Thursday, May 08, 2008

When Technology Turns On You

No image today. I'm not even going to attempt to upload an image. Not today. No way. Let me explain.

You see, I love technology. I don't know what I'd do without my computers, internet, email, printer, fax, telly, and CD player. But when you get used to having it available and working well and then it's gone, it's like Little House on the Prairie time.

Okay. I'm exaggerating. I tend to do that. But let me tell you what my week has been like. I'm working on a new project. A cross between a police procedural, a romantic suspense, and a thriller. Yeah. I'm a square peg in a round hole kind of gal. None of my stories fit neatly in any genre. Anyway, I'm pushing to get to 'The End' by Mother's Day. How cool a gift to me would that be? This past weekend I did the twenty hours straight thing on Saturday and Sunday. In one twenty hour period I wrote 45 pages. So Monday followed and that meant district tennis tournaments for my daughter. Since it's her last year, I feel a certain obligation to attend. Plus, I'm a huge tennis fan--and an even bigger fan of my daughter. But I still needed pages! So, I grabbed my binder, laptop, blanket, and cooler and headed for the tournament. I got one page written and a had a nice pink burn going by the time I left.

Tuesday, I start my writing routine early determined to make up for lost pages. I click on Mozilla Firefox to do some research and wait. And wait. I frown. I pay for really high speed internet and the page is loading like I'm back on dial up. Or slower. I try a couple more pages. Same thing. I try another computer. Still sloth speed. So, I call my computer guy and tell him about the problem. He comes over and we call the Internet Service Provider. I'm listening to elevator music for about ten minutes before we finally get through to a technician. She goes through all the troubleshooting steps with my computer guy. Everything checks out on my end. So, she gives us an incident number and says she'll pass it up to the next level of support. We should have a call back within 8 hours. Well, guess what? This is day three and I still haven't heard boo. Meanwhile, I'm waiting five minutes for a page to load. (This is NOT an exaggeration!) Sometimes the page times out before it even loads.

This is particularly frustrating when you're writing and want to do a quick fact check. I have to jot down everything I need to go back and check. The alternative, however, is to get on the phone and call the ISP technicians again. The last time I did this myself I spent two hours on the phone with the guy. But if I call my computer guy back, it's another service call charge.

What to do? What to do?

So, what would YOU do? Call the techs back? Forge ahead with your story? Pitch a fit? Threaten to sue? Eat more chocolate?

I'm considering grabbing the speaker phone, a hunk of dark chocolate, sitting down in front of my computer and dialing the ISP guys up. I've got a pretty grim murder scene to write. Maybe the tech support call will provide...inspiration.

~Bullet Hole knocking on wood and crossing fingers this post will upload~


Sin said...

Are you hooked up to a router? Any chance that you might have had a power surge and your router is not plugged into a surge protector but the actual wall plug in? Do you know your actual IP address?

I've been through this so many times it's not even funny anymore.

Terri Osburn said...

The chocolate is an obvious yes. Even if it's not part of the solution, it never hurts.

I'd call the dude if I had the time to sit on the phone. It would be worth it to get rid of the slow moving stuff. That would drive me bonkers.

Oh, and congrats on the productive weekend. Here's to hitting that goal before Mom's Day.

Jenyfer Matthews said...

I would call the tech support back AND pitch a fit -- and carry on with the story while I was on hold :)

Good luck sorting it all out.

Anonymous said...

Eeeps, Kathy! That sucks. I've been without cable/TV/phone a few times, thanks to downed cable lines. I felt lost. Depressed. Confused. I know it will happen again - it's like death and taxes; it's something we can't avoid forever - but, man! Do I hate it.

Hang in there, Bullet Hole! Your new book sounds fab, though!


Keri Ford said...

Sorry, Kathy. This kind of stuff completely sucks bigtime. Just a few months ago, my computer got sick with wireless internet problems, and it is such a pain to get all that straight.

Good luck getting back together.

Kathy Bacus said...

I've learned more about wireless routers, IPs (static and dynamic) and related 'stuff' than I ever wanted to know, Sin. I recently had to change my IP address from a static to dynamic and thought that might have been the issue but nope.


~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

Thanks Terrio!

I decided to call the techies back. I'm currently listening to some ghastly music on the speaker phone waiting for the next technician.

I've got my chocolate and coffee so I'm good to go.

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

Great advice, Jenyfer. That's what I've decided to do (so says Bullet Hole as she sits on hold).

Several posts back I pined away for a Mr. Goodwrench. This week? I'm looking for a computer geek.

There's nothing more frustrating than waiting and waiting and waiting for a freaking page to load! That is, unless it times out before it opens.

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

Aren't we spoiled, Faye? I feel so whiney.

And yeah, I'm really excited about this book. It's a departure from the humor and gives me a chance to use some of my law enforcement experience in a hard-hitting, grittier storyline.

~Bullet Hole~

Kathy Bacus said...

And why is it you always seem to lose the technology or gizmo when you need it the most, Keri? Or when you have the least time to Mickey Mouse around with it.

Oh! Oh! I'm off hold. Gotta go! Keep your fingers crossed that I don't have to off a techie type in my next book.

~Bullet Hole~

Gemma Halliday said...

Fingers crossed for you, Kathy! Life sucks without internet. :(


Kathy Bacus said...

Looks like I'm back in business, Gemma!

Tiffany the Tech Gal got me up to speed again. ;) And it was accomplished in the time it took me to polish off four pieces of chocolate.

Fingers crossed the fix lasts.

~Bullet Hole~

Angie Fox said...

About a month ago, someone asked the question: what could you do without? Cell phone, television or internet. My answer was internet!

My advice would be to load up on the chocolate, have a shot of tequila handy (in case of emergency) and dial up tech support again. Good luck!

Christie Craig said...


You have my heartfelt sympathies. Yup. I hope your problems are fixed soon. Heck, I'll go grab a piece of chocolate and eat it in your honor. That's what I call real friendship!

Hang in there.

Crime Scene Christie

Kathy Bacus said...

My answer to the 'what could you best live without?' question would be either the cell phone or television, Angie. I get most of my news online and can watch a lot of my fave shows online now. I don't use my cell phone as much now that I'm home more. But internet? I use it all the time.

Thanks for the commiserations, Christie! I think the chocolate gave me good luck!

~Bullet Hole~