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Posts Tagged ‘technology’

I was dragged kicking and screaming into the new millennium about a year ago.  I finally gave up my cherished flip phone for a smart phone.

And while I haven’t had many regrets–it is a lot easier to text and having access to the Internet is very convenient–it did present me with some new problems.  For one thing, smart phones are not as durable as flip phones.  Within six months, the screen was cracked.  Fractured.  I managed to drop it several times. Threw it once.  After I got a call for a “routine” consult at 10:30 PM on a Sunday night.  Are you freaking kidding me?!?  If it’s routine, couldn’t it wait til business hours on Monday when someone else was on call?  But I digress.

The phone worked fine, but now the surface looked like a cobweb (and a few fragments and one corner were missing) and I was concerned I was one more phone rage call away from it not working anymore.  Or, since I like to take it running in case I fall or do something stupid, I was one drop of sweat or an unexpected rain shower away from water getting in my smart phone’s head.

So I stopped by a place that advertised fixing iPhone screens.  It was a paintball store, but that did not deter me.  They must go together.  Shooting paintballs probably results in some broken phone screens.  But Mr. PaintBall wanted $120.00 to fix my iPhone 5 screen.  Apple already is up to #7, so it seemed like a lot of paint to pay for an outdated phone.  (I didn’t want to enter modern civilization too quickly.)

But my good old flip phone never gave me trouble like this.  It bounced off walls better.  Makes you wonder which one is the smarter phone.

So I went to Google.  Low and behold, you can purchase new screens and replace them yourself.  There are multiple videos on You Tube.  It looked so easy.  And I could buy one for around $25.  Take that Mr. $120 Paintball shyster.

I waited for my salvation to come in the mail.  I had two weeks before I was on call again, and I would need my phone.  And one more pitch against the wall might be too much.  It finally came.  I rushed home, loaded up the You Tube videos and prepared to save myself, um, like almost $100 bucks.  A lot more if you factor in the unreasonable cost of a new iPhone.  $700?!!!!

I managed to get the cracked screen off, fracturing it even more.  Nothing to worry about.  I was going to fix this cracked phone with a brand new screen.

Okay.  What was underneath doesn’t look like the video.  Maybe it was the wrong video.  Nope.  None of them looked like my broken mess.  I can’t start sweating now–the perspiration will drip inside and fry the smart phone’s stupid brain.

iPhoneParts

I’m pretty sure I had more parts than this.  If I walked away, they would start replicating.  It was like a sci-fi horror flick.  Low budget.  Very low.

After some praying and swearing (I might even have swore while I was praying, God help me) I figured out that my phone was more broken than I had imagined.  There is a frame that should have come out with the screen and did not.  I was able to get that out.

But I realized that the videos were all replacing screens that had home buttons and cameras already in them.  What I had bought, was just a screen.  No home button.  No camera.  WTF?!

Screen1

Just an empty shell of a real phone.

I did consider stopping at this point, but I couldn’t get my old screen to work anymore.  I had to press onward.  But no matter how hard I tried, I could no longer get the phone to work.  With either screen.

So I made a decision.  I would purchase the proper screen with home button and camera.  I still had a week before I was on call.  I could live without a phone until then.  Cavemen lived without phones for years.

I found the proper part and ordered it.  I paid extra for 1-5 day delivery.  Unfortunately, it was President’s Day Weekend.  I still hoped it would be delivered to my office by Friday.  It did not come.  I did get three emails asking me to rate their product and offering me on-line instructions on how to use it even though they have failed to actually deliver said product to me.

I finally got a tracking email that it was being delivered Saturday.  My partner was going to be working Saturday morning, so I thought I’d stop by later in the day and get my salvation.  Apparently, even though the office was actually open (one Saturday out of every five) the post office doesn’t bother to deliver mail, assuming we are closed.  I had to wait until MONDAY.

Monday came.  The mail came.  But the screen was the same one I had already ordered.  No home button.  No camera.  No working phone!

Screen2

I called and complained, but was told that that was what I ordered, regardless of the photo of the product.

Now I’m down $60 and still no working phone.  It’s like a series of Two Broke Girls episodes with the total changing after each episode.  I have a pager, but no way to call back.

On  my way home, I stopped by the paint ball store in desperation.  This time I talked to someone different.  I was afraid since I had already tried and failed to fix the phone that they might not want to get involved at all.  To my surprise, the guy said he could fix it and it would cost me $50.00.

