IT frustration

When I first sat down to post this morning, I thought that this was going to be a feel-good explanation of the importance of the cleaning staff. It would have had nothing to do with hygiene (although I think that’s important) and everything to do with their apparent willingness to slosh a mop around the company servers.

But then I spent an hour and a half fighting with the wifi. I changed IPv4 addresses three times, rebooted the various routers, stopped for coffee, and experimented with DNS addresses.

I am no IT person, I have no idea what any of those acronyms stand for, but I am now an old hand. Old enough to know that the answer probably involves a mysterious “exchange” that’s located somewhere nearby which some fool technician forgot to close properly and was consequently drowned in last night’s thunderstorm.

So I thought – why not vent?

My LEAST FAVOURITE Things That Involve Technology

1. Asus

Asus laptops come a wealth of pre-installed care package that you’re meant to register. There are anti-theft programs and firewalls and guarantees that you have to commit to just to make the screen go away. And what is the point of the “Do Not Ask Again” check-box if Asus just ignores the fact that you ticked it?

I’m tired of being asked. No, I do not wish to register the stupid thing.

2. Microsoft Excel

When Excel works, it’s magic. But recently, I have noted that it doesn’t like it when I try and make something bold. It seems that ctrl+B is a command to make it access a printer. A mythical printer that it cannot access, so everything freezes except for a notification bar at the bottom telling me that it’s accessing a printer. At which point, Microsoft Excel can’t even deliver this error message:

microsoft excel fail

Instead, I am forced to force-quit the program myself. And it hurts. For two reasons:

    1. Formatting is the last thing I pay attention to – all the important work happened immediately prior to that.
    2. Hitting ctrl+B is a reflex reaction. It happens before my brain has time to say “Oh no wait – start with ctrl+S, you idiot!”

3. Recovered Files

Having quit, I am then left sorting through recovered files, that rather helpfully tell me what time they were autosaved. Because I always check the time while I’m working…

Here’s a thought: why not highlight the cells that were last changed in the document before the autosave?

4. Wifi

See the intro above.

I work in two countries, in multiple locations in each country, and at varying times of the day. I spend most of that time playing with settings to try and connect. And then hotspotting off my phone. And then running out of data bundles.

In all fairness though, on the very rare occasion that the wifi does connect and work, I celebrate by doing quizzes on Buzzfeed and downloading series off iTunes. I guess that’s not really a productive use of my time.

5. Edge

Why does Edge still exist? And why is it that cellphones in general like to flip out of 3G connection into Edge? I know that the 3G connection only has two bars of signal – but it’s still working.

So I am left turning the safe flight mode on and off to try and escape the E.

6. Apps That Don’t Acknowledge Edge

According to everyone but my cellular provider, Edge does not provide one with internet access. Whatsapp tells me that it’s still “Waiting For Network”, and then cuts to “There is no internet connection. Please check your internet settings and try again.”

Candy Crush tells me to come back later. And the browser just interminably hangs.

7. Loss of cellphone signal in my bedroom

I live in a city. Near the city centre. Why do I still have to wander into a corner by the window but not two paces to the left in order to make a phone-call?

8. British Hotels

I have to pay for internet connection? How is that not included in the price?

9. Yahoo Mail

Dear Yahoo.

My mail client managed to connect to you yesterday. And the day before. So did my phone. But today – today you decide that I need to give my password again. And again and again and again.


10. Windows 8

I’m not sure how it got to this – but I have been using Windows 8 for almost a year, and I still can’t close a full-screen application without having to swing back to the desktop and snap close something with a right-click.

It just can’t be this difficult.

Having reached the end, I realise that the ranting didn’t help. I’m more enraged than before.

On the upside, if you’re reading this post, you’ll know that the internet connection finally worked…

So here’s holding thumbs for that.