Thursday, March 01, 2007


For the past two days I've had a headache. The really bad kind of headache where your teeth hurt and that soft spot on the top of your head throbs. The kind that only goes away when you can sleep for 10 hours straight.

The kind of headache that only technology can create.

I've dreamed of being able to work (okay, okay, blog & email my friends) from my couch or the local coffee shop. So, on Tuesday my new Dell laptop arrived. The fact that I was actually home to sign when the FedEx guy arrived seemed to indicate that all stars were briefly lining up in my favor. I took the laptop out of it's box and it was all shiny, new and impressive. I was one step closer to my dream.

I sat down to do the initial computer set up. I've done this quite a few times before. I plugged the laptop in, turned it on and held my breath as the lights began to glitter. I worked my way through the Vista set-up screens. I got to a screen that asked me if I wanted to set up a password. Vista "recommended" that I set one up. I agreed with Vista - after all I didn't want someone to be able to post to StuccoHouse after stealing my laptop. So, I entered one of my well worn passwords. I confirmed it. It was set. I finished up the set-up and the computer shut down & restarted.

As the screen lit up again, Vista politely asked me for my password. Easy. I typed it in & hit "enter." Incorrect. I re-typed it in again, slower this time. Wrong. I re-re-typed it. Nope. Re-re-re-typed it. No. Vista, getting bored with this game, gave me a password "hint." I had a mixture of anger & panic going through my at this point. Fricker, I KNEW what my password was and was typing it in correctly. Vista begged to differ.

I carefully explained to the Tech at Dell that I was giving Vista the correct password. An unconvineced "uh huh," was the response I received. For the next two hours, the nice Dell Tech researched how to remedy this problem. Vista evidently handles this issue differently than previous versions of Windows. And I was the first person in the world (or at least at Dell) that had managed to pull this stunt.

The irony was not lost on me that while I sat on hold with Dell, that cute little Apple commerical featuring a PC and a Mac chatting while a Vista bodyguard in sunglasses behind the PC guy repeates "accept or reject" was playing on tv.

We (the royal we, meaning Dell) finally resolved the password problem. I don't think the Dell guy meant to be snarky when he suggested I wait a while to put on a new password ;-)

So, still fresh from the victory I signed on to my desktop. Very long story short I discovered that both my (dial-up) isp & my work email/host had individually chosen this day to blow up all of my services....and of course, blame some software that is not theirs. Technology overload.

I went over the edge.

Once my headache goes away, I'll need to decide dsl (probably) or cable (pricey). Find a new host for my work stuff (boo, GoDaddy). And figure out how to get a router working. Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated.

Then, hopefully, they will not come out with any new technology for the next 10 years. Except that new iphone looks pretty cute.....


Greg said...

Boy, you hit a nerve with this one. I’ve been in password hell myself for the past week. It was all I could do not to go off on the blog about it. There must be a better way. Even with the FireFox password manager and cookies, and the use of 2 or 3 well worn passwords, I still manage to get locked out of sites.

I have DSL and like it. I got a deal of a 2-Wire (that’s a brand name) wireless modem and it is beyond crappy. Even if they offer you one for $40, which is what I paid, pass on it and buy something better. The only problems I’ve heard about cable modems is that the more people on your block who use cable modems, the less bandwidth you get. Everyone on the street shares the same cable. That could be nothing more than urban myth.

Anonymous said...

It's probably too late to tell you that you would have less of these kind of problems if you got a Mac. [ducking] Oh, by the way, the computer illustration you're using for the post about a PC, a a Mac. =:o :)

StuccoHouse said...

Greg - I just ran across your old post (I was searching wifi at about wireless. I'm still convinced that I WAS typing in the right password ;-)I'll probably end up with dsl as locally it is $26 vs $60 for cable. Minneapolis is supposed to go wireless as a city later this year and there will (they tell us) be a $20 deal for service from the city. We'll see what happens there. Not sure I trust to gov to provide internet. Of course, I really have no idea what I'm talking about as I've been on dial up forever.

Anon - The clip was free - and anyone posting a blog knows its hard to find a free clip to use - Mac or Pc ;-) I actually spent time looking in vain for a laptop clip, but that made my headache worse:-( I like Apple - have a video ipod and will probably have their new phone when it comes out. I'm not overly sold on PC, and Dell has screwed me in the past. The thing is, my computers are used 97% for work, and there Mac won't cut it. In my industry, 110% of my clients use PC and we have to do lots of funky things to shared documents. I have no desire to deal with the compatability issue. What's a girl to do?

Mike said...

Stucco, sorry to hear about the problems, and even more impressed that you offered to run to Green Institute in the midst of it! If it helps the headache any I just posted pictures of the upstairs at Foxcroft

StuccoHouse said...

Mike - This is mostly me just having a whiney day. Its amazing how fast all of my ailments disappear when I get to go hunt for salvage - for my house or any one else's.

I just love what you have done to your upstairs. It looks spot on original.

Amy said...

Just bought a sony vaio and had the same issue. Still happens every once in a while. As soon as I figure out how that password is coming off.

Silver Maple Leaf said...

Isn't that frustrating. I use the exact same password for everything. yet i have still had systems that insisted i as using the wrong password when i know better. But on a better note, think about how much you can get done in any room of your house with that new laptop. i know i love mine.

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