By: T.F. Stern | Self-Educated American

The past couple of weeks I noticed some of my Apps weren’t functioning properly; but the one that stuck out as most annoying was having to restart the computer each time rather than simply touch the screen and it comes back on from sleep mode. All this happened right after one of those auto-updates that come during the night to ‘fix’ some issue you didn’t know you had.

(The image was from our trip to New York City where we rode in the front car of a subway train, standing with the camera pressed against the glass while zipping past a lighted station.)

I wanted to repair the issues by going into the control panel back to a date when I knew the computer was working properly. If you haven’t guessed by now; I’m not a computer geek. I know about some things; just don’t know what they’re called or where to find them when I need them.

Anyway…I looked for that important location only to be informed that since the computer was recently updated that function was no longer available. There was a suggestion that I reload Windows 10, that along with a cautionary statement that some of my Apps might be lost during the process; but that my data files would remain intact.

So, yesterday evening I committed to jumping off that cliff; I instructed the computer to shoot itself in the head, using only a small-caliber pistol that would knock itself out but not permanently damage or kill. A screen flashed letting me know the process would take about twenty minutes.

Three hours later…another screen popped up letting me know there had been some issues; but that it would only take a little longer.

It was about 11:30 when the computer actually appeared to be in working order. Several Apps had vanished leaving only ghost icons to let me know there was plenty of work to do if they were to function again.

Having been through this with other computers over the years I had one thing on my side; I’m old fashioned and had the original CDs containing the Apps along with the activation codes taped to their sleeves. The first to be inserted was the one that protects from Internet viruses and things like that.

Some technician probably saw a light come on at the office alerting them that a dinosaur version of their program had just been activated, again.

“Hey John, look at this. Someone has a version created before either of us were even born.” They can laugh all they want, but it’s paid for and I don’t like paying for the same stuff twice.

Next was loading the CD containing Microsoft Office, the one I bought back in 1998. I only use the part containing Word so it’s not all that much different than the newer versions…and as you can see, it still performs nicely.

I did have an issue with Dropbox when it showed my old email address, the one that got hacked. He did a good job of trying to establish his newly cloned identity so that account has been closed for years. Thankfully, I still had an index card showing the old password as I typed in the information.

“Our records indicate your Password has expired. We are emailing you a temporary password at this time”. Wonderful, some hacker is getting a temporary password so he can download the updated version of Dropbox; but I don’t have access to that information. Breathing out slowly I decided it might be wise to put this off until I’d gotten some sleep and start off with a clear head.

This morning I found there’s a cubbyhole with the ‘bodies’ of all the Apps that vanished. Some of them included links where the only action needed on my part was to click and reestablish the App as if it hadn’t died and been swept away. Acrobat Reader was one of those along with…no, that was the only one that was easy to fix.

I tried several ways of getting my LDS Library and LDS Tools to come back, but that hasn’t worked out so far. Both of those Apps are on my cell phone and each time I tried to download them onto my laptop the App store reminded me that the program had already been downloaded. Breathing out slowly again…

I suppose I can always have my cell phone next to me while on the laptop, at least until one of my computer geek friends stops laughing long enough to show me how to get these apps back up and running on my laptop.

Lastly, and this is important; the simple version of Solitaire has to be downloaded. An easy task or it should have been. Before letting go of state secrets like Solitaire Microsoft needed to know the serial number of my laptop?

I just downloaded the President’s Atomic Football access codes and all they wanted to know, “Do I want to Make America Great Again?”; but for Solitaire they needed my laptop’s serial number.

(Image of MAGA ball cap courtesy of eBay)

I looked for the 12-digit serial number that was supposed to be on the bottom of the unit or in the recess for the battery. I found lots of numbers, some with Chinese letters next to them; but none of them had 12-digits. Looks like I’m not playing Solitaire for a while either.

It’s time to take a break, and for the record; Yes, I do want to Make America Great Again.

t-f-stern-1Self-Educated American, Senior Edi­tor, T.F. Stern is both a retired City of Hous­ton police offi­cer and, most recently, a retired self-employed lock­smith (after serving that industry for 40 plus years). He is also a gifted polit­i­cal and social com­men­ta­tor. His pop­u­lar and insight­ful blog, T.F. Sterns Rant­i­ngs, has been up and at it since January of 2005.