I wasn’t going to argue with him.  At $110 so far, I was still ahead of the paint ball shyster who wanted to charge me $120!

Currenttotal

And my phone works.

I put the money I saved toward an otter box that so far has kept my new screen without a scratch.

I will consider this DIY project a victory.

 

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How many times have you been at a bowling alley, ready to throw your next shot, perhaps a strike or two away from a perfect game (or just hoping not to throw ANOTHER gutter ball,) and suddenly it hits you?

“This ball stinks!”

I mean seriously.  When was the last time it bathed?  I have a bowling towel to wipe the excess oil from the lane, but that hardly counts as a good cleaning.

Somewhere, at some time, someone had too much time on their hands.  Or too much to drink.  And they thought to themselves, “why don’t we make scented bowling balls?”

I.  Kid.  You.  Not.

My kids bought me a Storm bowling ball for Christmas.  The box said fragrance: Caramel Pecan.  WTF?

NewBowlingBall

 

It really does have a scent.  It was making me hungry–like a huge piece of caramel candy.  I think I gained 15 pounds!  But who needs (or wants) a fragrant bowling ball?  And just what was wrong with the way my balls smelled before?

I promptly Googled this shit to see if it was real.

Aromatic Bowling.

Competitors dismiss Bill Chrisman’s scented bowling balls as a “novelty,” but he believes there’s more to his success than that, reports Jonathan Eig in The Wall Street Journal. Bill’s balls — marketed by Storm Products, Inc., stormbowling.com, of Brigham City, Utah — smell of peppermint, spearmint, orange, blueberry, amaretto, banana, cinnamon-apple, and pina colada, for instance. Bill’s been making the aromatic balls for about four years now, to a point where his brand is to the market leader in high-end bowling balls, ahead of Brunswick. (You might think Brunswick and the other ball-makers would be rushing scented balls to market. Storm does not officially claim that its aromas affect performance, but the company’s technical director, Steve Koempken, “says the aromatic liquid chemicals added to the vats of urethane had the unintended effect of increasing the tackiness or friction of the surface area, which resulted in a tiny bit of extra hook.” Not only that, but some customers report that the fragrances have the dual effect of relaxing them while distracting their opponents.

I am stunned.  Speechless (but I can still type.)  How does the chemical selectively relax one person but annoy another?  Technology is simply fantastic.

Do the chemicals act like pheromones?  Will my ball be attracting other balls?  What do the pins think about this?  So many questions; so little interest in answering them.

I wonder if they will start adding fragrances to running shoes.  Now that would be a great idea!

SniffingBall

I smell a 300 game in my future!

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As I was surfing Facebook tonight, because, well, I have no life and this what I do, I came across an advertisement for the Quantum Vision System, which guarantees “perfect vision in just 7 days” or your money back!

Holy Eyeballs, Batman!  Why did they never teach me this in my residency?  Shoot!  I’ve been wearing glasses since third grade.  I could have been glasses free before the end of the marking period!  (Forehead slap, which makes me thirsty for a V8 for some reason.)

Naturally, I had to investigate this miracle for myself.

Disclaimer:  I have no financial interest in this product.  I am not telling you not to try it for yourself, or confuse you with double negatives.  It might work for you.  All I am doing here is to provide my thoughts on the promotional video.  You may reach whatever conclusion you like from that.  You can see the promotional video on Youtube.

Not far into the video, the alleged doctor asserts that “if you fall asleep in your contacts they can slide around in your eye and damage your optic nerve.”

Quantum1

Seriously????  That’s a violation of basic anatomy right there!

Anatomy

 

 

And then, when talking about LASIK surgery, he says:

Quantum2

I wouldn’t let an amerature touch my eyes either!  So, apparently anatomy isn’t the only class he skipped.  Spelling AMATEUR isn’t important when you are saving eyesight and lives!

There was a rumor back in medical school that anyone who applied to an ophthalmology residency, but couldn’t spell ophthalmology, didn’t have a chance to get in.  Those applications went straight into the circular file.  Optrometry Optometry schools must not screen their applicants similarly.

Quantum3

And if that isn’t enough, how about recalibrate?

Quantum4

Maybe recolaborate is a military strategerizing term.  Or it could be a quantum term that only Einstein understands.

Again, I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t try out his $37.00 “risk free” vision system.  But if it had been me, I’d have charged maybe $49.00 and hired a proofreader to give me some more credibility.

