Tuesday, September 17, 2013

9/17/13 My Craptastical Day

So, yeah. 

I am currently blogging from a computer that is  not my own and whose keyboard, I must say, is as craptastical as the rest of my day.

This one has to go in the history books as one of the seriously most annoying days in the history of torikind.

A little back story, so you can truly appreciate the universe's timing on this one. 

I am scheduled to have a three day work week, as in done tomorrow and leaving Thursday and Friday to be in Houston. That means do a LOT of work to try and clear the boards. No breaks allowed.

I am going to Houston and spending my last two precious vacation days off for the rest of the year, mind you in order to play historian, one of my passions, as well as visit with friends.

Playing historian entails four different stops over the long weekend to different libraries, mostly, and one local newspaper office, to search, locate, and scan as many images of my childhood neighborhood from my era into digital format. 

This, as you can probably spot, requires a computer.

And, also obviously, so does keeping up with all of that work today and tomorrow.

So of course this morning, on a Tuesday, which is my big account's payroll day, and thus the day each week I already need to work feverishly and without stopping, even with five days in a work week,  planning the easiest dinner imaginable every Tuesday night for the family, in order to get all of the tickets that can be posted to pay the technicians for all their work in the past week so they can pay their bills and I can keep my job, MY COMPUTER DIES.

It was acting wonky for about an hour before all hell broke loose. Or, rather, hell froze over. Because the whole machine took one giant gasp and then froze for all time. 

After I had to hard shut it down, there was no bringing it back up. Black screen, no way to enter setup, nothing. 

By 9:00 I was in the car and on the way to the office in the hopes something could be done. 

Now, mind you, right before the last dying gasp, I was in the dealership's system and could see that they already had two dozen tickets waiting for me. In the half hour drive to the office, the half hour conference about how to get me working while my computer was examined, and the hour of actually getting someone else's machine set up with all of the virtual clients I require to do my job, that number was growing. 

So from 11:00 until around 1:00 I worked at a frantic pace on someone else's machine, which is a lot like moving into someone else's house and trying to make yourself at home, while options for having a computer at home (and on my trip) were discussed. 

First, we were going to have IT guy take it with him to Best Buy, where someone who could actually diagnose the thing might look at it and tell us whether it was worth trying to save. While at Best Buy, he would also buy a new laptop that would replace the previous "backup laptop" that had to be sent home with another administrator last week whose computer also went south.  I should also point out that our other IT guy who rebuilt my computer last year, replacing the hard drive and helping me select a very nice one that was supposed to last longer than 13 months (warranty expiration = 12) is out of the office with his newborn son, who arrived on Friday.  Timing galore.

He suggested that we try to remove my hard drive and see if a spare drive would boot up. 

That worked. So instead of heading  out to Best Buy, the spare was loaded with all the crap he'd just had to load on Jami's machine while she is also generously putting off all of her work so that I can work.

At 1:30 I have a new hard drive installed with all the necessary work programs. 

I have again lost Photoshop and am doubtful Adobe is going to give me another pass on using the registration code yet again to reinstall it. 

I need Photoshop for . . .  just about everything.

Photoshop is hellaexpensive.

I will also need to shop for a new hard drive, as this spare is a lot like the spare tire in your car -- about good enough to get you to the nearest tire place. 

I have not backed up any pictures, including Samantha's senior portraits, because I ran out of room on my external drive. Those are gone. They might be recoverable, except they can't find the tool that might extract them. When might they find that tool? No telling.

So, I drive home trying to sort out how best to shop this evening for an external drive, a hard drive, and possibly Photoshop, hoping I can locate my disk for my portable scanner to install the program I will need all weekend, etc.

I get home, turn the machine on, reboot the sucky router that also needs to be replaced sometime very soon (no new device can log on without rebooting every time), open up the first VPN, and it won't connect. 

Call IT, he remotes in to fix it.

Launch program #2 required to work. 

It won't connect.

Call IT, he remotes in to fix it.

Launch program, pull up 15 new tickets that have dropped in since I left to drive home, and . . . 


Exactly like it had this morning.

We're bailing water out the row boat and ignoring the hole here, guys.

Apparently some cooling fan is not functioning and this spare drive as able to last about half an hour before shutting down.

I am also not going out to shop for a hard drive tonight.

I also have no computer, again, and IT'S STILL PAYROLL.

A million thanks to Dascia who swept in from the office and knocked out the rest of my tickets for me. You saved my sanity (and probably my account).

The new backup laptop that had been selected with me in mind, before it 
was decided that I only needed another hard drive, had already been purchased earlier today, so a third machine was loaded, yet again, with all of the necessary programs and is on its way to me now.

Assuming it works well, I can decide whether to purchase it in interest-free installments from the company or use it until I pick out something else. 

Still no senior pictures.

Still no Photoshop.

I did find the installation CD for the scanner. That alone is miraculous.

I will go buy a portable 2TB external storage device tonight to take with me on the trip.

If the new keyboard is ANYTHING like Bob's laptop that I have now cursed into oblivion while blogging and waiting on mine to arrive, it will be thrown out the window. I think the drivers need updating because it keeps skipping around and deleting huge swaths of text, or popping into the middle of a random line above. It's taken me five times longer than it should. I'm sure it would be annoying in any capacity, but on top of the day I've had, I am borderline psychotic. 

And to think, this morning, during my relaxing, lovely yoga practice, I was steeling myself for another regular crazy Tuesday payroll day, telling myself to take everything in stride, each problem as it came. 

I was just asking for it. 

Edited to add: the new computer doesn't even have a CD drive. 


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