Posts Tagged 'computers'

Adventures in Feedblitzland

Every day’s a new adventure!

After turning off my tendency to worry about how I’m going to accomplish all the things I have to accomplish in the project of setting up a new website and blog, I resolved to give it over to the Lord, to stop trying to figure it out and let Him lead me.

I did not expect that He would lead me to deal with Feedblitz today. Feedblitz is the service that converts my blog posts to emails and sends them out to those of you who have subscribed so that you receive them in your Inboxes. (You can subscribe — I think — using the “Click here to subscribe” link in the sidebar.)

I’m trying to decide if I should move the blog over to the GoDaddy WordPress incipient website first and then design the two together, or design the website first, then move the blog. Or, not move the blog at all, simply link to it. That would be easier, but the whole would not end up as pleasing.

So I decided to head over to Feedblitz just to see how difficult it would be to change things there if I moved my blog to a new URL. Well, not hard at all, supposedly. At least as they described it. But then, changing out your email wasn’t supposed to be hard either.

Somehow I ended up doing that… changing out my admin email. And in the process I lost my entire subscriber list! You don’t just change the email address, you have to “merge” your existing list/”site” named by the old email address with a new, non-existent list/site named by your new one. Then they send an email to the old address to approve and the new address with instructions on logging in and approving… and then suddenly you are dealing with a template, and all kinds of social media feeds (or whatever they are) and well, they were asking me the weirdest questions as I set up my “publisher profile,” questions I didn’t think they should be asking someone who was doing what I was doing that I was becoming uneasy and frustrated. Especially when I had no idea how to answer.

And then I noticed that the tab leading to my “sites” had vanished.

I panicked, went looking everywhere throughout my account panel, couldn’t find them anywhere. I went searching through the documentation. Nothing on losing one’s entire subscriber list. Then one thing led to another, as I tried this and that (including emailing Feedblitz’s support and posting a public question) I even went back to previously opened browser windows and suddenly there were my sites again. (I say sites because even though I only have one Writing from the Edge blog, for some reason I had 2 “sites” for it.) But when I tried to get to that page through a normal login, they had vanished again.

Long story short,  I had to finish updating the publisher profile. Once I did that, they reappeared for good. But they were no longer under the “My Sites” tab which had been done away with, but under the Account Dashboard link.

How can things that are so basically simple get so weird and complicated?

Anyway, if you are a regular subscriber and have received this blog in your inbox via email and you feel inclined to reply, I’d appreciate knowing if at least some of you have received it. And if it looks different from what you’re used to.  You can either reply directly to me or in the comments. Thanks.

Three Small Things

The problems with the email continued on from my last post, as I vainly sought to get the default mail program of Windows 8 to actually handle my mail. Remember in my last post on these matters, I had called the GoDaddy helpline about the failure of my new website url to take me to a login page. The guy on the phone saw at once that something was pointed in the wrong direction and quickly pointed it in the right one. Solving the problem.

If only I’d hung up then.

Instead, he suddenly asked me why I had the email account that I did. It was way too much for what I needed, way too complicated. “Why did they give you this one?” he asked. Well, at the time I was consumed with why was the webpage login not working and my email was far from my thoughts. When I told him I didn’t know (actually it was that I couldn’t remember) he quickly moved to reorganize everything so that I could save $30 and not have these extraneous unlimited business emails complicating things.

Several days later, after trying repeatedly and unsuccessfully to get Win8 Outlook to receive and send karenhancock.com emails, the memory of  WHY I had gotten the other package drifted up from the shadowy, convoluted corridors of my brain: because the other package came with IMAP and was compatible with Windows 8 while  the new one was not and would have to be used only as a web-based email program.  I’d forgotten all about that when I called to find out about the webpage url, and thus allowed the sales rep to “help me” by setting me up with an email client that doesn’t do IMAP and isn’t compatible with Win 8 Outlook. This despite the fact that every one of my three email clients are called Outlook. Talk about confusing!

Anyway, a tiny element, forgotten, caused the entire ship to turn in a direction I’d originally wanted to avoid.

