Sunday, October 7, 2007

Fixin' computers

The Little Princess called earlier this week. She was having problems with her computer.

Well, sort of.

She was having trouble getting on the Internet using her computer's wireless connection.

Now, when she got her computer recently -- it was a replacement Dell sent for one that went bad -- she sat on the couch at the house and got on the Internet. So, I figured the wireless connection worked. But she said it didn't work for her at her apartment, in downtown Athens, or on campus (UGA).

So, Saturday morning, I got up and drove to Athens.

And, sure enough, her wireless wouldn't work. That is, it didn't show a usable signal. It showed some stuff ... likely open networks that others were running ... but not the connection she was expecting.

Here's the thing. I broke out my MacBook ... and it showed the expected connection. Then, I broke out MY Dell laptop -- yes, I took both the MacBook and my Dell laptop with me -- and it showed the expected connection.

We then piled into the car and went downtown. Stopped at a hippie joint called "The Hot Spot" and got on their hot spot.

The Hot Spot -- for hippiesHow did I know it was a hippie joint? Well, the "anti-war" rally sign about the meeting at that place was the first hint.

The other was that it was crawling with hippies. And they sold Coca-Cola in a 12 oz. can for $1.25 plus tax.

I was, by far, the oldest person in the place. And likely the only one who ever had a real job.

Well, there was the girl running the register and playing on the computer that was also the register. Only I'm not sure she's had a real job, either. I mean, if you sell Cokes for $1.25, that's not a job. It's robbery.

Anyway, the MacBook and my Dell notebook was able to get on the wireless network there. But the Little Princess' Dell notebook wasn't picking up the Hot Spot's hot spot signal. While we were sitting in the place.

So, I decided to contact Dell. I went to on my MacBook and found their support site. They wanted the "Service Tag" of her notebook. Which I didn't have.

Then, on the wall, there was suddenly a network jack.

Okay, it was there the whole time, but I didn't notice it.

So, I plugged her notebook in, and it was suddenly online. But not via the wireless.

But, I was able to log on to on her computer and have it scan for the Service Tag.

And now, here's the thing. After the scan, her wireless setup found the Hot Spot!

Which, as best as I can figure, means that an online scan of the computer fixed the thing that was keeping it from finding a connection to go online.

Which you have to think about for a minute.

Yeah, it made my brain hurt.

But, her computer started working like it should.

We finished up there -- got all her latest downloads, updates, and such -- then went on campus.

Sure enough, she had no trouble getting online via the wireless.

Then, back to the apartment.

And there was the problem. Sort of.

Sometimes she was able to get the signal, and sometimes not. Although the MacBook ... and my Dell ... had no problems.

But, it eventually picked up the signal, so all was well.

Got her Windows One Care -- Microsoft's new security suite that integrates with Windows XP and Vista -- to replace her separate apps. Ease of use is the goal.

Took all day for things to happen. Partly because we didn't rush anything. And partly because we made a couple of trips to the store ... and to eat. More about the restaurant later.

A good visit with mission accomplished: fixed her computer. Or at least, let it fix itself.


  1. Shoot Basil, now you gotta work on convincin' The Little Princess to come on over just like you did!

  2. Oh, I'm sure she'd make the switch if I bought her the computer. She's never bought a computer, you see.

  3. I'm fairly certain that all coffee shops have a hippie element to them. I'm sure I've never heard of a conservative coffee shop. I think the conservative equivalent to the coffee shop is the sports bar.

  4. Thomas: I think you're dead-on with that one. If only the sports bars around here had WiFi...


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