“Pride cometh before the fall”….or how Bill Gates brought me back down to size.

Some of you probably remember my recent post about my hard-earned prowess as an IT guy around the house. I guess in retrospect I was a little bit full of myself as I chronicled how savvy I now was in working with computers. Well, like most facets of our lives, things just have a way of catching up with us, don’t they?

Let me explain with a little background first. My wife is the Regional Director for the Epilepsy Foundation of Virgina. Her area covers all of the Tidewater area as well as way up the Peninsula to Williamsburg. Needless to say, since much of her work is done at her home office, she spends countless hours on her computer (we have separate computers for that reason). Unfortunately, hers is old and slow and all efforts to speed it up have failed. She seemed to be alright dealing with it, but every time I got on it to help her with something, I went nuts with the delays. For her recent birthday I bought her a state-of-the-art Dell. I did get a little deal on it, since it still had Windows 8.1 as an operating system.

As fate would have it, she was going to be gone for several days last week… a perfect time for me to upgrade to her new computer. Her only caveat to me was “don’t lose my contacts…I have hundreds of contacts and group contacts that I simply cannot lose.” Silly her. Imagine, me losing her contacts simply by transferring her old computer to the new one. Are you having a good laugh?

Well, she left and I delved into it. There was much gnashing of teeth as I had to set two computers side-by-side to keep track of all the data passing to and fro from one to the other. But after several hours of old gigabytes dashing off into cyberspace and gently wafting down again into the new computer, I was awash with glee. There sat everything from her old computer, including the contacts folder with every single name gleaming out at me. The moment required a self-righteous phone call to my beloved to report the good news. She asked how I did it. My soon-to-be-regretted response: “Hey, I’m IT Guy!”

My favorite program when times were good and God was in his heaven

My favorite program when times were good and God was in his heaven

Oh, if only the story ended there. But not satisfied with just a “simple” transfer of data, my computer blood-lust was cresting. I needed another fix. So I decided to upgrade her new computer to the most recent (and free) operating system, Windows 10. This also went smoothly, or so I thought. But when trying out the new system I noticed that the start menu button didn’t work. This is the one that lets you search your computer for files and folders. Very important. But it was kaput, as in “ixna on the earchsna.” I would not let this stand. I got on the internet looking for whatever “fixes” were out there for this glitch. I tried several to no avail. The last one was a disaster. It reset the computer and I lost everything I had transferred. Yes, that included the contact list.

I spent the next 50 waking hours re-transferring data and downloading programs to find that folder, but it wasn’t to be. Windows 10 had smacked me down flatter than a possum trying to cross a Texas highway in the middle of a truck convoy. Those of you who are computer-wise are saying to yourselves right now “why didn’t he back up the old computer first?” The old IT Guy would have done that. The new, less informed and soon-to-be-fired IT Guy, did not.

My favorite program after

My favorite program after “The Devil made me do it!”

I had no idea how I was going to break this news when she got home. I was flat out scared. I decided to use the old ” if they’re expecting worse news, they’ll be happy with lesser bad news” ploy. The initial conversation went something like this:

Me: “How did your trip go, honey?

Her: “It was fine.” How was your time at home.”

Me: “OK, but I do have some bad news, I’m afraid.”

Her: “Oh dear, what!?”

Me: “Well, you know you were gone for a pretty long time, right?”

Her: “Yeah, so.”

Me: “Well, you know I was working pretty hard on the computer most of that time, right?”

Her: “Yeah, and I really appreciated that.”

Me: “Well, things started to go bad and I really spent a lot of hours fixing things up. Things went from bad to worse and I really felt something or someone new might help my frustration.”

Her: “OK.”

Me: “Well, one thing led to another and I’m sorry to say I found someone else.”

Her: “What? You cad! I leave you just for a few days and you…..”

Me: “Wait! No, no, no. I mean I called a computer tech because I lost all your contacts, but he couldn’t get them back either.”

Her: “Oh, thank goodness. I love you dear.”

Editors note: I think you all know me well enough now to realize it went nothing like that. It’s cost me a few dinners already and I’m currently shopping for jewelry. Oh, and I’m busy re-entering her contacts by one by one!  Thanks, Bill.

“Only three more addresses to go!”

15 thoughts on ““Pride cometh before the fall”….or how Bill Gates brought me back down to size.

  1. I keep getting notes on my laptop saying “Install Windows 10 for free, and there’s a few cakes in it for you as well, but I’ve been nervous about it for obvious reasons, and this tale has confirmed my decision to stick with what I understand, which isn’t very much but there you go.

    • I am only too happy that my folly has precluded any chance of your discomfort as well. Now if you would kindly address a note to my wife about what a wonderful characteristic forgiveness can be in a person.

  2. I think you deserve three stars just for trying. I BEG anyone around the house and anyone visiting to do the monthly tech work on my computers. Keep calm and carry on!

  3. Very savvy strategy to make her appreciate that tragedy is relative. But I don’t understand – didn’t you still have the old computer with the contacts in it? Couldn’t you retransfer them? I guess that’s why you’re the IT guy – you get this stuff. Sorta.

    • Here’s the thing on that. It doesn’t matter if I can’t electronically move them. It would still be a big manual effort. I tried saving the contact folder at the very beginning to move it using the instructions provided, but it wouldn’t convert them to the right file type. Could be just a problem with that old piece of junk. However, just the fact that you asked that question means you are far more the tech guru than me. Expect many, many inquiring emails in the future!

  4. If you were on trial you could claim ‘temporary insanity’ or ‘diminished capacity caused by poor food choices while your wife was not there to feed you’!
    Perhaps while you are shopping for jewelry, you could also buy your wife one of those flashy little memory sticks!

  5. By the way Al, you can revert to either Windows 8 or 7. The software is on your computer already. I changed back from Windows 10 because it is so unfamiliar. You can either change back or keep writing such hilarious pieces. Makes me feel better to know I am not alone.


    • Thanks for the hints, Jon, but I did finally get 10 to work properly, though too late in the game. Truth be told, it was easier than I thought to recover the contacts…just looking for a little sympathy.

Your turn to write, but please don't be wittier than me. My ego is quite fragile.

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