The classic line: “Something came on, and I pushed it, and I didn’t read it, and now I don’t know what’s going on.”
What was going on in this case was a user dealing with Microsoft changing Hotmail to Outlook.com. He may have been a little less thrown if he’d read the message about the change.
When you see a message appear on your screen, read it. Think about writing it down, since you may not understand it, and after you click a button, you probably won’t remember what it said.
Whether you either (or neither) of these things, if you find yourself stuck, I’m happy to help get you unstuck.
A word of advice, folks: when you have a problem with your computer, nip it in the bud! Don’t let it fester and get worse and worse, because the worse it gets, the harder the problem is to solve. Promise me, okay? I love helping you, and I like to spare you the unnecessary heartbreak of a fouled-up system that can’t get fixed. –Eileen
Many of you have heard my disclaimer for HP printers. It goes like this: If need my help for trouble with your HP printer, understand that it can take several hours (or more) to troubleshoot the problem, which may not result in a solution. I will be charging for all of that time, as I have given away too much time in the past, feeling like it shouldn’t take that long to solve a problem with a printer. HP’s printer software seems to get bigger and buggier every year. You couldn’t pay me to have one.
Today I’m adding Lexmark to the blacklist. I haven’t been a big fan of Lexmark in the past, but yesterday I had one of the worst printer-setup sessions I’ve had in quite in a while. The printer cartridges didn’t snap into place like you think they would, the instructions were lacking, the labels on top of the cartridges started sliding around, and I had to remove replace the cartridges numerous times to get it to work. A half-hour call to Lexmark was needed to complete the installation. When asked why the machine lacked a couple of obvious features, the support rep said, “I don’t know. They usually have that feature, but this model doesn’t.”
If you’re thinking about buying a new printer, do some research before you pull out your wallet. Check out Consumer Reports, if you’re a subscriber. Check out online retailers like Amazon and Newegg, where you can read user reviews and compare features between models. In general, you don’t need to spend a lot of money, but don’t jump at the first deal you see, and think about getting something better than the cheapest one you find.
Oh, and if you’re on the phone to a manufacturer complaining about a broken part on the model you have, don’t let them talk you into buying another. Think about a different brand.
Lastly, for the love of Pete, don’t buy an HP (or a Lexmark).
Comments are welcome, and I’m happy to answer questions you may have.
We all have to deal with them at times: the “mailer daemon” (or “mail administrator” or “mail delivery subsystem”) messages that show up in our inbox to let us know an email message we sent did not make it to its destination. Sometimes the reason is obvious—we spot a typo in the email address we used for the recipient—but often we can’t see what the message is trying to tell us. I hope this helps demystify things a bit.
If calamity struck today—
a lightning strike,
a hard drive failure,
a computer crash—
how would you feel?
You talkin’ to me?
Some people don’t keep anything precious on their computer. They use a web-based email system (Gmail, Hotmail, AOL mail, Yahoo mail), they don’t use Bookmarks (Favorites), and they don’t use their computer for much more than email, web browsing, or playing games. They don’t really have anything to lose. (They might, with the email, but we’ll talk about that another time). If this describes you, you have nothing to fear, and you need to make no contingency plans.
If, however, you keep anything precious on your computer (documents, pictures, music, email messages/addresses, etc.), or you have anything that would bring you grief to lose, you need to take steps to keep your data safe and back up your files.
. . . Twitter!
After lurking on Twitter for a long time, visiting Twitter pages for a number of different people, I decided to take the plunge. Join me there!
I recently had to wipe my hard drive after a buggy USB device trashed my Windows 7 installation. This list started as a to-do list of things that would need to be done in the process of migrating my life from an old Windows XP machine (which I did only three months ago). This process is painful enough one time, but thanks to the list, I was able to sail through it the second time. I know some folks are curious about the list, so I figured I would post it here. Continue reading