Website owner:  James Miller

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The frustration of computer problems

I don’t know of anything that can produce, for me, the frustration, the deep internal stress, that a computer problem can. Nowadays, with System Restore and inexpensive portable hard drives, the situation is much better than it was twenty years ago. Now if the computer is not acting right, the problem can usually be fixed using System Restore or using a core image backup to take the system back to a previous state. If that doesn’t fix it, the problem is probably a hardware problem and not a software problem. In that case you have to make a decision on whether to pay a computer repairman a lot of money to try to find and fix the problem or to buy a new computer. Also, software is much easier to install than it used to be. In the early years of computers I went through some very stressful experiences trying to get a computer running that some vender’s software had messed up (I became afraid to install new software and installed as little as possible) . But in those days, if you had to call for technical help, you would get an American on the other end of the line who was usually technically competent and was able to help you. Today the voice will always have a very strong accent. You know you are talking with some foreigner in some distant country (probably India). There may be a substantial communication problem due to his pronunciation. You may be understanding about a quarter of what he is saying. You are already highly stressed from struggling for some time on a very frustrating computer problem and this difficult communication problem adds another layer of frustration.

Often things are not working right and the problem turns out to be simply a problem of the right settings. Fixing it was simple, once you knew how. But you went through a nightmare getting to the bottom of the problem. You finally found the solution through luck. You did a Google search and went through a lot of articles that were useless and then, by luck, finally clicked on one that gave you the answer. Hurrah! What a find!

I detest Windows 8. I don’t know how they released such a terrible product. I have a poor opinion of Microsoft. I think every new version of Windows is a big step down from the previous one (in many respects at least). I think Windows 8 is a lot more difficult to use than Windows 7. I work on a desktop. They have changed Windows to try to appeal to the non-desktop market. I think it is a hundred times more difficult to use than Windows 7. I am just getting started with Windows 8. I am going through a lot of frustration. What happened to all the Windows help? I haven’t found it yet! I am working in the dark and having a terrible time finding what I know must exist. Where is all that stuff that was so easy to access In Windows 7? It is all just hidden somewhere and I just can’t find it. Compared to Windows 8, everything was so much more logically laid out and easy to find in Windows7! Now I can’t find anything and there are no instructions to help. What a mess! How could they do that!

With computer type problems you are dealing with black boxes. You may know how to work the controls and what is supposed to happen when you work the controls, but if things are not working right, you don’t know what is in the box or how to fix it. If an important piece of software isn’t working right, what do you do? It can be a source of intense aggravation and frustration. Google is really great. Often you can find help with Google. But then, also, often the help you find with Google doesn’t work for you. It pertained to a different version of the software perhaps. If you don’t mind shelling out a lot of money paying experts to help you at so much a minute, computers might not be so frustrating. But I am not willing to do that. So I just struggle in frustration.

I have a background in working with computers. I can just imagine the kind of frustration these kinds of problems must cause in people without computer backgrounds.


Jan 2015

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