And, I’m not the only blogger to stumble upon this:

My Eye Pod writes:

Here is “Dr” William Kemp, who claims to be an optometrist in Virginia, but does not exist as far as my research can tell (no Twitter account, no LinkedIn profile, no Facebook page, no practice website, no Virginia Optometric license, etc). . . The video presentation is rife with typos (“lense”, and “amerture” for example), impossible claims (reading the serial number of an airliner from the ground), and absolutely hilarious reinactments. But that’s not all! He also claims his method can help you remember things better, have improved brain function, reduce stress and even “detect all lies”! WOW, WHO WOULDN’T WANT ALL OF THAT!?

And Eye Exercises for Computer Users writes:

The promotional video lasts very long. I thought I was only 30mn long. I could not pause it. I left it playing for about an hour and when I came back, it still is playing! . . . Don’t hurt your eyes and watch that never-ending infomercial. Many scammers who gave reviews all over the place are unethical affiliates who starve to get commissions from selling you this ebook. The product seems to come with a money-back guarantee. But here is the catch: if you would buy it from an affiliate link, you won’t get that feature.

I guess I’ll have to go back to my glasses, which I will do just as soon as I squint and feel around to find them!  It might take me seven days!

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I’m sorry, but I thought this was just too funny not to share.  Apparently, the ad is so popular over in the UK and Ireland, that folks call in to find out when they are airing it.

Or, your could look it up on YouTube.  The tag line reads:

Science, flies people to the moon. Religion, flies people into buildings.  Volkswagen=Solution for terrorism.

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Oh, Check My Flow

It all started so innocently enough.

PONG.

Two paddles.  A square ball.  Black and White.

And then came Asteroids and Space Invaders.  PAC Man and Frogger.  Tetris!  Super Nintendo and Super Mario.  I don’t even know or understand what is out there today . . . Guitar Hero?  Assassin’s Creed?  Halo?  Hello??? McFly!

Somewhere along the line, Bill Gates invented the computer and there was Solitaire.  And it was good.  And Hearts.  Even better.

Then, Al Gore invented the Internet.

So much technology.  So much programming.  So much time of my life wasted.  Curse you Angry Birds!

And while my true addiction still lies in playing MahJong on Facebook, I have recently discovered a new game to keep me from spending time with my family, or working and earning a living, or eating, or breathing, or blogging, or pretty much anything else.

FLOW.

The concept, like Angry Birds, is so simple, yet the game is somehow compelling.

A grid is displayed.  As you play and move up levels, the grid gets larger–5×5, 6×6, 7×7, 8×8, oh I think you get the picture, and more colored dots are added.  Is it politically correct to call them colored dots?

On this grid, the computer displays pairs of colored circles.  The human must then connect these colored circles (blue to blue, yellow to yellow, etc.) without crossing another other color and leaving no squares unfilled.  (No square left behind!) It’s like a color based Sudoku!  Actually, it’s eerily reminiscent of Twister where you have to connect the green circle with your right hand and the red circle with your left eyeball, except in Twister, you did get to cross other people, and if you were lucky, they were of the opposite sex and cute.  Or drunk.  Or both, which is even better.  (Okay, for some people, it didn’t even have to be the opposite sex, and I don’t want to imply that there might be something wrong with that since it’s politically impolite to offend ANYONE these days, and it appears I have seriously transgressed digressed here.)

Back to my FLOW.Flow

My general requirements for a game these days is that it is FREE, easy to understand the rules, FREE, and doesn’t require me to play with any other human beings.  It’s not that I don’t like other people.  I really want to like people.  But most of them are just so damned stupid and ignorant, that I can’t possibly like them, let alone play a game with them.  Let’s face it, most people are alive because it’s illegal to kill them.  I really think that’s why some of the video games my kids play are so popular.  They get to kill people–without being thrown in jail or fried for it.  And I have digressed again.  Did I mention that the game has to be FREE?  OK–doesn’t have to be–I tried the FREE Angry Birds, and you just know that I ended up buying the full version like some crackhead purchasing his fix.  And even though there is no killing involved (even Angry Birds involves blowing things up with kamikaze birds) Flow fits these criteria well.

This is all my daughter’s fault.  She asked me to help her with a level while we were waiting for our food at a restaurant.  Five minutes later, I was hooked.  Does that make her a pusher?   There ought to be warnings on these games.  Support groups.

