Monday, February 25, 2008


Plugging in…

Is there anything else that makes you feel better than a great haircut? Yes, I mean both men and women here. We all like the shapening up of our shaggy manes every so often. Some more often than others.

Just after the new year, the Computor Tutor was called to a clients to rescue a computer hard drive that had been re-set to factory status. What the heck does that mean, you ask? It means that someone decided, rightly or wrongly, the only way to "fix" that computer was to take it back in time so that it behaved just like it did the first day it was adopted and brought into someone's home, namely, my clients.

The distressing phone call began with apologies for not contacting the Computor Tutor first; listening to a friend, taking the computer to an unknown repair shop. After the apologies stopped, the begging started (it wasn't really necessary). Could the Computor Tutor PLEASE, PLEASE come sort out what someone else had "fixed"?? Pretty please??

Off I go to take a look at the problem child. Never mind the original fix was a bit more than what it needed, OK? What the repair shop failed to do was make a backup of the client's data and software before essentially wiping the hard drive clean. It did indeed behave like a newborn, but without any growth potential because of all the missing pieces. Being the good Tutor that I am, I checked all my previous notes regarding the client's computer, and brought along with me the pieces that were missing. Within the hour, the problem child was no more. Word: check, Email: check, Internet: check, printer driver: check. Client: HAPPY!

After many thanks and a friendly escort to the doorway out, my client paused and said with enthusiasm, "this was better than getting a great haircut". I knew exactly what she meant as her life online was now back in order and for a price that was LESS than a great haircut!

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


Cleaning Lady Capers

Plugging in…

What do cleaning ladies and computers have in common? At first glance, not so much. We all wish we HAD cleaning ladies because they do such a good job keeping us orderly, that we have more time to spend doing the things that really interest us. Right?

Now that the house is spotless and you're ready to check your email, or transfer those digital pictures from the new pocket-size camera, or see how the weather is in oh, say, Timbuktu, you plunk yourself down with your faithful computer and WHAM - it doesn't turn on. No lights, no beeps, no nada.

First action: CALL THE COMPUTOR TUTOR. But it's a weekend, or late at night and the dreaded answering machine begins "thank you for calling the computor tutor...". You leave a message, sending out a major distress signal. No life raft coming soon, so you're on your own. You look back at your computer and put on your thinking cap. You begin to ask yourself, what has happened since the last time I turned my faithful computer on. It doesn't come right away, but eventually you snap your fingers and think: someone else has been near my computer and I know who!

You begin to do a tiny bit of math: one plus one = the cleaning ladies. They go where no person usually ventures - under the desk, the table, the area where you have old faithful plugged in. You check all the cords, they are all plugged in. Hmmm. I know the Computor Tutor always asks that question first and you've got that one covered. Hmmm. Ah ha! You look at the power strip that is home to that [lovable] tangle of cords that make your electronic gadgets sing. It looks the same, sort of.

It's an older style power strip, one that doesn't have a little led light to visibly display it's alive. Just for kicks, you press the rocker switch to the other side and the light on the desk goes on. You have an epiphany and you fall to your knees praising the computer Gods and Goddesses, IT'S A FALSE ALARM, you shriek, you get up and turn that computer on. It hums to life and you've never been so happy to hear those otherwise annoying beeps and whizzes that you usually curse everytime you turn it on.

You are so joyous that you even call the Computor Tutor back (thank you) and leave a message about the FALSE ALARM. You're laughing now, and you can imagine she might have a hint of a smile on her face too, knowing you solved your own problem. The Computor Tutor is very proud of her client and calls the client anyway, just to make sure that was indeed the only problem. It was.

So what do cleaning ladies and computers have in common? When they work, you LOVE them to pieces and when they don't, well, love is blind, right?

ALWAYS REMEMBER: before calling for help - is it plugged in, and is the power strip ON?