Monday, August 22, 2005

Sabbatical, and tech guys

Am dropping off the blogging circuit for a little while - at least in terms of original posts (will continue putting up published work on and off). Life is more complicated than usual, there’s too much to deal with on too many other fronts and will have to spend a few days getting things in order.

Also, have serious laptop problems. To keep it brief: the installation of a new anti-virus software screwed up some settings on Windows XP/Internet Explorer, and I’ve had to get the whole thing rebooted. Very headache-inducing, especially since it happened during what was supposed to be my Week of Relaxation. The bug is still not conclusively fixed, hopefully will be soon. Meanwhile, I’ve had to spend long hours in the company of tech guys, with all their patented, deeply annoying idiosyncracies - they walk in with smug look on face ("problem will be fixed in a minute, sir") and then, after three hours of doing sundry pointless things that even I (tech-ignoramus that I am) could have told them weren’t going to be of much help, they swivel around and accuse me of having downloaded some loathsome virus.

Lots more to say about tech guys but Mad magazine has covered most of the territory already. Will only mention here that when one of the creatures couldn’t figure out why some buttons on a few websites (e.g. "Compose" and "Delete" on Yahoo Mail) weren’t working, he actually tried to Google the solution - and was promptly directed to a smutty technology blog where computer geeks alternated between talking shop and discussing chest sizes of women colleagues. My tech guy surfed, giggled, surfed some more, then gave up. So now I’m back to using office comps.


  1. Sirjee, I told this to you in some earlier post of yours: Get Firefox! You'd never want to see that dirty IE icon again (even if the current virus prob is not related to IE).

    ps: It requires zero tech skills, and 2 mins of download/installation time.
    pps: for some crappy old websites which support only IE, you can always use this launch in IE extension from Firefox.

  2. Suhail bhai: getting Firefox was exactly what I was trying to do after the IE problem set in (other tech-savvy pals have been telling me the same thing) - but because many buttons on various websites just stopped working, it was impossible to download anything from the Mozilla/Firefox site. I'll have to wait for the thing to be fixed now.

  3. I hope you had not installed the godawful crap called as Norton Antivirus. If you have it, throw it away or I'll get you a much leaner corp edition of NA's antivirus which I still have with me from the old office.

    My favourite tech suport story is my local cable guy who kept telling me "sir woh taar nikal ke ek baar uspe phook maaro, phir woh chalne lagega" and the wierdos who keep refreshing the desktop as if that is going to change something.

    Since you write for a living, I think the best idea is to buy a good external HDD (should not cost more thank 5K for some 5 GB) and keep all your documents on the main computer itself, but on a different partition, in a single folder and take daily or weekly backups using Syncback, (, there is a free version available).

    It is too much trouble to try and fix XP after it gets borked beyond a point. This way you can reformat/reinstall the main drive without any issues.

  4. yes, yes yes! why do they keep refreshing the desktop? I could tell them it doesn't work.

  5. Omygod refreshing the desktop! It's an obsessive compulsive disorder with some people. Not just tech guys. Didn't know anbody else had noticed this.

  6. Ha ha! Funny post and comments all along. One thing though, as irritating as those IT guys are and no matter how many basic things they do (which we could have also done with same expertise); they actually know their stuff. And yes, sometimes they use Google and tech forums to get solution but that is because every problem is so unique (not because they are inefficient IT guys... although there are some but many are not).

    Btw, best IT guys are the non-professional ones. Hence, always make sure you have some tinkering "IT guys" as your close friends. Believe me they enjoy troubleshooting instead of getting irritated the way paid IT guys do.