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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Chuffed, I Felt, Really Chuffed!

One of the problems with getting older is that many people treat me as if I'm past being able to keep up with the modern world. So when the opportunity to show what I know and get it right comes along it's a great feeling of still being part of the world as we know it!

Like many of my contemporaries, I am very interested in the offerings of the Internet and the possibilities it offers for our lives -- socially and practically. I am a keen holder of a smart phone and a tablet, as well as a laptop computer. My bank accounts are accessible online, I do a lot of shopping as well, and also belong to facebook, which I quite like, and twitter, which doesn't 'float my boat!

My affiliation with the Internet didn't start until we returned from our 5 year hiatus living near Munich. That is where I first heard about 'e-mailing' and learned how to use 'Word for Windows'! I even managed to save 2,000 Deutschmarks to use for buying a new computer when we returned to England. When I think back to that first computer, which we had made to order, and how expensive it was it's amazing to consider how things have changed since 1996! For example, when considering how much space there would be on our hard drive, we were assured that 2 Gigabytes was more than we would ever ever need!!!

In 2000 I had my own business as a 'virtual assistant'. The business was not a tremendous success, but I did learn a lot about software, and email accounts and so on. I even built my own website. My website building skills are now way out of date, but I did learn how to write html code and that still comes in handy from time to time. Often when using blogger! It also means that I have over the years learned how to work with techies when I need to call places like Internet Servers.

My rather long-winded point is that it was a great joy to me to be able last week to solve an e-mail problem being suffered by a friend of mine -- to the point that she was about ready to quite her job! I had been telling her for weeks that I thought I could fix the problem. It entailed enabling Gmail to be downloaded into her Microsoft Outlook program.

It was one of those problems that until I actually looked at her computer I didn't know from her description for certain what was going on. All I knew was was that this person and that person had not been able to fix things the way she wanted them fixed. For example, when I asked her whether she had Outlook as her email program she looked at me blankly, like I was speaking Greek. Anyway, arrangements were made and we got together and I looked at her computer. Sure enough she wanted Gmail downloaded into Outlook. This is quite straightforward -- all things being equal.

But all things were not equal. First, I needed her username and password for Gmail. I got a blank look in return for that question. But after a brief pause she reached forward and took down a note and there it was: "Password for Gmail". But to no avail. Nothing -- nada. Finally, a few discouraging hours later I went home. Feeling like a dunce, I might add. Once back home I checked my settings and thought I saw my mistake. I texted my friend that I wanted to try again. I think she was really feeling desperate because she texted back to say she could pick me up at noon the next day!

So back I went. I tried again, using the exact same settings in her Gmail and Outlook that I had on my computer.  I asked her if she was sure about her password. She was. I then had an idea! I would see if I could set up her Gmail account on my phone -- she has the same phone as I. She plugged in her details. I clicked on 'done' and the response was 'wrong username or password'!!!

"The password is not right." I declared calmly.

She looked again among her notes and found another little piece of paper with the magic words: Gmail password! I plugged the new information in the Outlook wizard and Bingo, 330 emails from Gmail were downloaded to her Outlook Inbox! Seconds that took! Not only that, but the emails are still accessible from her husband's phone and her phone, too.

The next day I received an email from her husband. " Thank you, Broad! You saved me from putting an axe through the computer -- or my wife's head!"

And last night I even fixed an error in my tablet's outgoing email settings...

49 comments:

  1. Right!!!! when can you get here to fix my Blogger templates ? :D
    I am envious of your technical skills. I have been using email and computers for ages and ages but have never become technically adept. My mind just doesn't seem to work that way, or something. Still, I keep trying.

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    1. Blogger templates are quite challenging. It always seems that whatever you are trying to do is found lurking in small print! It gets tricky whenever you want to 'tweak' something more to your liking. That's when a bit of html knowledge helps...

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  2. My computer geek gets all the chuff for my computer, and I bought my very first one in the 1980's. On time. I'm sure it was about two thousand dollars, or a fourth the cost of a small car.

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    1. For sure they were very expensive in the beginning. And they became outdated so quickly, which was a real bummer! But 1980, my you were ahead of your time!

