Technology is Great (Except When it Doesn’t Work)

The best laid plans…

Last Saturday I was energized and ready to start hitting the writing hard. I had a schedule. I had outlines. I got up early and settled in with a cup of tea and ideas swirling in my head. You name it, I had a plan: Twenty short stories, two new chapters on a novel, article ideas for Yahoo. I was even going to update my job resume and hit the jobsites again. Then I tried to open Word on my computer.


My files were still there, but they wouldn’t open. I tried the backup files on a USB drive.


I started to panic. Then I plugged the USB into an old laptop. It worked, and I could open the files to read them…but the old laptop (it’s a Dell Latitude 620 with Windows XP) only had Open Office, not Word, so some of the formatting was screwy.

Back to the writing computer, and decided to do a refresh. That wiped out Word, so I reloaded it. Or at least tried…

…my internet connection sucks wet donkey balls, if you don’t mind me saying so.

After 12 hours (yes, you read that right) the download finally completed. I could open my files. By this time, it was early Sunday morning, so I went to bed.

Sunday I had breakfast and sat down to catch up on some belated writing. And the Word program I had spent the day loading told me that there was an error in the download and it would have to b reloaded. But I needed to remove it first.

I may have used ad language at that point. I’m surprised I held out so long.

So…uninstall Word, connect to the internet, and attempt to reload. This was around 11 a.m.

By 3 p.m. it had reached 11% of its download. I discovered that there were other updates running in the background, and disabled them. By 6 p.m. it managed to reach 14% and I gave up out of exhaustion. Besides, I was hungry.

Monday morning I took the laptop to my local library, which has killer Wi-Fi. Went through the whole process again. Finally, it completed!

PowerPoint worked. Yay!

Excel worked. Yay!

OneNote worked. Yay!

Word said: “Sorry, we’ve encountered an error loading this program.” @#^&%$ !!!!!!

I looked deep into the root menu to find out what the @#$% the problem could be. Saw that the user’s license a due to expire on April 24. Could it be that they want me to buy a new one? A search disclosed that they have a sale for ‘only’ $104 for a new version.

Uh, no.

So I looked for a new version of Open Office to download. I can learn how to use it all over again. I did it once, after all. At this time, the Wi-Fi at the library had slowed down, and by 3 p.m. I gave up and went home. Later that night, like around 11 p.m., I tried again. For some reason, my home Wi-Fi works best between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

At 3 a.m. I woke up, and the download was complete. Had no clue about how to operate it, since it’s been awhile, but shut it down and went to bed. It was now early Tuesday morning and I had lost three and a half days of writing.

Tuesday was spent trying to figure out the menu options. In retrospect, I should have downloaded the user’s guides, too, but I was feeling punchy at that point. I managed to get two paragraphs written on a short story.

Wednesday I woke up with a migraine that lasted most of the day. I spent most of the day in bed. I’m feeling better now.

This morning I set up some templates: e-book, paper book format, and short story.

And I wrote this blog. Here’s hoping things smooth out from here.



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