I’d discuss the game and strategy more, or maybe seek some professional help, but I really feel the need to go and play it right now.

 

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While I am not a technophobe, I am one of those seemingly rare individuals that refuses to become dependent solely on modern technology.  I do not own an iPhone, let alone a smart phone.  I have a dumb phone.  It makes phone calls.  It receives phone calls.  I can receive and send texts, if I choose to sit there for fifteen minutes trying to convert my number pad into words when a simple phone call would transmit the same information in seconds.  Number pad?  I still have the rotary version.  You have to dial.  OK, I’m kidding about that, but you know what I mean.

I do not have to have the Internet by my side 24 hours a day.  (I also don’t pay a thirty dollar fee for a “data plan” which is simply a modern-day code for highway robbery or extortion.)  So I am old school . . and cheap.

Seriously, did Lewis and Clark need Siri to get across the country?

“Um, Siri, what is the best way to the Pacific Ocean, avoiding highways?”

They did not have–or need–that technology.  They didn’t need Siri–they had Sacagawea!

So when I had to take my son to Pittsburgh this weekend for a hockey game, I passed on taking my wife’s minivan with the built-in GPS system.  Who needs GPS?  Mankind survived for thousands of years without GPS.  Did Columbus need a GPS?  Ponce de Leon?  Marco Polo?  Moses?  Okay, Moses could have used a GPS out there in the desert and it might have cut thirty years off his trip, but he still managed to get where he was going without a GPS.

I can do this.

If ancient explorers could read the night skies, use a compass, and navigate their way half way around the world, surely I can find a hockey rink in Mt. Lebanon, PA.

Our coach emailed the team and warned us that the Squirrel Hill Tunnel was closed for construction and the detour had traffic backed up significantly.

Marco Polo didn’t have to deal with road construction.

Our coach proposed a detour south off 22 to 70.

Doesn’t that look an awfully long way out-of-the-way?  Would Sacagawea send Lewis (or Clark) down through Mexico before heading up to the Pacific Northwest?  Is this the route Columbus would have taken?  Now I know that none of these explorers had a computer and MapQuest (TM), but often they did have some type of maps, unless they were the ones charting the map for the first time.  I’m not trying to discover Mt. Lebanon.  I just want to go there.  I have no qualms about using MapQuest.  My maps are on pixels rather than parchment, but the smart explorer uses what means he or she has available to them, right?

So I played around with MapQuest, and tried clicking a button that avoided highways.  This is the route I came up with.

Doesn’t that look a lot more direct?  And faster?

Looks can be deceiving.  And I am an idiot.  It is a dangerous combination.  I am Moses and Mt. Lebanon is the Promised Land.

You see, travel on roads that are not highways, is slow, frustrating, and stupid.  If there had been a highway in the desert, Moses would have taken it.  Even if it was under construction.  So while my son’s teammates were zipping down the coach’s detour in cars, we were mounting camels in Monroeville.  There was no manna from Heaven, but we had burgers from Five Guys.  That’s way better than manna, so we’ve got an edge on Moses there.

Apparently Satan was hell-bent on keeping us from the Promise Land, though, despite our itemized directions.  I forgot to take some vital details into account when planning this expedition.  For one thing, the game was at 8 PM, and we are in October.  It was getting dark.  Now while that might have been a problem for Moses, I did have an overhead light in the camel car, so I was able to read my MapQuest map.

But apparently no one in the greater Pittsburgh area needs road signs.  They all must know where they are going, because you cannot figure it out driving around in the dark.  MapQuest tells me:

Stay straight to go onto Curry Hollow Rd.

Curry Hollow Rd becomes Brownsville Rd.

Brownsville Rd becomes Broughton Rd.

Turn right onto Library Rd/PA-88.

  • Library Rd is 0.1 miles past Gerhold St
  • Walgreens is on the corner
  • If you are on Bethel Church Rd and reach Superior St you’ve gone about 0.1 miles too far

It sounds so simple.

So after hitting 17,000 traffic lights–all of them red–and going through road construction anyway–we come to a place where the road splits.  One lane continues straight, and one veers off to the right.  MapQuest tells me to stay straight onto Curry Hollow Road.  There is a sign here at this intersection that says “Curry Hollow Road.”  But there is no arrow.  ALL of the traffic travelling with us is going right.  Apparently, they aren’t going to the hockey rink we are going to, or they didn’t check their parchments properly.  We head straight . . .

