Friday, February 10, 2006


How I learned to hate computers

It's been another rather pedestrian week.

Work has been quiet - painfully quiet. One of our computers lost the will to live on Monday, and our computer "guy" is incommunicado which is hugely frustrating so we've been a full week with one less computer and no sign of help.

Today I had to do a print run on an old dot matrix connected to the deceased computer, so I begrudgingly hooked it up to another machine, then went through the painful process of installing the driver. I really am spoilt at home with our Mac.

After half an hour of no luck, I suddenly remembered a time when I had similar trouble hooking up a printer to another machine. That time it turned out that the parallel port had not been switched on, so the computer simply didn't know there was a printer attached to it. So I dug deep into my memory as to how I'd achieved that and discovered that I was right!

Job done? Oh no! I then installed the driver and successfully printed my test page. Then I had to hook it all into the network so my computer could see it - that used to be easy on Windows 98 - you just clicked "SHARE" on the relevent printer and it was job done. Not any more! You click "SHARE" and then you have to run the "Wizard" and restart the machine! If I ever meet a wizard, I'm going to effing throttle him!

That finally done, I then proceeded to print out the delivery notes we required from a specially designed (by me!) mailmerge layout in Word. The first ticket printed perfectly, then disaster - the paper in the tractor feeder kept rolling...and rolling...and two sheets later resumed printing ticket number two!

I cancelled the print run and tried to figure out why the paper settings were wrong. I don't know how familiar you lot are with Windows XP, but there's no *obvious* function to add a custom paper size to your print settings. Again, my memory came to my rescue as I recalled how I originally set up the printer on the former machine. A quick surf on the internet provided the answer and I finally created my custom paper size.

Anyone would think that would be enough, but no. After that you then have to tell the printer in THREE different places which paper setting to use. Why you can't just tell it once I have no idea. It was so frustrating!

Anyway, all done and I went back to Word to run the rest of the tickets out, but again the paper would not quit rolling out three pages between tickets! I was beside myself! I'd done everything I could think of. What more could possibly be wrong?

I went back to my computer and stared at the screen and the lightbulb flickered above my head. Could it possibly be that? Is it really that stupid?

I clicked on the printer settings, this time within Word. Sure enough, I had to change the paper size setting for a FOURTH time so that Word, my computer, the printers computer, and the printer itself were all singing from the same hymnsheet!

What a kerfuffle!

Finally, over an hour later I started my print run. I thought computers were supposed to SAVE time. I seem to waste more time figuring them out.

Thanks for nothing Bill!

Oh, you poor thing! Sounds like a horrible day...Bill Gates has quite a lot to answer for, doesn't he?
Poor fella -- Sorry to hear you had such trouble. But hey - look on the bright side - you DID get it fixed! :) Welcome to the world of IT....
Lady A - A horrible morning to be day improved after lunch. And yes, Bill's going to be the first up against the wall come the revolution.

SS - Yes, I did get it fixed. I just wish it wasn't always down to me to do it. If I wanted it to be my job, I'd learn how and do just that.
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