Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Where Did the @ Go?

We had plans, Pat and I. You remember "Pat At The Corner". For years I never knew her last name. I've since learned what it is but after getting to know her better I just refer to her as "Crazy Pat" and that's meant in the nicest way in the event that she reads this post.

Carrie spent the night and so did Ted. He left for school this morning and Carrie appeared in the hallway at 0700 hrs which is early for her. I tucked her in on the sofa with chocolate milk and a cartoon while I spent a little time on the phone. It was time to call Pat and get the computers packed up to take for repairs so I hustled Carrie into the car and off we go.

We took the Lake road through the swamp. Large yellow flowers, algae green water and a few birds were subjects for Carrie's camera. She borrowed mine and from the back seat of the car, she was hunting for 'gators.

We weren't in a hurry so we explored some side roads and eventually found Jeff's house and dropped off the computers, picked up a laptop that had been left there and headed home. Pat pleaded a headache so we left her at her house and Carrie and I made it back to my house.
Pat had been talking about buying a new computer for her son and planned on going today to do it and I offered to set it up for her should she need any help.

A few hours later I responded to her call for help. Coaxing Carrie to leave the house, we headed for Pat's son's apartment. I thought this would be a 45 minute job tops. Three hours later, I'm still at Jeff's apartment and still haven't finished. Setting it up took but a few minutes. The monitor had an integrated speaker system, the CPU was a classic plug and play and the D Link drivers had to be loaded to get it to wireless connection. All went well until I tried to register it online. I had to enter an email address and that's when the problem appeared. Apparently I was "@" less. Seriously, who looses their "@". See? I have one here that I can use the "Shift" key and press the letter "2" and an "@" appears every time.

When I tried this on the keyboard to that new computer, all I got was an ". See those two little marks? The ones usually noted as quotation marks? Testing this keyboard further, I found that the "#" registered as the symbol for the English pound which looks like a large lazy script type "L".
Have I lost you completely on this? Hang in there. It gets better.
I removed that keyboard and hooked up a keyboard from the old computer Jeff had and it wouldn't even register. No drivers for this keyboard so now I'm back to square one without an "@".
We disconnected the keyboard and returned to Office Depot to discuss the problem with the sales staff. Their suggestion? Call tech support with Compaq. "Oh, thanks," I said sweetly as we left the store. "I'll do that."

That's what I did. From Pat's cell, I called the number and was directed to the nicest East Indian tech support guy. 45 minutes of talking with him, he finally reset the keyboard to "United States International" and VOILA! I had an "@".  Oh, happy days. I was ecstatic over an "@". Now for sound. Connecting the cables for sound should have been a matter of plugging into the monitor and then  to the CPU but of course it wasn't to be that easy. Another 20 minutes later and a ping was heard. I was a babbling fool over the sound of a ping! The tech wanted to play a You Tube video to check the sound and by this time I was beyond giddy and goofy and asked if I could select the song. He was laughing as he said "sure, select your pleasure."
By this time, I had spent almost an hour with this tech and since he already had my phone number, I invited him to call and stop by any time he should find himself in town. Laughing, he passed me along to his supervisor for an appraisal on his services. 
All the time that I'm on the phone with this tech, I was using Pat's cell while mine was in my purse at my feet and I could hear it buzzing occasionally. I couldn't answer it because I was busy trying to hold Pat's cell to my ear using my shoulder while my hands were typing on that keyboard all the instructions from the tech.
I did reach down and quickly answer the call from the daughter. I recognized her ring tone and since I had her daughter, it was a call that couldn't go unanswered. I grabbed my cell, said "Hello", I can't talk to you now, I'm on tech support call to India, goodbye".
I knew this wasn't what she expected to hear but I had no choice. I'll deal with her later. I had fish to fry or an "@" to find.

All went well until I tried setting Jeff up with a hotmail address. Oh sure. I had an "@" but it was to the UK, England. That's when I discovered that it wasn't just the keyboard that has a problem with England but the whole CPU needed reset. Exasperated and by this time teetering on the brink of exhaustion, I entered the setup and looked for a way to change the whole unit to United States settings without having to call my Indian friend for some more talk time. I'm pretty positive he was a bit tired of our time together.

I got it reset to United States International, got Jeff a Hotmail address then sailed away with Carrie to meet up with her mother and the attitude awaiting.

The daughter was understanding after I quickly explained what was going on. They were on their way to dinner and all I wanted to do was get back home and relax. Carrie begged me to go to dinner with them and though it wasn't high on my list of wishes, I did go.

I returned home to emails from friends that had tried to call and they know I don't ignore calls from them, that I always have my cell and that I will return their calls in minutes after missing a call and for me to be "out of touch" were worried that something was seriously amiss.
I tried to contact all the missed calls and the ones that I didn't, were soon calling again to check on me.

I'm brain tired and I'm showered and ready to finally drop into bed. Tomorrow morning I will return to Jeff's apartment and download Avast and a few other protections for his computer and hopefully, I'll be finished with what should have been done in a matter of minutes.
One last thing. I missed my bike ride this morning. I couldn't leave Carrie alone. At 2200 hrs. I wheeled the bike to the carport from the patio and climbed aboard. I had to make up for missing my laps this morning so I doubled up on them tonight.
I'm done and I'm gone and if I missed your call, I'll get back to you after I get some sleep.


  1. Oh I just hate all these pc problems. I'm still having a battle with TTNet who I know are not providing the amount of bandwidth that I'm paying for. I know I'm wasting my time because there's no competition here...It's TTNet or nothing...they just don't give a damn.

    Luckily for laptop problems I have my lovely brother-in-law in Ankara...who takes over my laptop from there with Teamviewer and sorts it all out.

  2. Ayak, today when I went back, the wireless adapter wouldn't allow ocnnection to the internet. It worked last night. We tried a new one that we had to run to the store and pick up.
    Finally put the old one back and reloaded all the drivers for it..and VOILA..access once again and then I could download some protection for it. It seems that everything that should have taken minutes has taken hours to do!


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