Thursday, January 22, 2009

Electricity 101

Plugging in...

If you plug it in, it will work. If it LOOKS plugged in, it might not be. That's Electricity 101. A short lesson, a painful and potentially expensive lesson.

A recent client suddenly couldn't print. (It's always suddenly). She tried everything she knew before making the call for HELP.

Electricity working? Check.
All cords and cables plugged in? Check.
Power strips plugged in and turned on? Check.
LED lights glowing on all plugged in items? Check.
Turned off and on the printer? Check.

So what the heck??

The USB cable that connected the printer to the computer was not fully plugged into the computer. A USB cable isn't POWER so it won't give an indication with an LED light that it's not plugged in all the way. A slight push "in" and the printer woke up screaming and streaming print jobs that were just waiting for the OK to come out.

The most frequent question the Tutor is asked, no matter the computer problem, is HOW DID THIS HAPPEN and WHY? Many times the Tutor can answer, sometimes not. Like when a child visited and moved something on the desk. Like when an animal jumped across the desk and knocked things out of place. Like when the cleaning help shut off a switch on the wall, not knowing it was connected to an outlet. Among others.

So add this item to the checklist of what to do before calling for HELP. It may save you some money. And you'll feel very smart and satisfied for knowing the problem and the solution. Wish they were ALL that simple!

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


Friday, January 9, 2009

Happy New "Computing" Year!

Plugging in...

When the error message looks like Greek,
When the mouse won’t move a hair,
When the document you’ve been typing,
Hits the road, and disappears:
You KNOW you’re on a computer.

When iTunes up and eats your song,
When your camera won’t behave,
When the DVD won’t play one track,
You feel like a computer slave:
You KNOW you’re on a computer.

When the internet says that page can’t be found,
When the ibox game won’t let you play,
When the wireless router blinks in vain,
It may be time to call it a day:
You KNOW you’re on a computer.

When Excel barks at you “THIS IS WRONG”,
When PowerPoint slides look grim,
When Access claims your entire day,
Your hopes of succeeding look dim:
You KNOW you’re on a computer.

When viruses and malware attack your work,
When your computer slows to a stop,
When nothing works but swearing out loud,
You want to hit the computer with a mop:
You KNOW you’re on a computer.

CALL The Tutor, it need NOT be so painful!

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