Friday, September 28, 2007

Round Hole, Square Peg

Plugging in…

So you've either bought yourself some cool new technology, or you've moved one of your fine pieces of techno-gear to another location, or something went out for repair. What to do with all those cables and cords when you're the only one re-assembling the jumble? For most cords and cables, one can almost easily see where they belong. But not always, as witnessed more than once by YOU-KNOW-WHO-TUTOR.

A call of desperation arrived this week from someone who had just received their laptop from being repaired. All went well in the re-connection zone until the ethernet cable (the one that connects to the internet). You know the one, the ends look like phone jacks on steroids. The caller frantically described that there didn't appear to be any spot to connect this cable, though we both knew it was connected prior to being shipped off to the land of repairs. Now I know some of you don't trust repair people, or tech support people but TRUST ME, they would never take out your connections (technically called PORTS)!

After a bit more talking, the culprit showed its face: the printer cable was inadvertently placed into the ethernet connection. Why? Because it fit! Seems when we're in a hurry to put things back together, we don't see as well as we once did! Best to compare the shape AND size of what you are plugging in, to the shape AND size of where you are plugging into.

ALWAYS REMEMBER: before calling for help - is it plugged in, is it turned on, is it in the right spot?


Monday, September 3, 2007

Pussy-Footing Around

Plugging in…

This just in... cat walks across Dell laptop keyboard as writer is pressed to make deadline. Writer encourages cat to leave the area so the frantic work-pace can continue. Writer looks back at laptop screen after cat reluctantly jumps down from desk. Laptop screen is upside down - not the laptop itself, just the image on the screen. A full 180 degree turn. Panic sets in. Phone call is made to Computor Tutor. Tutor asks for a repeat of problem, laughs and responds "I've never heard that one before". Writer is dismayed but does as Tutor suggests - uses other household computer and Google to find solution. Tutor suggested it probably was a keystroke problem and was otherwise occupied and couldn't do an immediate search for said writer.

Bright writer calls back minutes later... it is a Dell keyboard "feature". Yep. Uh-huh. To make the screen do another 180 degree turn and right itself, press CTRL, ALT and up (or down) arrow. Why, the writer asked, would ANYONE want their screen image upside down??? Because it makes it easy to show someone the laptop screen who is sitting directly opposite you merely by pushing the screen almost flat, rather than turning the entire laptop around for visibility. Whew.

How incredibly weird (uncanny) that a cat could hit that exact sequence of keys while bounding across the keyboard.

ALWAYS REMEMBER: before calling for help - is it plugged in, is it turned on, did it have a "cat attack"?