It seems I am for ever visiting the laptop doctor, Dave in Glendowie who knows exactly what he is doing, is calm and instils confidence. Just before Christmas it was the Acer which I still think of as `new' and is only used for writing. Bank statements and Google restaurant searches rarely sully it's pristine, uptight little screen.
In early December, however, every time I sat down in front of said screen it politely asked me if now was a convenient time to upgrade to Windows 8.1 – and each time I said no, it was not at all convenient. And that response wasn’t all that truthful. The fact of the matter is that whenever I try to be clever and upgrade it invariably results in some other aspect of the deeply unfathomable machinations of modern technology failing to work from that moment on. So usually I jog on regardless and try to change nothing. When messages appear I tend to mutter under my breath so that it doesn't quite hear and tell it to get lost - sometimes I'm even ruder than that.
However, the messages emanating from the Acer were becoming more insistent and finally, after many weeks of procrastination in a moment of sheer madness I gave in and said: Ok if you absolutely insist! Which was of course my undoing because once the upgrade was completed the only thing that seemed to be working was Word. No internet connection, no Skype, no emails - and although I could type away happily, the Dropbox seemed to have completely lost its path in life.
Older son from the safety of behind his desk somewhere in deepest Panmure, was sympathetic when I asked how I could get the Dropbox to start working again and said in the kind of patient voice usually reserved for five year olds, `Well try to remember how you installed it in the first place.’ He did not accept that he, rather than I had installed it. In fact if I had been capable of the installation of such a piece of wizardry it would not be something I would be likely to forget but it seemed he had totally forgotten. The second time I rang he suggested I should contact Microsoft – which I might even have done if I could have relied upon myself to adequately describe the current catastrophe caused by 8.1 and furthermore understand any piece of advice the terrifyingly tech-savvy adolescent on the end of the phone said to me.
After Googling the dilemma and discovering that I was not the first person in the universe to have the problem, instead of possible humiliation at the hands of Microsoft I sent a breathlessly urgent email to Dave Schnackenberg. Could I visit with my laptop? Within minutes Dave, with no problem at all, found that all I had to do to make No.2 Laptop well again was to enter the password that is etched on the bottom of my router.
As I rather sheepishly left, Dave assured me that Windows 8.1 is a great improvement on what went before. I was right to upgrade he said. It helped to make me feel ever so slightly less like a hopelessly confused old dear of course. The Acer has been behaving itself ever since.
However.......within a week or two, just before Christmas, No.1 laptop, the Sony, the workhorse daily subjected to hard work, endless checking of bank statements, etc. decided to go on strike and yes, again it was almost immediately after I had obeyed an on screen instruction to upgrade Flash Player or something similar that I rarely, if ever, use. Over the Christmas, New Year period I exacted revenge by banishing it into the depths of the linen cupboard and have just sent an urgent message to Dave. Fingers crossed he's back at work this week!