It wasn’t the only one. Last Thursday, my hubby had left on his hunting trip and right before going, made sure there was air in all the tires on my car and everything was good.  Two hours later I came out with Quigley to drive to the park for our evening walk, and discovered one of the tires was flat. Flat as a pancake flat. Rim to the ground flat. I stood there staring at it in disbelief.

But from the start Quigley had been in a panic to get going, and now his insistence overwhelmed me and we started up the street. Or rather, we ran. As we did, I acknowledged that the earlier, very soft dropping he’d left in the back yard (which he never does) had indeed been a harbinger of worse to come.  We ran up the street until I found an acceptable spot for him and he let go. The entire rest of the walk was all about that.

So in addition to no car I had a sick dog. Well, Fast Balance GI to the rescue. At least for the dog. It’s a dark, thick paste of good bacteria and other stuff that you have to squirt into the dog’s mouth while he tries to escape. As big as he is, Quigley has to get three doses of it throughout the day. After the first dose, I had to close the door to his kennel or he’d run in there to hide as soon as he saw me with the tube. In the end, it did the trick, though, thank you, Lord!

Next day, after a neighbor helped me change the tire, I took it down to Discount Tire. They could find nothing wrong with it.  However, when they had filled it back up and put on the valve stem cap, they could hear hissing. So they took the cap off, handed it to me and told me what had happened, but that all was well. The tire was Fixed!

Well, it didn’t seem very well to me. Why would the cap being on cause it to leak? Was there something wrong with the valve stem? Did they give the cap back because they only fix flat tires, not valve stems?  I didn’t know but thankfully my husband returned early — Sunday night in fact.

Turns out a tiny o-ring that was supposed to be inside the cap, up at the top had fallen out, allowing an inward/downward pointing extrusion in the cap’s top to press on the valve and let out the air.

How weird is that? Another very tiny thing, that completely changed the direction of not just one day, but several.

And well do I know how frequently that can be the case with computer issues. In fact, as I’ve been writing this, I was trying to back up my database on my hosting service server, so I could do an upgrade, but of course there was an error and so…

Since I haven’t really done anything with the website yet, choosing to do some research first, it may not hurt to skip the back up part and just do the update. Or maybe I’ll just do more research…

I probably don’t need to mention that during all this I’ve done NO work on the book… 😦

Chaos

blowing rain

My computer crashed last week. I decided to just go down to Best Buy and get a new one. Which I did. Actually I bought an all-in-one first, brought it home and immediately realized it was too big and heavy for my set-up. So the next day I brought it back.  Got a new tower with Windows 8

****SIGHHHHHHHH*****

I even had the Geek Squad do a data transfer so I wouldn’t have to do it. I thought it would be well worth it not to have to hassle with trying to figure out how to get the stuff off my old computer myself.

<<<desperate, hysterical laughter>>>

No hassle? Are you delusional???

I should add that the weekend before this I filled up our older top loading washer full of sheets only to have it stop dead. That was Saturday morning.  So I spent Saturday bailing water and researching washing machines, and then Stu and I went to Lowes and bought one. Of course it is nothing like the machines I’ve used all my life and necessitated an entire instruction book full of detailed directions to follow lest you ruin the machine, destroy your clothes, fill your washer with gunky fabric softener… did I mention that it was a new High Efficiency machine specifically designed to be used with a Downy Ball which are available “everywhere?” Not.

So first order of business after getting the machine into the house was to track down a Downy ball, if I didn’t want to have to time every wash load for the precise moment the fabric softener needed to be added. That’s what I did on Sunday and Monday. I could find none in Tucson. Had to order some online.

On Tuesday afternoon my computer crashed… so I bought the new one, then, as I said brought it back and exchanged it for the tower, and…

I only like old things!!!

I was told that the new one with the office program came with an email program similar to the one I had been using. NOT. I’ve been trying for days to get it set up and failing. (And thus had no email because of it) Today my hubby called in a friend who has a business doing this and he couldn’t get it to work either.  In the process I tried to contact my ISP, except they were down both phone and chat, but I could “contact them through email” as they suggested. I finally managed to get on a chat and the woman changed my password and I retried with that. Didn’t work.

So now I’ve been sent off to my webpage hosting service, only to discover they, who trumpet their 24/7 availability, also happen to be unavailable by chat or phone, but hey, I can leave a message and they will email me! Not. I tried logging on and couldn’t even do that.

