Friday, March 31, 2006

Cyber Dave To The Rescue

Despite the fact that I stare at a terminal screen all day, I'm not the expert on computers. I mess 'em up, in fact. That's why we have in-house desktop support at work places like mine. For people like me.

Nevertheless, when I travel to see my parents in Bay City, my father will sometimes seek my advice on his latest computer conundrum. Once he showed me a strange e-mail with an attachment sent to him by an acquaintance from Poland. He was reluctant to open the attachment, fearing it was a virus.

So I opened it for him. It WAS a virus. And within a week it merrily mailed itself to any address it found in my father's computer, addresses my father didn't even know he possessed. A college friend of mine from New York received an e-mail from my dad.

"Why is your dad sending me a virus?" my friend asked me in what-did-I-ever-do-to-him fashion.

My father was embarrassed, feeling that he had become the Typhoid Mary of cyberspace. He powered down his computer until a REAL computer expert came to repair things.

So this past weekend, my father asked me to fix a mailing roster he had tried to update to Microft Works on his Excel program. It appeared to me that his Excel and Microsoft Works documents had become transmogrified. Kind of like what happened after that guy and the fly went through the matter transporter together in the movie The Fly. Only my dad's document wasn't calling out, "Help me. Help me." But I'm sure it would have if it could.

I did extract enough information to compile a roster of some kind. But that was after I went into DOS mode in an attempt to copy and re-name the document, thinking that might help. But I mis-typed the command and hit return without thinking. The computer whirred to life, doing what I never found out. So I turned it off. Luckily, my father wasn't there to see that, so he doesn't know. (Well, I guess he does now).

Later, we both went to check out the new library that opened in town. Of course, it is well stocked with new computers. While I checked out the menus on one computer, my dad went to the one next door. Within a minute, he had it partially shut down. Stuck again.

I came over to try to revive it, but only managed to shut it down completely. And nothing I could do would turn the computer back on. A lady nearby asked if we needed help. When we said we weren't all that knowledgeable on the computers here, she said, "We all have just a little knowledge. It seems the more knowledge we have, the more problems we can cause."

Yep, I'm living proof of that.


Blogger Michael said...

I used to swear my ex had some sort of strange electrical field surrounding her that wreaked havoc on anything electronic... computers, watches, you name it.

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave,s Dad here I make one boo boo and he makes a blog of it.NO I don,t know what he did to my computer YET,

4:54 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

I must have a virus in my computer at present Dave, "cos you are obviously getting my mail.

12:34 AM  
Blogger bornfool said...

I used to work on computers a few years ago. The technology and software changed too much and too fast for me. Now I can barely do anything with them.

Thanks for the birthday wishes. Your last few comments about lew being the better writer have been cracking me up. He is a better writer but he's even lazier than me.

8:39 AM  
Blogger schnoodlepooh said...

I just want my computer to work right. When it doesn't, I want to throw it away and buy a new one.

9:26 AM  
Anonymous vicki said...

This is why I didn't call you to find my lost email addresses.Instead my powerbook is in the hands of the apple doctor and I hate this substitute PC- doesn't work the way it should.
But I'm not a turncoat- just slow on the turn around. :-) You've been a good buddy these past few weeks and I do appreciate that.
I miss Gene Siskel, too- somehow it's just not Siskel and Ebert without him. Odd. Starting a couple years ago the AAFF started triggering migraines whenever I went. It IS a disjointed affair. But the other night we went to see Inside Man which is not great, but I thought was very good, very suspenseful entertainment with good acting and clevely done- so that was worth the ticket.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Maria said...

This is such a funny post, but so true. I live in dread and fear of my sons (both experts in the field of computers) coming near mine. It is never the same after they helpfully work on it.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

We have Norton Virus pertection/firewall. My husband says that If I don't recognize who is sending me the email or it has an exe file, not to open it. I'm very careful what I open.

I'm not very computer illerate either.

11:50 AM  
Blogger Nankin said...

Thank God for IT people. I don't care how it runs. I just want to RUN.

3:18 PM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Dave ~~ A Great post ~ Computers, you
either love or hate them, depending on how they co-operate.
I hope your Dad is still talking to you.
Also hope your wife is still talking to
you after your April Fool's Day joke you
found on Herons Nest!! Cheers, Merle.

5:17 PM  
Anonymous bonnie said...

I have more help than I know what to do with regarding computer problems at home. But, I am the only BLOGGER in my house, which is a cold comfort. I think I'll check out Merle's blog post haste.

10:50 PM  
Anonymous Terri said...

I'm definitely technology challenged and therefore only click if I'm sure where it will lead me.
Poor dad and poor you....cyber space can be a very dangerous trip.
One mis-typed command and who knows where you'll end up.
Enjoyed your post, as always.

5:52 AM  
Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Cyber-space... cyber-problems! ~ jb///

8:15 AM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Geez, here I am going to fly up to Hancock, MI, getting way too close to you.

Hang in there, computer. Maybe he won't see us.

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe it's time for your dad to break down and get a new PC

6:22 AM  
Blogger Jacqui said...

Hi, I just got a cyber rap over the knuckles from Peter for not answering the comments on my blog, it wasn't that I didn't want to, I just didn't know how, but he also gave me the instructions so here I am, thank you for your welcome, I think I am going to enjoy blogging.

6:39 AM  
Blogger Deb said...

Loved the post Dave. I advised a friend of my to try a virus software; works fine on my computer, but it crashed hers.

7:50 AM  
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