Thursday, May 14, 2015

Where Did Those Emails Go?

Not a message you want to see pop up on your screen!
Lately I have been having some issues with my computer… again. I stepped away from my computer just before noon on Monday and when I got back to my desk the automatic updates had already kicked in. Normally this is just an annoyance so I decided to take a lunch break and resume the multitude of projects immediately after. However, when I returned the icon on my laptop was still swirling… this was followed by error messages and a frozen screen. An hour and several expletives later and I was finally back on the home page backing up all the files… almost like I knew what was going to happen next.

Shortly after I finished the data dump onto my external hard drive, the screen went blank and my laptop nearly sailed across the room and through my window. After informing IT about the problem (still waiting for the laptop to be fixed by the way), I was able to resume my work on the office backup computer (i.e. the old laptop of a former coworker). Even though I had all the files I needed I still had to deal with web access for email and rely on the small Seagate to retrieve all of my documents.

However, two issues persisted. The first is the fact that when Outlook and my computer crashed, all the emails that I had written and sent over the past hour never made it to their destinations and I couldn’t find them in the outbox, drafts, or sent files. Basically I lost half a day of work and had to redo all the edits and responses that should have been communicated. There are also limitations in Outlook functionality between desktop and web access which is proving to be an ongoing issue. 

The second issue I am still dealing with which some would consider minor while others understand the frustration that this can bring about… I am now typing on a completely different keyboard. While it still does the same job, many of the keys are in a slightly different place and so the typos have increased along with a significant decrease in the speed of my typing and subsequent productivity. Furthermore, my work computer also serves as my personal computer which is proving to be a pain in the you know what.

This isn’t the first time that I have had issue with a computer. I can’t even recall how many laptops I have gone through over the years. I have had issues with email, applications, and I have burned out computers in the past. I guess it is about that time anyway so I really should have seen this coming… Well, at least I already had an external hard drive ready to go which was actually fairly up to date. I have also been dumping documents onto the server as of late so I am better off this time than I have been in the past.

It is still annoying and a complete time suck… especially when there is no progress from IT and the broken laptop is still sitting on my desk doing nothing. However, while no other information seems to have been lost beyond the confines of email, I am still taking another step to combat the inconvenience. It is time to get another personal computer. Actually, since I won a DELL Venue Pro tablet (with Windows 8.1 already on it) last month at the Philly Tech Week Signature Event, I think I will go that route and simply add a wireless keyboard. 

That’s right, somehow I keep getting new technology for free… first a Kindle and now a DELL tablet. At least my wife wasn’t there when I won the second one and now I will be better prepared moving forward. So while I transition over I am going to try not to toss (with great vigor) my old laptop into a wall… and do my best to not slam my fist into the keyboard of the one I am writing on currently. This is despite the fact that those where reasonable ways to fix a computer 20+ years ago. Darn dainty temperamental modern technology.