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  3. Never mind what our John says. I, for one am much impressed. Sounds like there could be a job pending - teaching old futherers the likes of me IT skills in common sense language we can understand.

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    1. I wouldn't mind doing something as a volunteer!

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  4. Why can't my computer connect with our home router anymore but it can connect with my neighbors router that has no password required while my old computer can access the home router but can not access anyother?

    I am chuffed too, but that is because I used to think chuffed meant pissed!

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    1. Well, I can but make a few suggestions! I have Windows 7 so the following configurations are those. If you have a version of Windows there should be something similar you can find...

      Go to your 'Control Panel' -- found by clicking on the 'Start Button'.
      Click on the Heading 'Network and Internet' -- in the column of the left hand side click on "Change adapter settings".

      The name of your wireless router should be there. Click on it. A box should pop up. Click on the button which says "wireless properties". Make sure the box is checked that says "Connect automatically when this network is in range" Uncheck other boxes if they are checked. If that doesn't work put everything back the way it was.

      Compare these settings between your old and new computer. Otherwise, I have no suggestions except to call a techie with your Internet service provider!

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  5. I learned HTML in the early years of web development and even built a few websites from scratch before all that became outmoded. I use my skill to tweak Blogspot almost every time I post. Kudos to you for fixing that problem! I have so many passwords now that I forget them and have to ask for them again. (sigh)

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    1. HTML, back in the day, was fun, if slightly tedious. Nevertheless, it was amazing to write a little bit of code and see it on a website! Now it's all expensive programs that are far too complicated for me. What is surprising is how many website designers know nothing about the codes that make their websites work. As for passwords, I do what everyone is told not to do and have only a few that I recycle.

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  6. You may be a Broad, but when it comes to computers you're Da Man!

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  7. Not only a Broad, but a Geek, too. You are making history! Very well done!

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

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    1. Sounds like the name of a sitcom: The Geeky Broad! :-) Thanks Rob-bear...

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  8. My husband does our computer stuff. Probably would not have one if he didn't!

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    1. My husband is useless with computer stuff! When I try to explain anything to him his eyes glaze over ...

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  9. Oh well done you! I never aspired to the dizzy heights of HTML but I do remember how chuffed I was when in ye olden days I fixed our jumper cables which were wrongly connected [in the days of dial-up modems]
    Our 1st was an Apple Mac Classic with 40 MB bought in '91 or '92 :-)

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    1. Dial-up modems! Those were the days. And the lucky ones had two phone lines so you could dedicate one just for the Internet!! A lot had changed between the time you got your first computer with Internet connection and 1996 when we got ours. Jumper cables for the modem are before my time!!!

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  10. Bravo!

    We go back a long way with computers, starting with a Sinclair ZX81 before moving on to a BBC computer. I fact we probably still have these in the loft somewhere!

    I am a prolific user of computers both at home and at work (school) but am not in the slightest bit interested in how they work. I just expect that they will!! Tim is my resident IT expert so normally makes sure that they do.

    However you look like a very good friend to have.... and not just for your prowess with email settings! ;o)

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    1. My interest in the internal workings of a computer are almost non-existent. I am more interested in the Internet and how it works and problems that come up connecting to it. It took me ages to understand how computers connect to servers to collect mail that are on the servers. I'll never forget the thrill my son had when he got an early Amstrad for Christmas -- and the despair when it almost immediately went wrong and we had to return it...

      Thank you for the very kind words ...

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  11. Now, that's the kind of friend we all need around the corner!
    I tend to learn something when I get stuck, and when no amount of fiddling gets me what I need. I then ask my husband for help, and hold my tongue since he's not a gracious teacher as you are.

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    1. I'd love to help you anytime, Rosaria!

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  12. YAY you!!! Never believe we are over the hill. I too am proud of all I've learned technically from internet over the years. Who would have thought!!!
    We'll continue to learn until the day we are finished. Cheers! Barb

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    1. It's the greatest feeling when you realize you can still learn something new! I hope I'll continue to learn until the day I'm finished -- makes it worth getting up in the morning!

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  13. Gosh, html! Respect, Broad - I would have been as much use as a chocolate teapot to your friend. I haven't a clue about all that. DH is my computer guru, though the ins and outs of Blogger are my speciality.

