I am not a Twitter power-user so I don’t really get the whole ‘hashtag’ thing. I read an article recently decrying the negative effect hashtags were having on language and verbal communication. I was not aware using hashtags verbally was even ‘a thing’. It’s one more example of a trend of which I am aware.
Were I a hashtag-kind-of-guy, this post would be the ultimate “#First World Problems” situation.
Harper’s Other Dad uses dictation software for work, both at his office and at home. Thursday evening, HOD reported the software was not working. This was limiting his ability to be the kind of dictator he so enjoys being. He tried a different headset but the problem persisted.
Thinking the problem was with the dictation software, I spent some time today trying to adjust user profiles and re-running various set-up wizards. No luck! I know as much about computers as I do about birthing babies but it seemed to me the problem was not with the dictation software but rather with our computer’s recording ability. The computer wasn’t recognizing incoming sound from the microphone.
After spending a couple of hours working through Help menus and Troubleshooting Guides, I contacted the computer manufacturer for support. Because the computer is no longer under warranty, on-line support was not available. Telephone support was available but not free. And by “not free”, I mean $59.99. This does include, however, 14 days of follow-up support on the issue and a guarantee that the problem will be resolved. If they are unable to resolve the problem the $59.99 is cheerfully refunded. So for a mere $60 I had a new BFF, let’s call him Ethan. Yes, he was in the Philippines, but so what! His English was quite good. What care I about geography? Distance means nothing in the Information Age. Anyone who has ever visited a chat room knows that…. or so I’ve been told be people who have visited such places.
I spent much of the next hour on the floor under the desk plugging and unplugging cables. I took the side off the computer and checked connections on to the mother board. This made me feel quite tech-savvy but also made me wish I had smaller fingers. My new BFF, Ethan, logged in remotely and uninstalled and reinstalled all manner of software and drivers. In the end, it was determined that the fault was in the microphone jack on the front of the computer. Since this was a hardware problem and he was unable to fix it, Ethan refunded my $59.99. Sure enough, he was cheerful.
So what’s to be done? The good news is, since we identified the problem as the jack on the front I got HOD back In business by plugging the microphone in on the back of the computer. Somewhere around here I have an adapter into which I can plug the headset and then plug it into a USB port on the front as well. We also have a Bluetooth headset around here somewhere. Bottom line, even though the problem is not fixed. The work-around options are not too onerous.
As for repairs, Ethan told me it was not just a part that could be shipped, I had to send the computer to them. They would send me packing materials. Turn-around time for shipping both ways and repairs; 3-4 weeks. The cost; $299. That’s when I decided Ethan was not going to be my BFF because he was obviously on crack. I will check with a couple local repair sources to see if they can do it more inexpensively. Obviously anything local eliminates the shipping time as well. Absent a local solution, we, Christian martyrs that we are, may just live with it.
Speaking of hashtags…..