Saturday, June 30, 2007

Fog Creek and the German Man

Technology can be totally frustrating you know. :)

The other day I downloaded the optional update for my Second Life viewer here on Preciousss (the name I have given the Macbook ;)).

It did not go well.

Everytime I tried to log into the SL servers I crashed the viewer and it would freeze on my screen with that little coloured disc spinning merrily away for an age until I had to use the Force Quit option twice to get it to close.

To say I was stressed and unhappy about this was an understatement.

So in my annoyance I decided to move everything Second Life off my computer to the trash and start again. Empty Trash seemed like a good way to go to get the system clean. That's what I did. I emptied the trash.

I not only managed to get rid of the Second Life application but almost my entire HD as well.

SOMEHOW, all my applications had managed to wind up IN the TRASH and when I hit empty.... I was left with icons and not much else. Skype worked as did Office but nothing else worked.

I was distraught. I couldnt' figure out what to do so I called my Dad who kindly came around on Thursday evening and offered his limited help. I asked Dad because he has owned a Mac for nearly 5 years so I figured he might be a good choice. There wasn't much we could do expect reinstall the entire OS X system back onto Preciousss and hope for the best.

That worked. I had Safari and all my apps working again. Downloaded Skype successfully and again downloaded the Second Life viewer.

To no avail.

The SL viewer still refused to cooperate on Preciousss. It worked fine on the Windows machine over the other side of the room (it is now nicknamed Unimatrix One *grin* or Uni1 for short). But alas and alack... poor Preciousss languished with no real defined purpose in her life... I still haven't reinstalled Office for Mac on her yet or got around to getting the print option to work on the shared network but we'll get to that eventually.

I was really, really blue about it. I just couldn't shake the incredible desperation and feelings of total hopelessness in regard to my computer of all things!

Its' weird you know! I can be quite easily prosaic and pragmatic and such when it comes to the lives of People; I really am live-and-let-live when it comes to people. When it comes to my toys though, I just want them to WORK and when they don't... I get very depressed about them as if they were more important to me than the people they bring me closer to. I wonder why it is that I have this strange and rather distorted view of things?

So anyway.

Martin from Germany tried somewhat in vain, to get me to snap out of my stupid fatalistic thinking over poor Preciousss. It was killing me to think I would "never be able to play in Second Life on her again".

Yes! That is how low I can go! I am stressed over a GAME on a piece of technical hardware with no emotional capacity to love me back and yet I worry over it and fret, while all the while, I have a mother-in-law just down the road whom I adore and whom I may not see for a long, long time very soon. So weird!

We came up with a solution.

And now comes the rave part of this post. *grin*

Martin and I used the Fog Creek Copilot application to effectively give him control over Preciousss for 24 hours.

Yes! He lives in Germany and I live in Australia. Preciousss lives on a table near my front window in Australia. Martin works from his Cave over there.....waaaaayyyyyy over there! But amazing as it sounds...and it IS amazing! ...Yes! He played on Preciousss as if he were sitting in front of her and FIXED my problem!!! *grin*

.........well he is a nice bloke that way really! :) Rather enjoys rescuing damsels in distress I suppose! He is Drache afterall ;)

....but enough of raving about how clever Martin is (and he is clever make no mistake).... I really wanted to absolutely and categorically say that the tiny little thing we used from Fog Creek was simply amazing.

Yes... it was a little slow for Martin but it was Friday night here and cold out..... so internet traffic in Australia at that hour was bound to be pretty heavy. Not only that, we were doing this wirelessly so that makes it even more incredible at how successfully the copilot program worked! At least to me it does anyway.

It was rather like watching a Poltergeist take control of my cursor on the screen and start doing strange things of its own. Maybe it was a little like a mysterious ouiji board glass moving about seemingly without the assistance of any known hand! Even my husband commented on the strange feeling he had watching Martin scoot around Preciousss doing things to her I could never have begun to understand if he had tried to explain them to me in a text chat screen!

That's the beauty of a application like Copilot. Whilst it was HARD for Martin to do what he would have been doubly hard if he had tried to explain it to me in words. The programme made it sooo much easier for us to get my problem sorted.

Of course the first thing Martin said when he got connected to my computer was "myyyyy precioussssss" which made me laugh out loud for the first time in a number of days! :) It was very cute and funny and I appreciated it because well... you don't just hand over the full rights to your computer to just "anyone".... You have to totally trust the person who says they can help and yeah... Martin totally proved his trustworthiness to me helping me out with this stuff. :) I wouldn't recommend anyone using Copilot unless its with someone they trust implicitly to do the right thing. :)

I am feeling so much better now. :) My lovely Macbook is almost back to normal. Once I can print my documents etc on the wireless or shared network, it will be even more wonderful. :)

So now I'm back in Second Life when I'm not doing other things, zapping around the grid, window shopping to my hearts content again and/or watching Martin's avatar build things (one does need some patience for that though which I don't often possess but if I can put in my 2c its not that bad really to make things in SL from scratch). I won't be updating the viewer again until I absolutely have to but in the meantime its fine just the way it is.

Thankyou sooooo much Martin AND Fog Creek for making it possible. Bliss :) Off to actually do work on Uni1 now. :) Blogging is such a good excuse to slack off. :)


EM said...

Wow! The Web is SOOOOOOOO cool!

Michelle said...

absolutely huh? :)

It still blows me away you know. That its even possible to do stuff like this!

I'm not sure if any early 20th century Sci-fi could have predicted that this sort of thing would be possible!

Perhaps it did but I don't remember if I have ever read that someone could play and work on ones computer while they lived across the other side of the world from it. :)

One day I expect this will be "normal" stuff for our kids and grandkids. They'll just ASSUME that all software tech assistance for their computerised life will be able to be repaired remotely online. I expect it will probably be even simpler and faster than what Martin and I experienced using Copilot.

Brave New World indeed. :)

Alexys Fairfield said...

Hey Michelle,
I know EXACTLY what you mean. I know how frustrating it can be. I've been a Mac user for many years and even though some applications say that they are compatible with Mac -- they are not. There is still a chasm in both Windows and Mac working together seemlessly.

It could be worse, you could be waiting in line for the iPhone. (I heard it won't be in your part of the world until 2008/2009.) Anyway, I am so happy that Martin assisted you. When a computer works, everything is alright in the world. Technology is truly amazing.

Take care.

Michelle said...

Hi Alexys

yeah! I AM waiting on the iphone actually *sigh*

Thing is they are closing our CDMA network here at the end of the year so I might have to go for another brand of phone anyway as they switch to a mobile digital broadband network.

I guess I'll find a phone "almost" as cool as the iPhone. I guess too, that if I WAIT for the iPhone to arrive and for the hulabulloo to die down *wink*.... I will get one eventually at a good price on a stable platform.

I do wonder if I am seriously addicted to my computer technology though. I can do without a lot of things but I think I'd go spare without high-speed broadband internet *shudder* :)