Into the Twilight Zone.

After travelling on what we thought was Curry Hollow Road (and there was never a sign at any corner to verify that little bit of information) for several miles, we begin to doubt MapQuest.  My son was building idols to other Gods.  He has a smart phone with Internet but doesn’t know how to use the GPS.  It’s just a useless piece of junk if you don’t know how to use it.  Moses may as well have had it.  He could at least throw it at someone and get their attention.

Maybe all those other people knew what they were doing.  This was ultimately confirmed when we came to a T intersection that actually had street signs.  Neither of the choices was any road that we were looking for.  Did we pass Superior Street?  I don’t know.  NONE OF THE STREETS I NEED ARE MARKED!

So we turn around and head back, thinking we should have made that right turn at Albuquerque because we certainly weren’t anywhere near Pismo Beach, let alone Mt. Lebanon.

So we ended up back on Curry Hollow Road, and subsequently Brownsville Road, but with God as my witness, we never did find Broughton Road.  Ever.  We thought we had found PA-88 Library Road–I am sure we were on it–but we never saw the Walgreens.  Businesses come and go.  I blame it on the economy, rather than my navigational skills.  So we continue on with the MapQuest directions certain that we will get to Mt. Lebanon before the Mayan Calendar ends.  I honestly thought we were back on track and we had supposedly completed several more steps on the list of directions and were getting very close to the Promised Land hockey rink, when we came to an intersection with a Walgreens.  Cue the Twilight Zone theme.

Apparently we weren’t almost at the rink . . . we were still back on page one of the directions at the Walgreens we had never seen the first time.

It’s not like Columbus or Magellan never got lost.  But they accidentally discovered some cool shit when they did that.  I didn’t discover anything but some dark alleys in suburban Pittsburgh–places I don’t want to be in the dark or ever return to.  And no one’s going to name a day after me like they did for Columbus.

It took us over TWO HOURS to travel from Monroeville to Mt. Lebanon.  MapQuest tells me the route from Monroeville is 23.21 miles and takes 51 minutes.  I don’t know where we wandered around or for how long (I think maybe we were abducted by aliens and didn’t know it) but it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase that I can’t get there from here.

My son missed the first period and a few minutes of the second thanks to my shortcut.  At least his team won 7-1.

Next time, I think I’ll get a TomTom GPS.

Or just take the stupid Minivan.

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Tech Support

It sounds like a jock strap or bra for geeks.  Support your Tech!  There is nothing worse than a sagging or unprotected Tech, is there?  If you can’t be a Tech, be a tech supporter!

Like most folks living in our modern age, I had to confront the dreaded bane of our existence:  computer failure.

The cavemen had to worry about their flint not sparking a fire.

Fire Support:  Hello, this is fire support.  My name is Bob.  What is your problem?

Of course, “Bob” sounds like he is in India.  I just saw a quip in the latest Reader’s Digest attributed to Jimmy Fallon . . . “I read about a new 24-hour day care that’s opening in India.  Yeah, it’s pretty cute:  instead of playing telephone, the kids just play tech support.”  Pretty freaking funny until you actually have to translate one of them.  But I digress.

Caveman:  I can’t light a fire with my flint.

Fire Support:  Have you tried turning it off and then back on?  (Because that usually works!)

Caveman:  Of course I did.  (As he turns it off and back on while having this conversation since he didn’t actually try that.)  It still doesn’t work.

Fire Support:  Well what operating system are you using?

Caveman:  Flint XP.

Fire Support:  Have you thought about upgrading to Flint Vista?  Or Flint 7?

Caveman:  Uh, no.  This was working just fine yesterday.  I just want to keep using this one.

Fire Support:  Well, I can reset it back to the factory condition, but you will lose all the data on your previous fires.

You get the point.  We’ve heard it all before.

To make a long story short (too late!) my hard drive died the day after I got back from vacation.  Just died.  It worked the night I got home.  It was dead the next morning.  No prolonged illness.  No stay in a nursing home.  No ventilator.  No suicide note.  Just death.

Well, I couldn’t live without my computer (think freezing cold caveman unable to light his fire) so I bought another one.  The computer repairman told me he could just put a new hard drive in the old one–for $400.  Might as well buy a new computer.  Besides, when I asked him if maybe something was wrong with the computer that caused the hard drive failure, he just shrugged.