Then I read reviews about them and was horrified at all the bad ones. Now I want to sever ties with them ASAP, but that would mean I’d have to find a new web hosting service (actually I’ve been thinking of trying to integrate my website with WordPress) (but that would mean I’d have to think about how I would do that) And anyway, what would that do to my email address which comes through the web hosting service?

I set up all this stuff over ten years ago. Not only can I remember little of the details, it’s all changed anyway.

Just to add spice to the mix, I also had doctor’s appointments nearly every morning last week, two of them lasting hours. But! I do not need a hearing aid!  And I do not have skin cancer! And further, the shingles relapse in my eye has dramatically improved. So I can’t complain there.

 In addition to all that, hubby is retiring NEXT FRIDAY and only found out about it last week. He’d planned on waiting another month. No, he wasn’t being urged by his employers to do so… he was just in a different benefits program for the first year of working for the company ages ago now, and then switched to a second and in order for both to be applicable, he has to retire earlier than he expected.

On top of all that… here comes the computer mess. I can at least do Bible class!  And write this post. But for the moment, no email. I could go with the Outlook that comes with Windows 7, or switch to Gmail… but how to get the domain name put into it is something I’ll have to research further.

And all this just exploded at the end of last week after I’d had four days of very consistent work on Sky.  But. I know my times are in my Lord’s hands, and that He knew all about this in eternity past and even chose it as part of His highest and best for my life so I shall try to focus on that, rather than, what-am-I-gonna-do? I have no idea what I’m doing, and don’t even know where to go for help!!

As proof of my Lord’s care, however, is the fact that for the last two weeks Pastor John has been teaching on the importance of us knowing what it means for us to be in Christ and enjoying all the blessings that come from that. Focus on that not all the craziness of life. We have been told we will triumph in Christ.

Okay, off to walk Quigley.

Potential Delivery Date — Meh

So I was going to use my progress the last week as an indicator of whether I should announce a potential delivery date for The Other Side of the Sky.

Clearly I did not announce one. The experiment was not a bust, but neither was it conclusive. I worked for 4 days. Then my hubby was off Friday and I had family things to do. On Saturday I installed an external hard drive on my computer to back up my stuff… supposed to be easy, but as with all things related to computers, it was not.

I barely had the accompanying program installed when an update announcement showed up. Unfortunately I had to somehow turn off everything that might require drive access — and I don’t even know what all that might be — and never succeeded. Not even with my antivirus program. As the hours drifted by, I finally gave it up. I didn’t have any external back up at all before. Now I have one. Maybe not optimum, but not worth the time of wading through obscure online instructions that never seem to actually represent what I’m seeing on my screen. Yes, I could call some  tech support person but…

Bleah.

I want to write, not spend all my time fooling with that. So I didn’t.  (Plus my printer’s pretty much just given up the ghost so I’m going to have to deal with that very soon..)

Sunday was church and an engagement party, from which I came home exhausted. For the first time, though,  it didn’t carry over to Monday. Lately I’ve been feeling pretty normal. Walking the dog again, doing my regular stuff. Or at least working back up to it. And I did no work on Sky during the entire three days.

Blog writing has also taken a hit as is obvious to regular readers. I wonder if it’s because I’ve gotten out of the habit.

Anyway, I have more to say regarding the  potential delivery date, but I’ll save that for another post.

123 Windows

Well, yesterday I woke up early all ready to write. Unfortunately Quigley had scraped my fingers in play the night before and I’d gotten out a sack of frozen peas to put on the scratches, then was distracted and left the bag on the plastic chair mat in my office. With all the humidity we’ve been having the peas had not only totally thawed out, they did so in a puddle of condensate both on top of the mat and under it.  

So that’s what awaited me when I went into the office to work. Thus, before I could get started I had to dry everything off, then prop up the mat against my office chair so the carpet would dry. I could still sit in the chair and work, but only on the side desk, not at the computer, which I’d already turned on first thing — before I’d seen the peas. Anyway, I went over a hard copy of the work I’d done the day before, seeing new places to add things, modify, delete, etc and scribbled my changes into the lines and margins and on the back.

