Thursday, February 03, 2011

Computer help

So. My computer problems... SOLVED computer problems.

On Tuesday afternoon I happened to get in touch with Takumi (in California, right?) and we MSN chatted awhile. I innocently mentioned that recently I haven't been able to listen to things downloaded into my computer. Not a big problem because I don't use my computer for music but I had downloaded some English songs from a teaching website. For some reason the listening application had disappeared from my beloved Toshiba.

Takumi tried to lead me through steps to restore the application. I couldn't keep up with him.

Takumi: "Do you want to try to connect our computers again and see if I can get inside it?"

A couple of years ago on my old computer we were able to do this and Takumi solved a multitude of problems for me then. We had tried once with my new computer (relatively... I've had this computer three years now) but for some reason Takumi couldn't gain access. Okay. I've got an hour. Let's try.

Well, I followed more instructions via chat. Nope. Doesn't work. And English students began arriving. So I left the computer on and Takumi said he'd be trying to figure out the problem at his end. An hour later I was back and Takumi had more ideas about how he was going to get into my computer. One of which was to use SKYPE, which I thought I had but didn't. Another hour instructing me on how to download SKYPE.

By this time it was 8:00 pm my time around 1:00 am Takumi's time.

Me: "Let's give up. It isn't that important."

Takumi: "No. If we don't do it now we won't try again for months. I don't mind."

I text messaged Tetsu and told him there was no dinner in the house and would he bring home something for us to eat. And I stayed on the computer with Takumi giving him numbers, trying to describe dialog boxes that popped onto the screen. Some of these boxes had urgent warnings like "Don't do this! This is an insecure website!" gulp.

"Takumi~~ do you think this is safe? I mean... Are you sure you know what you are doing?"

He assured me that he did and whom else do I have to trust?

Low and behold a couple more hours later (probably 3:30 am for Takumi) he got into my computer!!! Magic! The computer curser jerked across the screen like it was possessed. Come to think of it, it WAS possessed! By my son!

But the computer was moving too slowly for Takumi so he suggested we turn off MSN which would mean no more communication between us.

"Leave it to me."

And I did. I watched the cursor click buttons and open windows and Takumi went deep inside the inner dungeons of my computer. Tetsu came home and we ate dinner. Me in front of the computer. All is well. My personal computer expert is hard at work. (I hope he doesn't have to go to school early tomorrow!)

BUT!!! As I watched the cursor moving and the dialog boxes asking for permission to remove files/tasks/applications (I don't know what Takumi was doing) suddenly the whole thing went blank.

Oops. Don't look at me. I didn't touch a thing. I waited a few minutes. Nothing. I imagined Takumi frantically clicking buttons on his side of the world. Nothing. And no way to ask what had happened or what I should do. I didn't want to mess with the computer on my side of the world if Takumi was still trying to restore things. I tried sending a text message from my cell phone to Takumi's computer (still don't know if I can even do that) but no response. I can't e-mail. I can't do chat. I am cut off from the world.......

After another hour I hesitantly tried moving my cursor. Nothing. I got up courage and even closed the laptop lid and reopened it. Nothing. I went to bed but not to sleep.

"How could you think someone on the other side of the world could fix your computer for you? Why did you even ask Takumi to start messing with it? It's not like he can drop in now and push a few buttons for you manually."

"Why haven't you backed up your computer since December. A whole month of stuff is lost. Oh my gosh. You didn't print out your crosswalk duty log! That's a whole month of entries gone. How are you going to explain THAT?"

"Does this mean I've lost my blog and e-mail contacts? No... But I sure am not going to get back to them until I buy a new computer... Can I afford that? I wonder if I can get Leiya into my blog to post a message. There I go relying on people on the other side of the world again!"

I had an uncomfortable night. Tetsu sympathised with me in the morning.

"It is just a computer. The important thing is all the time and concern Takumi put in just to help you out. It doesn't matter if the result was unexpected."

Yesterday morning in the scant 30 minutes between crosswalk duty and kindergarten teaching. I unplugged, pushed buttons, and got feeble computer response. My computer is alive!!! Finally buttons reappeared so that I could restart. Finally more boxes appeared asking if I wanted to restore. Finally a screen that looked familiar. Finally I am back in action.

No computer problems. I haven't been able to get in touch with Takumi. He is probably exhausted and doesn't want to get involved with me for awhile. I hope he made it to class...

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