He says that hard drives do that these days.  They aren’t built to last.  Tech companies aren’t stupid.  If they sell you a hard drive that lasts ten years, you’re only going to buy one hard drive in ten years.  If they sell you a cheap-ass product that fizzles in two years for the same price, they sell you FIVE cheap-assed products in ten years for five times the profit.  Brilliant!  And I digressed again!

So after using my new computer for about three weeks, I ran into a problem.

My flint don’t make fire.

Actually, after the computer went into sleep mode, when it came back on there was just the desktop picture.  Nothing else.  No icons.  No task bar.  I got me a cursor to jiggle around across the purty pitcher, but I can’t run a damned program.  CTRL-ALT-DEL gets me a blank screen.  Black.  Even worse than no picture.  At least I could look at the pretty picture and imagine some beach . . . somewhere.

I have Norton Security (although it reminds me of Ralph Kramden’s neighbor on The Honeymooner’s every time I see that.)  “Nah-ton!”  Did I catch a virus?  I didn’t notice any sniffles.  Or that the computer was running a fever.  My God, it might die again!

Now I could turn the power off and restart and it would work fine–until it went to sleep mode.  Pretty picture.  No freaking useful icons anywhere in the background.  I could right-click and try to select properties . . . but nothing happened.  Pretty picture.  Mocking me.  I think my computer is possessed.  Do I call an exorcist or tech support?

So in desperation, I called TECH SUPPORT.  I bought the computer from Best Buy (ain’t that a bit ironic right there!) so I called the Geek squad.  Damned, but that’s some more funny stuff right there.

Yes, I have rebooted.  I have to, you twigging idiot.  Didn’t I just tell you that?

With no icons or task bar, might as well be a painting.

It doesn’t sound like a virus, he tells me.  I don’t know where he got his medical degree from, but if this baby dies, I’m suing you for malpractice.

We, or rather me with the pretty useless picture for a computer tried ALT-TAB.  ALT TAB?    Isn’t that like a diet drink or something?  Not the hell sure what that would do, but it didn’t work.  He said to keep pressing the TAB key.  I felt like the moron standing at an elevator and repeatedly pressing the button as though that will make the car come faster.  He was probably on the other end LOL-ing with his geek friends about the idiot he had on the phone.  I got a little suspicious when he got to the part about me standing on my head and using my toes to type in the pass code.

Finally, he settled on a solution.  Turn off the sleep mode.  He then went on this long dissertation about how desktops don’t need sleep mode and that it was designed for laptops to conserve battery power.  So just why do they put it on desktops?  Is it the same reason they put Braille on the key pads of drive thru ATM machines?  Won’t my hard drive die even faster if it never sleeps?

If that didn’t work, I could always bring it in for him to look at, but I’m thinking if he can’t help me over the phone, just what exactly is he going to do looking at it.

“That’s a damned fine desktop picture you got there.”

“Why thank you.  I pixeled it myself.”

But I was desperate.  I did not want my computer to die.  I turned off the sleep mode.

It worked.

Once.

Then we’re back to pretty picture with no god damned icons anywhere.  ANYWHERE!  Not even one.  Come on Microsoft and throw me a freaking bone here!

I should have called the exorcist.  If it starts spewing pea soup at me, so help me God I’m gonna call a priest.  Or Ghostbusters.

But then I realized a couple of things as I desperately played with this stupid picture and tried to figure out how to get the icons back.  If I went to CTRL-ALT-DEL, even though it was a blank screen, if I used the down arrows (as if I was selecting one of the options such as restart or to start task manager) and hit enter, I could restart the computer.  It was working.  I just couldn’t see it.

I think the same thing was happening when I right-clicked the pretty picture and nothing appeared to happen.  Somehow, someway, my computer was hidden behind this bucolic scene.

At one point, I noted on the right-click an option for HP Magic Canvas.  I don’t know what that is.  It was an icon on the desktop, but I had never had any reason to click it before.

I needed me some magic now.  So I selected it.

Lo and behold, I get an error message that I can see telling me that Magic Canvas can’t be used when the screen is in extended mode.

Extended Mode?  Holy Tech Speak, Batman!  Instead of pie ala mode, I got me pi extended mode?  What in the name of God is this?

So I googled it.  After some quick researching, rebooting my computer, and then finding the right place in the Control Panel, I discovered that my system had magically been switched into a two monitor (I only have one!) mode, and when I unclicked the box and saved the change, I haven’t had a problem since.

I bet the kids in India could have told me that.

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