By then it was time to do the morning chores, water the grass, do tricks with Quigley, eat breakfast and finally leave at 8:30 to take my mother to her doctor’s appointment at 9. I was back by 10, and went into the office to find the carpet dry and put everything back the way it was. Then I wiggled the mouse to wake up the computer only to discover that it (my computer) had gone insane. It had already opened 123 Internet Explorer windows, 5 Search Windows and was in the process of trying to open more of each. Clicking X’s with the mouse would close one of the search windows, but did nothing to the 123-and-counting IE windows. Escape didn’t work. Nor Control Alt Delete… and before long another Search window started opening as well.

So I just turned it off, thinking I must’ve done something with the chair while I was fooling with the mat so it had somehow pushed the keyboard. Though it was admittedly difficult to imagine how it could possibly have pushed both the start and the number 6 key to get the IE to open…

I waited a bit, then turned it back on only to get the BIOS screen telling me there were no drives except the CD/DVD drive and which, though it invited me to use various keys to move through the screen, was inoperative. I shut the thing down again and went to call my hubby.

Long story short, I spent the entire day messing with the computer, at long last reaching the conclusion that the problem was my keyboard. Everything worked fine as long as the keyboard wasn’t connected.  I did Bible class with only the mouse. But you can’t put in text changes with a mouse.  

Today I got up and connected a spare keyboard before turning everything  on. That seemed to work okay. Then I deleted the browsing history (which took a looong time) and did a full virus scan, which turned up nothing. The good news is, I’ve not had one instance of rampant IE Window opening for the whole day, so it really does seem to have been the keyboard. Unfortunately, the old one was a broken keyboard and my wrist is not happy about the new flat model. So in the next day or so I’ll probably be heading off to the store to get a new broken keyboard. (Talk about confusing… I’m going out to buy a new broken keyboard to replace my old broken keyboard which really is broken…)

But the cool news is… I have now reached page 9 of Ch 1, in spite of everything. I’m kind of amazed.

Hindrances

Apparently I’m not supposed to do the posts on The Black Swan that I’d been planning. Every time I come in to do them, something happens that takes up all my time.  Tonight it was the disk I was going to burn of a music CD that is no longer playing properly in my kitchen CD player. An easy task, which I’ve done before.

First I had to search for the blank CD’s. Couldn’t find the ones I was most familiar with but did find a large, mostly full pack of new ones I vaguely recall having bought. I put in the disk, Windows Media Player read it, I dragged the contents of my CD-to-copy over to the burnlist and clicked “Start Burn”.  After awhile I realized nothing was happening. Thus began the quest to accomplish the burn. I quickly discovered that for some reason the “Start Burn” button was greyed and didn’t respond to the cursor. I have no idea why. The program is recognizing there’s a disk in the drive and can read it, since it’s telling me what it is and how many minutes it has to save things to.

I’ve used these disks before, as I found a couple I did last year for Christmas. I tried formatting the disk, went to the help file with the program then to the online helpfile at Microsoft. Where, for some reason someone thought it would be a good idea to repeat all the non-help I’d already received before I went online. I could ask “why is my start burn button greyed” but then I’d have to search the whole web… so I complained to my husband. He managed to transfer the files by bypassing windows media, and they do play on his computer after a long wait time, but alas do not play on the CD player in the kitchen.

So maybe I should try the “Start Burn button greyed” search. Hmmm… BRB…

…Okay, turns out others have had the same problem. They too were directed, even in the forums, to the same repeated non help on the website. No, the problem is not that I don’t have any titles in my burn list, thank you very much. Nor that I don’t know how to burn CDs. Nor that I cannot read and comprehend the simple instructions. The problem is that having followed all the instructions, my Start Burn button remains gray.

Finally then someone at the bottom of the queue suggested the whole, close it all down, leave the disk in the tray, then open it up and try again solution and while that worked for one person, it didn’t work for me.

Other suggestions were to reinstall WMP 11, or to reinstall Vista. Or to back up everything and …  Arg.

I’ve spent about an hour and a half at this now and I still don’t have my disk. But, computers being what they are, maybe tomorrow, after I shut it all down and restart, maybe then I can get my disk burned. 

In any event, I did not get my post done.

Or at least, not the post I’d intended to write.


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