Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Loose Fish Conquers Technological Insanity or How I Spent My Saturday

Okay, so I sit down at my desk on a Saturday morning, and my wonderful computer (a wireless HP) refuses to open up ANY program. Every icon I hit, every link I hit, every single thing gives me the same error message:

"This application has failed to start because its side-by-side configuration is incorrect. Please see the application event log for more detail."

Okay, now I poke around and I can't find an application event log. Sigh. What the hell are they talking about?

I turn to my old computer. The one that's been sitting on the end of my desk, unused, for almost a year. My handy backup. I turn it on, everything boots, I hit an icon to open a program and the entire system CRAASHES. It goes to one of those black DOS screens that tells you to call your system administrator or you'll damage your data. oh, great.

But all hope is not lost. I find my tiny little Acer notebook. Email opens. But as I type, each letter seems to take about 10 seconds before it appears. Laboriously I send out an email to friends letting them know I may be off the planet for awhile. No money for repairs or replacements, thank you very much, and VERY UPSET. Three computers and NONE of them working. Oh, oh and I have an old iPad too that isn't properly set up for internet. (I don't do Apple, so it's a mystery to me. I can read books on the Kindle app, that's about it.) So, FOUR internet machines and not a connection in sight. (Well, the Acer did get an email out.)

So begins the search for fixes. The internet is full of answers, page after page of instructions on how to fix my "side by side configuration" error. They entail downloading several files for different years called Microsoft Visual C ++ (2005, 2008, 2010) Redistributable Package X86 and SP1 Restributable Packages. After doing that, you then download Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash,etc and Java programs (all of which are already on my computers), and if that doesn't work (and of course it doesn't) you can also get into some files, get out to Dos and run something called sfc/scannow. (or something like that) It takes forever to run and just seems to go through all your files and repair them. But I get a little message at the end that says, 'not all files repaired.' Did it work? No.

By this time it's almost noon, and my friend Linda has decided to drive all the way from Fort Myers to assist me because she cannot envision me without a computer. And she knows ALL about technology whereas I know enough to get by, but not nearly enough. I know she's on the way. But I keep working on these fixes. I boot and reboot the computer after every download, every fix. And still, nothing.

In one of my last efforts, a little box appears referencing a corrupted file, blah blah google/chrome/blah blah. All my eyes see are "google/chrome". Is THIS my culprit? Couldn't they have mentioned this earlier?? I use Google Chrome as my browser and have bragged to people about how stable it is. How it is so superior to Microsoft IE or Firefox (both of which caused me no end of grief over the decades.). So. I download Chrome again, thinking it won't download since it's already there. But no, it downloads like a dream. And PRESTO! Everything works again on the wireless HP.

Alas, the old computer seems to be dead as a doornail, and must be hauled off to the computer morgue.

Linda shows up and gets my iPad all set up for email, internet, every damned thing! I will now have a backup if my big one goes out again. And because Linda's moving out of state, even gives me some office furniture which I badly need! I figure that deserves food, and we head out to Five Guys!~ Oh, Linda, I shall miss you and am so indebted for your support!!!


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