SwampMan was complaining loudly to himself. “This button USED to work, but NOOOOOOO. It doesn’t work now. It hasn’t worked for a long time through different computers, and I’d like to know why the hell not!” STABSTABSTABSTABSTAB at the button because physical abuse always makes electronic things work.
“Did you look it up online?” I asked, rudely interrupting his soliloquy cuss session.
“No. What good would that do? It has been a long time since that thing worked.”
“So I heard. Is it your new keyboard?”
“No, damnit. The button hasn’t worked for YEARS. This is a new keyboard.”
“So, what version of Windows you got?”
Ah, yes. He’d ordered a refurbished computer for his shop because he wanted to keep XP; his house computer also has XP. It makes moving things back and forth easier. I’d been typing into the search engine while we were speaking and had the answer in about ten seconds. “Well, there’s your problem right here. That button doesn’t work directly with XP.”
SwampMan muttered something that sounded suspiciously like “bullshit”.
“Humor me. Hit the button, then press start, then all programs, then accessories….”
He stabbed the keys with unnecessary vigor following my directions, then there was a muttered “Well I’ll be a (very rude and offensive expletive)!”
Ah, apparently we were successful in our endeavor.
“Isn’t it interesting”, I continued, “what we find out if we actually look it up?”
More muttered rude words. Not to worry, though. Tomorrow he’ll probably be saying something like “Isn’t it INTERESTING how much money we can save if we do not hit things with a hammer when they malfunction?” to me, unless he recalls in time that his knees have been malfunctioning for years.
Ah, well. He may still be a little aggravated at me from earlier today. He was worrying aloud about the CNC not working with the new (refurbished) computer, mentioned how he had checked settings several times, and was just about to start checking all his connections to make sure he had power to all of them.
“Oh!” I remarked helpfully, although he had not asked for any. “Did you check to see if you have enough RAM?”
He actually rolled his eyes at me. “What, do you think I’m stupid? Of COURSE!”
“Did you reconnect everything to see if it worked with the old computer again after you got everything disconnected and reconnected to the new computer and it didn’t work?” I’m definitely not a repairman, and I am lazy, so I like to make sure that what I’m putting forth a lot of effort and brainwork into is actually the problem.
He blinked. “Well, no….”
“It’s just me, but I’d like to make sure that the computer or a cable isn’t the problem first before I go tearing things down.” SwampMan likes to tear things down. Well, so do I, but all that is left are teensy little molecule-sized pieces when I do it. He actually takes things apart and puts them back together in working condition, and I just gaze at him adoringly because he’s my hero.
“I never even thought of THAT because everything is supposed to be new. Good idea!”
It turned out that it was a dead parallel port in the refurbished computer. SwampMan throws NOTHING away because he may need it someday. He’s got eight or so old computers sitting around to strip parts out of. He’s very happy that he gets to tear down things after all.