Yesterday, I got so sick of my dial up service, that I decided to check out high speed Internet services.  Guess what I found out?  I can upgrade for just $ 5 / mo.  Are you kidding me?!?
Here's how it happened.  I came home from work last night, and tried to check my email.  "Tried" is the key word.  Usually, I just click connect, and walk away, as it takes at least thirty seconds for a connection to be made.  This time, I only left for a minute.  When I came back, it was obvious that my connection was non-existent.  So, I tried again, and again, and again, and finally, I got a message telling me that I could not connect due to configuration conflicts.
If you have ever received this message, then you know the fear and angst I felt upon reading it.  Conflicts?  With my computer?  Surely you jest, says I.  Why, my computer knows that it is just a hammer blow away from being obsolete, it would never test me like this, would it?  You bet it would.
Configuration conflicts are evil, I have determined.  I spent the better part of two hours trying to "negotiate" the conflict, all the while spewing forth fresh streams of expletives, the likes of which had not been heard in my office in months.  Throughout the process, I was constantly angry, and hopeful, disappointed, and befuddled, all at the same time!!!!
Computers, which I have been dealing with for nearly twenty years, suck!!  The ones I learned on were so much better.  They rarely, if ever crashed.  And you really had to try hard to screw up "configurations".  For those of you who do not remeber life before Windows, let me help you into the paradise that is sans "freeze-ups".   With Windows XP, I average a freeze up a day.  With Windows 98, I averaged a freeze up every few hours (sometimes all Windows 98 could accomplish was to start up, and freeze up!).  With Windows 3.1, I rarely froze up, but you couldn't do much with other peoples' stuff.  With DOS, if you screwed up, you just turned the computer off, and restarted.  But I never had freeze-ups, ever!  I know Microsoft and Apple believe they have improved the quality of their software, but since when is quality based upon fluff?    Why isn't quality based upon failure rate?  Is it maybe because both Apple and Microsoft would fail miserably?  I digress.
Configuration conflicts are of the most serious, and frustrating type of problem a computer can encounter.  Why?  Because the configuration of a computer is rarely messed with, and when we have problems with it, we are so far beyond the last time we actually understood the configuration of our system that we are helplessly plunged into hours of relearning everything we shouldn't have to know.  (big breath).  After two hours,  I finally calmed down, and went to an appointment with a client at whom I spent most of my time saying, "You can't do that.  It won't work, and the inspector won't let us."  (meetings!!)  Another frustration, you ask?  Not likely, I deal with that all of the time.  However, if I have to say it about the same thing more than three times,  I sometimes suddenly act deaf, as if I didn't hear the same question repeated for the fourth time. 
Well, the meeting went as expected, I got absolutely nothing accomplished, and ended up having more work to do, and I'm not even past the "free estimate" stage, yet.  Arggghhh!!!!!!!!
On my way home, I realized that I still hadn't "fixed" my computer.    Suddenly, I had a eureka moment.  "Why not ask God, Tom?"  So, I prayed as I drove, and I felt peace envelope me, giving me fresh hope to face further frustrations with my "configuration conflict."  Once home, I headed with purpose toward my office, stepped inside, and took a deep breath.  I turned on my computer, tried connecting, and voila!!! It connected without a problem.  Before you think restarting the computer did the trick, please understand that I had restarted five times in the two previous hours of threatening and cajoling my nearly murdered computer.  I don't know what happened, so I'll just give it to God, and say, thank you!!
However, I am done with dial up.  I don't need anymore "conflicts".  Cable Internet will solve "all my problems", I just know it!  Yeah right!  Cable internet will come with new problems, and I will deal with those when they arrive.  Can't wait! : D


BruceD said...

Tom, a configuration conflict is actually a codeword used to trigger a special message from the Great Big Head. It's the system's way of telling you to sit very still and listen closely to the words that will appear within your head. It will be a "Hal-like" voice saying, "Tom, this is Bill Gates. Thank you for using Microsoft products. And, oh, by the way, you need to reboot now..."

Tom Reindl said...


I've heard that voice!! Usually, though, it just tells me that I have to navigate to an internet site I cannot get to, and purchase some more Microsoft upgrades, which will solve this problem, but may create "other" conflicts.

And then there is this in the download box. "Warning" The above site claims it is Microsoft. Do you want to trust Microsoft? And then there is the little box that says "check me" if you "always trust Microsoft." This isn't step saver for us. It's a "gullible" alert for them.