...................Well, that's about the only expletive, of the many I used, that can be published when seven days ago our computer suddenly decided to turn itself into the most expensive and useless piece of junk this side of the known universe! "no problem" my wife says calmly "we pay insurance for this I'll give them a call and get the man out to fix it". But, unbeknown to us the insurance company have now changed the rules and no longer send out a man but now send a courier to collect the offending item and take it away for a minimum of ten days to be fixed, now it's my wife's turn to offer up a few expletives in the general direction of the previously mentioned piece of junk, insurance companies and repairmen in general!
Now, what to do next?, when our lives depend so heavily on modern gadgets being without a computer for ten or so days is like having your hands tied behind your back, and just to compound the problem my wife had, unfortunately, been made redundant two days after we returned from holiday and had been using the computer to register with job agencies and searching for jobs on the internet and was effectively now " non comunicado".
"sod it, let's buy a new one" I suggest. So, in full agreement it's off to the shops. After looking over what's on offer we finally come away with a shiny new, best we can get ( "will suit your needs perfectly" the salesman says) computer. Back home I err on the side of caution and decide before doing anything else it's best to read the instruction manual, which turns out to be a great help as it contains , apart from all the legal stuff, just two sections one detailing how to unpack your new computer ( which you've already done just to find the instruction manual) and the other telling you how to be safe with electrical connections and not to place your new purchase on unstable surfaces or in strong sunlight etc.! The rest of this rather thick tome seems to be the same two sections repeated in about fifty other languages!. After a couple of hours of franticly searching the house for set up, installation discs etc. installing this, setting up that, getting the printer to talk to the scanner, the computer to see the printer, the printer to................. it's time to check the internet and email connections, guess what? all we can get is an error message saying "server not found". It's now been a long day ,it's past bed time and tempers are getting a little frazzled so we decide to leave it for now and get onto the help line first thing in the morning.
Early the next morning my wife is straight onto the help line (she's better at that sort of thing , more patience!) and after two hours plus of the help line bod doing his thing and even remotely operating the computer at one stage he decides that there's something wrong inside the computer and it's blocking any attempt to connect to the server and he can no longer be of help! The expletives now reach a new crescendo and I'm all for throwing the +*^$£**@, *"$%%&(), *+*&^%$~# computer down to the end of the garden and going back to the old ways and forgetting that computers ever existed. But sense prevails and it's back to the shop, building myself up for a bit of a confrontation ( I need to take my frustrations out on someone) I ask to see the manager, who was quick to notice that I was a touch on edge, shall we say, and offered a full refund without even checking that there was a computer in the box that I had dropped at his feet!.
We now make our way to P C World, which at the start, I had decided not to go to in favour of giving the small shops a chance. After walking up and down the rows of computers on offer we finally settled on a short list of three, seeking the advice of a salesman who explained about RAM, video cards and hard drive sizes etc.etc. I said "OK I'll have one of those please" " I'll just go and check that we've got one in stock " he says ! Five minutes later he ambles back with head bowed and says "sorry it's a new line and we don't have any in stock at the moment" "So, how come", I say, " you've got this one on display priced up looking like it's ready for sale and yet you don't actually have any"? "well" he says " it's company policy to have one of a new line on display for about three weeks before they release any stock". Getting a little bit frustrated now I say "OK I'll have one of those" (our second choice).... Yeah, you've guessed already, the same scenario repeats itself and this too is a new line with no stock. The temperature now seems to be rising in shop as I say "right, can I buy one of these two that are on display" " I'll go and talk to the store manager" he says as he disappeared into the rear of the shop. On his return a couple of minutes later he comes out with the staggering reply " sorry, my manager says that as they are new lines and we only have one of each we can't let them go". WHAAT! Eventually, to cut an even longer storey short, we get passed onto the 'Business Section' and a salesman who obviously has more sway with the store manager and we are allowed to buy one of the display, not really for sale, machines that we chose earlier!.(and of course with a discount as it is an ex display item!)
And now finally, after days of setting up, installing, configuring etc. we're almost, finally, maybe back to normal, whatever that may be!
One lesson learned from all this is to back up more regularly and don't "leave it till tomorrow" . We were lucky in the fact that we backed up everything the day before going on holiday.
And finally, apologies for inflicting this saga on you but I just felt the need to get it off my chest and now, hopefully, normal service can now be resumed. Another holiday post to follows...