Back, with Uncle Bob

Well, I don’t actually have an Uncle Bob, not that I know of, anyway.  I was just coming up blank when trying to think of a title for this post, so this just sort of rolled out.

I didn’t think I would be back online this soon.  But thanks to my 2 sons, I was able to get back online very quickly.

My PC just shut off.  It would turn on for, say, 10 seconds, then shut off.  Not long enough for me to drag anything into the little storage thing that hangs on my keychain.  But, initially, saving data was not my first worry – I was just worried (ok, panicked, kinda) that I wouldn’t be able to get back online until I bought a new computer.

Which – if you either know me or have been reading this blog long enough – you know that’s something that would take several months to a year for me to buy.   Saving up that kind of dosh would take ages.

Fortunately, several months ago my older son sent me a Mac for which he no longer had any use, so with desperation trumping my fear of all things electronic I took it down from the shelf and attempted to use it…

…and couldn’t locate the “on” button.

I’m serious.  I could not find it.  I even looked online via Moto to see if there was a drawing showing just where on the keyboard it was located, and I still couldn’t find it.  I punched a couple of buttons that looked as if they might be an “on” button, but nothing happened.

Then I saw it – this tiny thing on the upper right corner of the Mac that looks like a decal.  It is actually a teeny tiny button that turns it on.  So, yay!

It had Safari on it but I can deal with different browsers, so I tried to pull up the Google page and…

…it wouldn’t connect to the internet.  Aaarrgggghhhhh!!

I took it downstairs to my friend and neighbor Nancy, because she is tech savvy (well, more tech savvy than I am), and she tried to get it to connect to the WiFi router.   Nothing worked.

Aside #1: Just like when I tried to connect Moto to the router – it wouldn’t, no matter what I tried. Eventually I resigned myself to not ever being able to solve the mystery of the maddening malfunctioning Moto, and have been using up all my data by the end of each month (instead of using my WiFi at home).

So Nancy very kindly lent me her computer so I could pay bills and the ever-important rent. Then I went upstairs again with a roaring headache, and took a nap.  Because, you know, frustration and all the tears that go along with it (I don’t get angry when I am frustrated, I cry).

That afternoon I texted my younger son and asked for help.  After going through everything and double-checking the password, he finally told me to go get an Ethernet cable and connect the Mac directly to the router and, if that didn’t work, connect it directly to the modem.

So, $25 poorer and 24 hours later, I was back with an Ethernet cable.  Which, of course, took me 2 hours to get because I had to take the shared-ride van.  It’s never just as simple as “running to the store”.

I hooked the Mac up to the router, put in the password, and…

…nothing.   Aaaaiiiiieeeee!!

I hooked the Mac up to the modem, and…

…nothing.  Aaaaiiiiieeeee!!

I texted both my sons and pled for help.  After sending my older son pictures of the screens I was looking at, he walked me through setting up the network connection again, just in case I missed something.

And it still didn’t work!  I was beside myself!  I was in a pit of despair!  I was wringing my hands in distress!  I was…well, you get the picture.

Finally, my son asked me if I had the right password.

Aside #2: That probably should have been his very first question but I think he didn’t want to hurt my feelings by asking something so basic.

“Yes, I have the password and the key numbers, but it never asks for the key, so I don’t know where that goes,” I replied.

“Hmm,” he said, “the password usually is the key.”

So I undid everything, went back in to set-up, and entered the key this time, and…Bob’s your uncle!

It worked!

Yes, I had been entering the wrong information as far back as September when I tried to connect Moto to the router.  Because to me, a password is a password and a key is something that opens physical locks (or provides answers to a test).

I didn’t need the Ethernet cable.  I didn’t need to use up all my smartphone data each month.  I didn’t need to resign myself to a Luddite-like life of shame.

All I needed was that little inadvertent hint from my older son.  And now my world is a little less stressful today.

I have some information on my other PC that I would like to have, but fortunately I did some backing up in September, so most of what I want is available to me.  The stuff that isn’t – like 2 Excel files I would like to have – I will just have to redo in whatever database program is on this Mac, if I can find it (hey, it took me 10 minutes just to find the calculator, because it doesn’t have that left-hand search menu that Windows PCs have).

A big reminder to BACK THINGS UP a bit more often than once a year.  Lesson learned.

On Wednesday I will publish what I was going to this past Wednesday – maybe.  It’s kind of a cranky essay on people who fall into the category of frenemies.  Well, maybe “frenemies” is a bit harsh to describe 2 women I have felt the need to completely stop communicating with lately, due to them both being, well, downright mean to me.  Consistently and without provocation.

It’s painful to have to do that to people you have cared about and trusted for many years, but I have a tendency to cut people close to me way too much slack when it comes to how they treat me, and that has to stop.  Sigh.

So, until Wednesday…

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