I don’t know about the rest of you, but dealing with software issues is scary for me. With that being said, here is my scary Halloween story.
I have been having software issues for a couple of weeks now. I really enjoy getting my AOL for free these days, but I would almost be willing to pay three or four dollars a month to have that “Live Support” option returned. I’m sure a few of you have felt the same since the “big change.”
My troubles seem to have started small with little annoying things happening like not being able to turn the computer off in the normal way. Later, they escalated and when I got Emails with those cute video presentations, the presentations would never load and play.
I cannot tell you how many times I clicked on the button that said click here to download the Adobe Flash Player 7 in order to see the video. Every time I did this, nothing happened. Well, actually the screen said that the download was successful, but I would click on the play video button in the Email again and got the same message as before. Each time I would fiddle with my Internet Explorer settings and try again. I would save the Email as new for days and try, try, try to get the #### video to play, but to no avail.
I got a notice on the screen this past week that one of my security software packages was about to expire and I needed to go to the link and pay more than I would at the local store to “renew” my security subscription. Hmmm, I thought, in view of my other problems, perhaps it was time to review my entire security strategy.
I decided that I would no longer piece together a mish mash of different software for anti-spy, anti-virus, firewall, and so forth. I would buy a total package from one of the major players and cover everything under one umbrella that would all expire on the same date next year. The price of getting it all bundled together would be less than half of what it would have cost to buy each package separately. Off to the store I went this weekend and was extremely pleased at the price I ended up paying for this total security package.
I spent my free time Monday uninstalling software and installing the new security package. Everything went well enough and my computer now shuts down in the normal way and in a very timely fashion again. What was the problem? Well, it turns out that AOL does not support this manufacturer’s software so the security screen on AOL tells me that the firewall and antivirus software is not detected. This was the point where I wanted to chat live online with an AOLtechnician or call them on the phone.
I kept with it, though and got a screen up finally that told me that AOL does indeed detect that I have this security loaded and running, but since AOL does not support this manufacturer’s software anymore, it did not know the status of these programs. At one time AOL offered security protection from this same company, then one day AOL said they no longer had an agreement with that company and that they were going with a different company for their free online security. I guess the falling out between the two companies was not a nice one, LOL.
I finally found a way to verify that my computer was being protected even while using AOL and breathed a sigh of relief. The next day AOL would not work right. I could not access other journals and it took forever for AOL to recognize my password and sign me on. Now, instead of doing the smart thing and asking other journal writers if they were having the same problems that day, I over reacted and uninstalled all of my AOL software.
I must have at least ten AOL software CD’s that I’ve received in the mail in the past couple of years. I grabbed one and loaded it up. Turns out it was a pretty old version compared to what I was running before I wiped AOL off the computer. I was able to sign on quickly,but had other problems and AOL was continually sending me downloads trying to update this version for me. I located a more recent AOL CD and removed the old program and installed the new one.
Things are working pretty well again with all the features I’ve become accustomed to however, AOL is still taking a long time to recognize my password at sign on. I’ll live with it! Another day spent in front of the computer uninstalling and installing software. Another day off burned up faster than one can say Dock Master. At least I made it to my yearly physical in time Tuesday morning before starting the final round of software battles.
The good news is that I am the picture of health! My cholesterol numbers were some of the lowest the doctor had seen and my PSA reading was right on target. I have to lose some weight, but other than that I am good to go! Whew! I was so happy I even let them give me a flu shot while I was there.
The point of this post is to share this experience with others so they may better choose how to react if the same things start happening to them. Had I asked some of the other journal writers about my AOL problems, I would have found out that AOL in general was having problems that day. The problem with downloading the Flash Player 7 software was caused by some free software I had downloaded called Download Manager. The very first time I downloaded the Flash Player, it was successful, it just would not install because of where the Download Manager program had store the installation file. I was able to ferret it out with my file search tools and got it to install properly, but only after I got rid of the Download Manager program.
I ran the disk defragmenter program after all of this was done and my computer is running as fast as it ever has, I now have complete security across the board under one manufacturer with a common installation date, and my computer turns itself off like it is supposed to when I tell it to. The exercise was not a loss at all.
Before I forget, I must tell you that the effort that Paulette and I put into her resume last week paid off. In just one week’s time she has two interviews lined up both as a result of sending that resume out. Way to go Paulette, knock ‘em dead and get that job! I would just love to be a kept man. Well, one can dream, can’t they? LOL!
I had some pictures I wanted to share and tell you about. I’ve taken up so much space just writing this time I think I’ll leave you with this pretty shot of one branch of the marina and post the rest the next time. Happy Halloween everyone and don’t forget to set your clocks and watches back for the time change Saturday night at 2 am.