False Alarm

This update to my website is nearly six weeks behind schedule for the sort of reason that could only happen now our society is so technologically dependent, but so many of us are still struggling to understand things.

In early May, my home computer gave every appearance of being out of order. I turned it on, the green light flickered, the screen lit up briefly, and then went dark. Several minutes later it was still dark and showing no signs of life. After trying over several days to secure a better result, and failing, I gave up and sent for the computer wizard. I explained to him that the instances of non-working had been preceded by a few days of messages received warning me that I was running out of storage capacity and inviting me to follow a link to cure the situation. Had I brought the problem upon myself by not following up?

It was almost a month before the computer wizard could make it to my home, which he did early one morning. A couple of clicks and he had grasped the whole situation. It turned out that I had done the right thing by not clicking on the link to address the storage capacity problem. There was no problem, and it was one of those dodgy messages sent out by troublemakers to try to gain access to my computer. It also turned out that, contrary to my impression that the computer was not working, it had been all along trying to work very hard to catch up with a backlog of Windows updates. My giving up and turning the computer off meant it never caught up and next time I turned it on the whole updating process started afresh – only to not finish again when I turned off prematurely!

The solution was to just sit tight for 10 minutes or so and let the Windows updates finish downloading. Then we turned off. Then we switched on again and had to wait for around another 10 minutes while the computer finished transfiguring the updates (whatever that means) and after that we were back in business.

Why do I call my friend a computer wizard? Because as far as I am concerned this is all a kind of Black Magic.

Mike Rowse
email: mike@rowse.com.hk