12 February 2016

Pulling What's Left of My Hair Out

Computers are wonderful things. They enable so much to be done automatically; they monitor and protect (sometimes); they offer us the world at our fingertips.

Or not. When they don't work, it can be ulcerating.

I've mentioned that my new PC at home was preventing the router from passing the bandwidth from the modem to said PC. It has taken over a week, but I think it's sussed. The internet security suite was blocking part of the router's program, and Windows firewall was blocking the other half. And yes, the Windows firewall was supposed to be deactivated by the security software.

On the other hand, Older Daughter just texted to say that the 'net speed is "funky" again this morning.
Of course, there's nothing I can do about it until after work, and can only hope that the router simply needs to be reset.


On a whole different level, the PC which acts as the user interface for the HVAC software in the fully-automated building that I manage ... sigh.

The HVAC control software uses a couple different subordinate programs to "see" thermostats, room temps, and fan speeds throughout the facility. When all works as programmed, I can control the entire building from my desk. Then three and a half months ago, the program which reports all those thermostat settings to the controller stopped communicating.

No worries. I called the installer, who has always fixed such glitches when they occur. No answer.

I sent e-mails to the two addresses I had for him. I left voicemails at his office. No response.

I finally found a new listing for his company, and those folks told me that he left Alaska some 20 months ago. Skeedaddled, he did, and absconded with all the software and manuals with him. The folks in the local office?

"Uh ... he was the only one who knew about that stuff. We're just electricians."

Okay, fine. Where'd he go?

"He moved to Denver to join a new company, but it went out of business a few weeks later. We don't know where he is, now."

I spent quite awhile trying to find out who might be able to help. A month ago, that finally happened. The new company sent reps to look things over. They made a proposal.

More investigations; more site visits. Software is the issue, they said. "There's a corrupt license file on the subordinate software, so the parent program ignores it."

"Can you fix it?"

"We don't know. Do you have the original installation disks?"

"Nope. The other guy took everything with him."

More investigations. More site visits. They finally came up with a plan to use a year-old image of the hard drive to build another hard drive. Two weeks later, they showed up to install it.

It didn't work.

Much fussing and cussing ensued. On their part, not mine, although I have to admit the provocation was sufficient to make it tempting.

Yesterday, they tried again, and it worked. I can see the whole building again! Huzzah!

Except ...

Except the antivirus/firewall protection is expired. I tried to update the e-mail address so I could update things, but no. No, it wants the original installer's address and password, to enable the address change.

So I deleted the old package, bought a new package out of pocket, and downloaded it. It's installed, and clearly it's working. How do I know? Because now I can't log in remotely, and have to go to the mechanical room to sign in and enable remote access.

I need a day off.


Cathy said...

i vote you get that day off!

Rev. Paul said...

Thanks, Cathy. I'm sorely tempted to take Monday as a personal day.

Curmudgeon said...

teamviewer is a great alternative to remote desktop. It will run from any O/S (I've got it running on Linux, OS/X and windoze)

Then you can even get to your work computers from home.

Rev. Paul said...

Thanks, Curmudgeon. I'll suggest it to the I.T. guy. :)

Gorges Smythe said...

I've been having trouble with BOTH of my computers lately. To quote a politician I don't like, "I feel your pain!"

Rev. Paul said...

GS, I'm sorry to hear that.