The Dent in the Side of My Head

The theme this month is Gifts and the best gifts ever! Be very careful of gifts....

I only started writing because my mom bought a Tandy portable computer at a yard sale and thought I would like it. I had it in a Wal-mart sack for a few months before pulling it out to see if it would turn on. It wasn't until the week after I discovered it was alive that I thought about writing on it. It was more word processor than computer, but it did the job. It was a tiny white thing and every word on its tiny screen was in an odd grayish green written in computer font. After I wrote most of a book, I'd maxed out the memory as well as realized that with the year 2000 upon us, that I might lose everything I had to Y2K issues. I bought a real laptop, converted the files, and never looked back.

Each new computer is a new gift and a new headache with its own special problems. Much like a new puppy, the future is bright and the possibilities endless.


The first problems start. Slowing down. Making mistakes. Peeing on the new carpet. Oh, wait, that's the old dog, not the computer. But the emotion is much the same--dismay and aggravation.

Last monday, you know, the day I was supposed to write this blog? I discovered my e-mail was taking over a minute each to delete. Things had been slowing down, but oh, this was awful. So, still in my lacy long blue nightgown and fuchsia/orange caftan, with bed-hair waving, waiting for my morning coffee to perk, I did a bad thing. I contacted technical support.

Oh, my stars! (actual expletive exchanged in consideration for the faint of heart).

The tech people said they could help for the price of $$$.$$ and it would be good for six months. They could help me remotely and fix my computer as I watched and I had to watch because there was things they would need my assistance on. Since my computer was beginning to go into mini-comas, I decided their plan was best

Bad move.

I stole one potty break and one cup of very cold coffee at 3:10 PM when I accidently disconnected the tech when I re-attached my router.

At 7:15 PM, my beloved came home and peeked in the office door, took one look at me, and said, "What a life. Couldn't be bothered to get dressed today?"

If I'd have had a skillet in my hand at the time, instead of trying to stand up because my feet had grown roots, I'd have put a dent in the side of his head.

However, I couldn't catch him.

Computers make me want to bang my head against the wall. Repeatedly. With emotion.

Friends tell me that will leave unsightly dents in the side of my head.

So, WARA-ites and others, please be advised. The tech showed me disgust in his 'chat' with me by telling me my multiple issues could have been addressed and taken care of if I'd have been optimizing my computer regularly. His tone was much like someone pointing out that if you get a dog you have to clean up the droppings in the yard and why hadn't I? I had to ask what optimizing is. He showed me.

Optimizing: Use a program like CCleaner and Malwarebytes. They have free versions.  Do it monthly. They fix Registry errors that occur when other programs snag pieces of your computer's operating code to do their thing. They don't put it back in place and sometimes take it permanently.  Much like guests, husbands, or children using the kitchen. Silverware disappears, sticky residue marks appear in odd places, bread hardens, mayo resembles plastic, and crumbs may be found in the butter.

I have checked this advice with other more savvy computer users and it turns out, that yeah, you gotta do this or you're asking for trouble.

I tried to do other work while incarcerated in the chair, but found out that I'd missed a cue on my computer screen which had the tech drawing red circles to get my attention--again. I didn't make that mistake a third time.

Save yourself from wanting to put a dent in your head or someone elses. Optimize.

I went online and researched CCleaner and Malwarebytes from the company the tech guy was using. He used professional versions that also came with Recuva. Recuva can do miracles--it finds lost files even if you've put them through the trash can and deleted them from there (something I did with this entire years financial records a mere two weeks ago). I bought all three professional versions from for less than ninety dollars. This would have been a lot cheaper than last monday's activities.  By the way, the tech guy deleted his from my machine so that I couldn't use his. If I hadn't been paying close attention, I'd never have noticed what programs he was using and the rest he was doing.

One of my best gifts ever is finding out I can write novels. Another is a computer. And of course the members of WARA who make it all come together like rich warm chocolate sauce over ice cream and a brownie. Thank you--every one!

And now I give you a gift of knowledge: OPTIMIZE!  (before you have to....)


Penny Rader said...

I hope the dent in your head has eased, Nina. Computer woes really bite. I'm not familiar with the term optimize either.

I have heard of Malwarebytes. One of the computer guys at work mentioned it. Along with a couple others that escape me at the moment.

What does the CCleaner do?

I am glad your computer is up and running so you can once again share your writing gift with us. I always look forward to your posts. You have an interesting take on things and always give me something about it. You also tickle my funny bone...and I love to laugh.

I hope you have a blessed, merry Christmas.

Nina Sipes said...

Bless you! CCleaner cleans little glitches out of your computer, I think, like having sand in your swimsuit. It cleans that out. The dent is easing. I haven't called tech support yet, I'm practicing avoidance. However, things are running pretty good at the moment. I've also ran CCleaner and Malwarebytes a couple of times. I might be going a bit overboard, but hey, how deep can the water be.....
Have a Happy New YEAR!!