    Our first computer, bought at the end of the 1970s was one of the first Commodore PET machines to be imported into the UK, complete with integral cassette data storage and a massive 8KB of RAM. It wasn't until the mid-90s that we went online with a Gateway machine with a dial-up modem. How times have changed.....

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    1. It's hard to believe how much things have changed since those days. I must say I do look to you for the ins and outs of blogger -- trickier than html, I can tell you!

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  14. I am in awe!
    I find computers are like cars...they go or they don't and I leave it at that normally unless something is really messing up how I work.

    I bought an Amstrad - I think - a sort of word processor really, and the secretaries bought me flowers in gratitude at not having to read my handwriting any more...

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    1. I remember word processors! The Olden Days! I remember them well!

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  15. Between 2000 and 2005, I worked with computer software at UCLA, testing programs and writing manuals. Since I moved to the canyon, I find myself having zero interest in learning more. I just have my desktop, if something goes wrong I usually know what to do. I have no smart phone, or tablet.or laptop. I love that my time on the computer is limited to desk top time only. Social networking does not interest me. I am on FB, but haven't gone there since my birthday in June 2012. But of course, I love my blog and my blogger friends.

    That said, I think it's great that you are keeping up on things, learning, figuring it all out and being able to help your friends. That's so great and goes to show people are just different.

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    1. You are absolutely in another league and I can understand why you have 'retired' from the ins and outs of computers! Still, I'm awfully glad you've come to blogging -- it wouldn't be the same without you!

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  16. Mrs. Know-it-all, you couldn’t put me right about my outgoing emails on my Iphone, couldn’t you?

    And can I update my imac Snow Leopard to the latest system or is it too old?
    Don’t worry about it, there is always the second rank of back-up via those nice people of Apple. Not a patch on your skills, but we can’t all be geniuses!

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    1. As far as Apple goes, I'm useless. Give me a PC and android every time!

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  17. G'day Broad. Well done. Wish you lived close to me. Take care. Liz...

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  18. Can you please tell me why my computer will out of nowhere start running too fast, overheat, and die? Just kidding. It's 7 years old and I am simply happy that it continues to work most of the time. My first computer was an XT and then an AT or was it vice versa. Being the anti-social person I tend to be, computers have always served a higher purpose in my life.

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    1. Obviously, your computer has a mind all its own!

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  19. YES!! It is amazing when we broads of a certain age can fix these techie issues. It may not come as easy but as my 32 year old son often tells me "Its like you didn't get legs until you were 40 and you're mad cause you can't run as fast as kids born with them!" Keep up the hard work you geek you

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    1. Well said, Donna! We may be slow, but we usually get it right in the end ... and if we don't, we know who to ask!

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  20. Good luck to you.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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  21. Dear Broad, I so understand your glee when you can put on your technical cap and solve a problem on the computer. I feel the same way. I got my first computer--an Apple--back in July 1984. That's when I resigned from my job at a publishing house and became a freelancer. Since then I've had several computers--all either Apples or Macs. But always I've needed a friend--Dan or Dave or Jerri--to help me with problems. Recently, however, I was able to solve a computer problem on my own and I did a dance in the living room in pure delight that the old brain cells are still active and working! I hope you treated yourself to something special after all that work and your figuring out what to do and how. You genius you!!!!! Peace.

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    1. I love to imagine you gleefully dancing around the room! I tend to go around with the silliest, self-satisfied grin on my face!

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  22. Computers are actually not a problem until they go wrong :-)))) Not knowing your password though is a major problem ha ha. I would love a smart phone and a tablet but I have a husband who thinks they are a waste of time !
    Well done. Take care Diane

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    1. I have to say, Diane, that I was quite taken aback when I discovered the password was the problem! I hope you managed to get that tablet and smart phone one day...

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  23. It's rather cool knowing a bit more about computers than your contemporaries. I've searched on-line for friends from my youth, but I'm about the only one who has any on-line presence at all.

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    1. I don't have any of my contemporaries with an online presence either! I am pleased, however, that my youngest son and his girlfriend have just started an online business together -- about women in extreme sports!

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Receiving comments is a joy and I thank you all for taking the trouble and showing your interest. Makes me feel all gooey and stuff!