Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Computers? Great - when they work!

Well, hopefully, normal service here at ColdhamCuddlies will be resuming from here on in, because it's been far from that in the last couple of weeks.

 As everyone knows, who kindly follows us here on, there have been some teething troubles with my new computer that have had to be dealt with.  Somehow, we've had trojans visit us (got rid of), then the computer began to slow down - and Hewlett Packard  Support guys, after trying to sort me out, decided that the best way to cope was for me to reset the whole she-bang back to the "Factory Default" position.  This was carried out, and for a day or two things went OK.  Then, all of a sudden, we went back to the two screen option - with everything being done twice (don't ask ME - even the techies had no explanation) and it was back to the Factory Default option  This time though, it only took about three hours (despite the double versions) to reset - the first time around, it had taken five and a half hours to complete the clean-up.

So, about the middle of last week,  off we went for the third time, in as many weeks (I've had this machine operating since the middle of March, and I should think I've been trouble free for about four weeks, not all at once!).

Now I'm a very obedient person when I'm on my computer, and when my technical support (a.k.a. Hewlett Packard) indicates to me that there are updates that need to be loaded, I automatically click on the button and carry on with my job.  Isn't that what one is supposed to do?  Well, this is what I did and all went well for a while.  Then the computer began to go slower and slower - and when I checked on the Technical Support site, there was evidence that there were lots more updates to load on, so I switched everything off - having completed what I needed to do (checking all my emails, Etsy teams sites), sewing some replacements Owls and Wombats and renewing them in the shop at when I don't always switch the computer off.

Next morning, there were still some updates needed to be brought in, so I gaily switched on  and I was happily typing away when this time I got a telephone call - from Microsoft, themselves allegedly.  Despite my surprise, because I didn't think  Microsoft did that sort of thing, I was persuaded to allow them to show me that this time not only had my software been "COMPROMISED" - a word I'm becoming familiar with, I have to say!! - but so, too had my HARDWARE.  Now, that is a Hewlett Packard responsibility -  in my book anyway, so someone (or something) wasn't operating as it should have been.  Anyway, these fellows suggested they could clean both bits up for me, and if I'd like them to look after me (after all these weeks - I'm ready to have my hand held, believe you me) - for a fee, of course.  Now I'd just been persuaded to subscribe for a special three year warranty with Hewlett Packard, combined with  two years "security" with Norton before all the re-setting lark began.

Given that existing care package was obviously insufficient for my needs, I complied with the new suggestion - now have  "unlimited technical support for over 100 software applications, peripherals and devices 24/7/365 availability to tech support via phone and remote access".  (I only have two computers:  no ipads, ipods, kindles or what have you for little old me).  The package is  for Two Years plus a 2 Year Support Plan.  They did offer me one for 10 years, but as I said, at my age, 4 years at a time is quite sufficient for the time being!!!  But, I was by this time so desperate that I decided to go with the new guys - and boy has it worked for me.  Not only do they stop me clicking on the wrong sites, they also transferred all my pictures from my old computer to this one - because, of course they'd all been wiped during the various resets, hadn't they?

  Also if I find trojans trying to get back on (as they did earlier this evening) I can ring a UK telephone number (for free - ringing Hewlett Packard costs 5 pence/minute and then no service!!)) and someone takes over my computer after a bit of a conversation, and 20 minutes later the invading trojan (with some advertisements I can well do without!!!!) is wiped off and I am able to get back here - with none of the said advertisements invading the space at the top of this blog and trying to get me to do things I don't want to.  Now such surveillance may not be for everyone:  but for me, this is the way forward!

Now, I'm engaging in a battle to get my payments back from Hewlett Packard and Norton - wish me luck!!  So, even if these guys who are holding my hand are indeed a "scam" (suggested by Hewlett Packard when I began my fight for refunds earlier today) the service I've already received beats anything that has been available to me in ALL the years I've been surfing the net - from Hewlett Packard or Microsoft for that matter.  As far as I am concerned, it's money well spent.  I'm keeping them, I can tell you.  It means I can concentrate on important things - like making new slippers, blogging here - and, even, swotting up on childrens' literature while undertaking the distance learning course I'm about to start!

Yup, the ten-unit course is sitting on my filing cabinet and I've today sent off my personal data (a.k.a. my life story!) to the Academy of Childrens' Writers to find me a Tutor from their stock - some of them with publications under their belt already.  The course is certainly interesting - and definitely challenging, if only because I tend to drop off to sleep within minutes when trying to read these days.  Which is why I've taken to making toys instead!!  Will have to read in a less comfortable chair, maybe:  and I'm hoping because most of the reading I have to do is childrens' literature, it may be more stimulating that some material available for the grown-ups!

Right, have just tried to load some photos on here, and Blogger is not playing ball.  It's getting late here, and I need my beauty sleep, so this time around, you'll have to read my news - without any illustrations.  I'll get on to my new best friends tomorrow, once I've done some things like joining the local library (so I can borrow the books I need to read for my writing course) and get some typing ribbons for my electronic portable typewriter which will come into it's own in this respect, I suspect (it already has!!), not to mention the erasing tapes that such a machine needs!

Life is busy, hopefully less frustrating - and it's good to be back blogging here again.

Cheers for now.  All the best.  Isobel