wasn’t sure if that would work, and it took me most of the day, but it did, and the computer runs far faster, at that.  Then I found that a copy of my writings and audio was still able to be accessed from the administrator account.  I thought I really had done well.  I am certain that the garbage program is still in the computer, but, if it is hidden from the program list, then I can’t get at a program I don’t want to get to.  Yes, it could be set up to migrate over to something else, but it hasn’t so far.

            Today, I went to Wal-Mart, and saw a computer for $249.  I don’t think I’d want that little machine, but the price is the same as that online technical service.  I think of a few years ago, when the Better Business Bureau would have a representative appear on a soft news feature of a local news program and advise that one should do business which people you know.  For years, I would feel like screaming at the screen (not actually doing so in that no one could hear) that that was impossible.  They have, I perceive, stopped doing that in that, in our society, that is impossible.  I almost never do business with people I know, because I have no choice.  Every week, I must go to the gas station, but I don’t know any of those people, or their bosses.  Same at Wal-Mart.  Same at Home Depot;  I used to work at one close to my home six years ago, but only a small number of people who were there then still are, as much as that is supposed to be a good place to work.  I know I don’t know anyone at my city offices.  My ISP, power company, garbage company—I’ve never overtly met someone with those companies, much less know them.

            A couple of months ago, I posted a letter to my neighbors with regard to some of the things I normally deal with on this site.  This week, as I had printed 100 copies (that only cost about $7 at the quick printer), I distributed them to nearby houses on a day in which my knees could take the walking.  I was surprised to find that a good 10% of the houses had some kind of “No Solicitors” sign on the door.  I knew more neighbors when I lived in the country!  I’m not sure what that says about our society, especially when one almost never has door-to-door salesmen knock anymore (because it generally doesn’t work anymore, except for kids selling stuff for school projects).  How do we deal with a society in which many members want to hide from everyone? 

            I don’t have an answer to that one.  I can see, from various simple church literature I have read, that examples given where people in an area come together, the area is very poor.  A few people I have talked to in person don’t have any positive answers, either.  How does one get to know neighbors in an urban or suburban, non-poverty level community?

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