Flora, Fauna, Firewall.

The Mayor’s Mother asked for some computer assistance, and I finally got over there. Low security, viruses with old definitions, spyware, nuisances like weather bugs, and a few actual system errors. Her computer is on a fast connection, but that doesn’t mean anything when it behaves heavy on Win ME. So I spent hours cleaning up those kinds of things before running into a problem with her Outlook Express program.

Although the account settings looked ok, it continued to reject the correct password. Keep in mind that this woman lost her daughter to cancer a few years ago, and has always treasured the few messages they exchanged. Over time she has acquired a massive amount of e-mail from friends and family, which is sacred to her – the reason for her computer activity, really. It only took a second to accidentally delete the identity holding years of records on her local account. Bloop!

Panic set in with a numb disbelief – reaction was the lack of reaction. The only clue, my eyes having doubled in size. Considering what could possibly be done, I remembered her Dell’s startup display briefly flashing, “Go Back”. Words cannot express the drama of weighing Flora Peal’s despair against my own shame, imagining her breaking the news to family members… over and over.

All I have to say, is that Go Back is a saint. The program booted like a cloudy portal, presenting me with several offers. I selected “go back to 5 days ago” and watched it reconstruct the drive in blue progress bars. To my amazement, it worked. I was even able to prevent several problems I’d tried tackling earlier. Her e-mail was still there! A few more hours catching up with repeated tasks, and her computer was fine again.

I scurried down her front porch stairs, thankful to get out of there with my life. She’d placed a crisp 5 dollar bill in my hand, unaware she’d paid me on the second chance. Holy shit. I came **that** close to the worst fuckup ever.


19 responses to “Flora, Fauna, Firewall.

  1. If she’s using Outlook Express, the best thing you could do for her would be to burn all the DBX files to a CDR. Then she could import them to Outlook Express if there’s ever a problem, or pretty much any other email program. ‘Sides, it is better to have a backup, in any event.

    • ooh!

      That’s so smart. I’m going to propose this…or just go ahead and do it next time I’m there. That way, with everything on disc, it wouldn’t take so long for those huge Outlook Express folders to load at the beginning, right?

      Thank you for this idea.

  2. System Restore is a godsend.

    It has saved my ass on a few different occasions in the tech support world.

    Although I dread dealing with those kinds of customers’ computers. ME? Gives me chills.

    • I dealt well.

      My HP has a complete restoration disc, and every year since 2000, I’ve returned it to factory state for good measure. Well… I guess nothing’s really gone until you write over it, but. You know what I mean. I flip lots of numbers back to 0 or something.

      I’m glad you could relate to that kind of relief! It was immense!

  3. ;)

    I came **that** close to the worst fuckup ever.

    That… is the name of the computer game. :) And the challenges that ME provides are enough to make most computer people… say… upgrade…

    • In some ways I like it, because it’s similiar to my operating system.

      But I can’t, because The Mayor picked out her machine for her, and it would be insulting to make it over. But perhaps that would cure some of its ills about finicky shutdown/startups, holding onto theme settings… oh, it has the weirdest problems.

      Her eyes are horrible and it’s on some 600 setting that I can’t imagine being able to use. It cripples your abilities, so much… no wonder she needs so much help. And omg, her hand keeps hitting something that makes the background of e-mails black….Jesus…

      • Re: In some ways I like it, because it’s similiar to my operating system.

        :) I know. I know. Bill should be embarassed about Windows in general but isn’t … i think he is about ME… however. It was put out as a quick buck and is a flaw version of the flaw Win2000. Something like that. I know ME well. You did good.

      • I’m rather thankful.

        All I know is that his accomplishments got me a computer that I adore and love to use. If it wasn’t for him,….I doubt I’d had the brains to utilize much else. ;) So I wouldn’t be here.

      • Re: I’m rather thankful.

        I guess all I’m saying is that I wish some other ruthless ego maniac who also made a good OS had monopolized things… people stuggle so hard to keep Windows running. And the viruses and other stuff… other OS’s go years without having to be fixed. I don’t run any virus protection on either the macs or linux boxes… no spyware… my PCs… they rest a lot.

        And with that I’ll take my hot cup of shut the fuck up and shut the fuck up. :)

      • with mini-marshmellows

        Mine doesn’t make it a whole year, because I get bold and start hacking away at drive C.

        “Eh, I don’t think I need this… or this… this has a funny name… I’ll never use this…” I leave the Windows folder alone, but once I’ve screwed up default programs, or run into a bad version, or run out of space for one reason or another… I think of restoration as downsizing. I don’t like hanging onto a lot of shit.

        Going back to find my center.

    • Ok to blow it if you time travel.

      Thank you. I had an LJ friend a while back that gave me absolute shit for not having images.

      “You don’t want anyone to really see you.”

      Which, for the most part, is true. I don’t play on here to address our bodies. But anyway, I’ve since tried to brighten up my journal and try really hard to include sharp pictures with light. I’m not at ease using the icons, but it’s still fun.

  4. One of those quizzes I filled in.

    01. I miss somebody right now.
    02. I don’t watch much TV these days
    03. I don’t like green olives
    04. I love sleeping
    05. I own lots of books
    06. I don’t wear glasses or lenses
    07. I love to play video games
    08. I’ve tried marijuana
    09. the only porn I’ve seen was clips if someone else had it on
    10. never been in a threesome
    11. never been the psycho-ex
    12. I believe honesty is usually the best policy
    13. I love ice cream
    14. never had sushi
    15. I curse sometimes
    16. I have changed a lot mentally over the last year
    17. I’m paranoid at times
    18. I have never been in a real relationship
    19. occasionally have pocket knife on me
    20. I’m partially smart
    21. I have broken someone’s bones
    22. I like Michael Jackson
    23. I never studied when I should have

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