Tilde… F8… 5 and 6 and – and, and, and, Del and Home and Ctrl (!!!!)

It started with the 6 key. 6 is the last character in my Windows password. Or at least it was this morning. Not any more.

I got to work (dum dee dum dee), faarrrred up my laptop (dum dee dum dee), and carefully but nonchalantly entered my finger-breaking “secure” password (dum dee dum dee). The one I made up with upper and lower case letters, numbers, and a special symbol. Bzzzzzztttt… “Invalid password”. Okay. That happens sometimes. Did I have the caps lock on? No I did not. I entered it again. V-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y and c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y this time. “Na na na na naaaa naaaa. You are lo-ocked ou-out.” Oh joy. I get to open up the password app on my phone, look up the support phone number, refresh my memory about what my favorite city is (pick one) in case they ask me that question, and steel myself for dealing with the antiquated office phone that I never use (what do I have to dial to get an outside line?) and, dun dun dun, a support person. (In truth, our internal support folks are all really nice and helpful. But I am a geek and I have social anxieties up the wazoo. Don’tcha know…).

After some complex machinations, my hero managed to assign me a new password and I was good to go. Until I tried to change that password to something, you know, more secure than the temporary password he assigned me. I picked a totally different password but it also included a 6 aaaannnd… Tickety tickety, the wheels are starting to turn and… Hmmm, the 6 key does not seem to be working. Now THAT could explain some things. I very carefully picked a [not very secure] password without a 6 and finally I was good to go.

Except when I tried to use the DEL key to delete some email messages, it didn’t work… Hmmmm…. I started exploring. Turns out that a random collection of keys were dysfunctional, including THE LEFT HAND SIDE CTRL KEY! Do you have any idea how often I use that key? Ctrl-C ctrl-V. Ctrl-A Ctrl-C Ctrl-N Ctrl-A Ctrl-V. Ad infinitum ad nauseam.

Then I lost some other keys. The H key (6 may not be in my changed password but H is). And the G. And the ‘.

I opened up a ticket. I instant messaged with an[other] internal support person. He indicated that the quickest way to get my keyboard fixed / replaced was to call the manufacturer and they would “send someone out”. Sooooo. Yeee heee heee. Second phone call of the day. By this time, I could remember how to get an outside line. A half hour later, my guy decided to ship me a new keyboard. Which… I would have to install… Um… I do not take laptops apart… Visiting corporate dignitaries who overheard me talking about this expressed rather extreme surprise that our company would really expect a lowly systems analyst (or anyone) to replace their own keyboard.

Somewhere in the midst of all this, a co-worker dredged up a USB keyboard. It worked and I continued to do my job using my laptop keyboard for what I *could* use it for, switching to the USB when I needed to. It worked for me. Then all of a sudden, I happened to hit the hyphen character (which hadn’t been working) on my laptop aaannndd.. It worked! Then I got back the 5 and the 6… And the HOME and the tilde. But the G and the H and the left side ctrl (!!!) and some others. Still gone…

Throughout all of this, I was thinking it was acting like it got wet. Sorta. Except I could not remember spilling anything on it. Ever. But I was probably wrong. I took my laptop up to the yooperland so I could work a couple of days last week. I have this extremely bulky case for it that I inherited from someone else back when I first got my job. I knew we wouldn’t have a lot of room in the Frog Hopper, so I transferred my laptop to a canvas Lake Superior Magazine bag. What could go wrong?

Well. I travel with some refrigerated grocery bags so I can schlep perishable food home from the cabin. I had put a baggie of ice in one of those bags. The food was fine when I got home and the ice had only just begun to melt. Alas, apparently when there is actually WATER in the bag (I didn’t double-bag the ice — why didn’t I double-bag the ice?), it can leak out of the bag. And it turned out that that bag was packed above the canvas bag containing my laptop. (I didn’t pack the Frog Hopper and I am not complaining about the person who did because who knew?)

I am hoping that my laptop truly just got wet although I will be as embarrassed as all getout if that’s the case. After wasting a whole bunch of people’s time today including my own time… Kee-reist!

Of course in the midst of all this, I was sitting there on hold with a temporarily dysfunctional laptop and I looked over at my iPhone… And there is a CRACK! It’s a small crack but it is annoying me to no end. Did I drop it? Yes. I dropped on the rug in the moomincabin bathroom a few days ago. There was definitely no crack then.

So, not a very good day. I hate to tempt fate but I sure hope tomorrow is a little better. Knocking on wood big time!

2 Responses to “Tilde… F8… 5 and 6 and – and, and, and, Del and Home and Ctrl (!!!!)”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Tech–UGH! We can’t live without it, but it can be a royal PITA. Any kind of moisture is the very devil to electronics. That’s why I’ll never give up books for my tablet. A rainy appt–I’ll grab a book. Dry weather, I’ll bring the tablet!

  2. Sam Says:

    I love your stories! My dysfunctional object of the day is a recalcitrant toilet flapper—that doesn’t look like the flappers of old. Anyway, the manufacturer’s check-list (yes, pasted inside the tank lid) suggested that the sealing surface may be, um, dirty (or something), and that could be keeping it from flapping closed properly. Yes, the Guru reports, that does seem to be the case. However, we will look for a replacement part, because the sealing gasket also does seem to be…decomposing. Yea for strange fixes!