Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Troubleshooting, anxiety and experience.

Technology suits people with a certain mindset. Many a time I hear defeatist language being used when someone shuts off, or has run out of patience when troubleshooting a technical problem together. It's peculiar. Anxious people also have similar unhelpful thoughts, perhaps a defeatist mentality; not weakness. People who can't solve computer problems aren't weak, they just think differently (about certain things). Likewise, I don't see myself as weak because I suffer with Anxiety, I'm just wired differently.

It's curious, because when it comes to resolving computer problems I am totally determined and tenacious.
"I will do this"
"What's wrong with this, I need to sort it"
"This is frustrating, but I'm absolutely not giving up"
"If that doesn't work and this doesn't work, then maybe this is the answer" is the type of language I use when I'm troubleshooting computer issues.

"I'll never be able to do this"
"I'ts hopeless, it's just not working"
"I don't know why I'm even trying" could all be used by someone suffering with social or other anxieties and likewise someone giving up trying to figure out a problem with say, a new router.

Yesterday for example, our broadband with BT ceased and we went live with Vodafone, what little I read of the literature (I'm not a cheat), suggested I needed to simply plug it in and let it connect.
So I did, as soon as BT went off. I hooked up the new Vodafone router and saw the red light come on. I assumed it would go green (like the BT router) when it connected, so I did my days work and came home 6 hours later.
vodafone router
Vodafone huawei router, the red light is always red.
Light is still red. Hmm, peculiar. I examined the router and found a green light reading 'internet' on the top, indicating, perhaps their is a connection. I picked up the phone, and sure enough, we had a dial tone.
'This should work' I presumed, so again, I made sure my mobile was connected to the internet and booted Facebook up. Nothing, no connection. So I hooked up a laptop. Navigated to the router control panel and was presented with a slider 'how safe do you want your connection to be?'.
Seriously, this was all I needed to do to get online. I hooked up the ethernet cables to the other devices and my 500Gb USB HDD and started linking all of the other devices up.

"It's gone off" daughter A shouted.
"It's rubbish" shouted daughter B.
"I need to watch the next step, seriously Dad"

It was my fault, the new broadband was pants. So the troubleshooting started. What had I done? Besides splitting the two broadband frequencies 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz, nothing. I unplugged some devices. Still, working for 5 minutes, and then off again and several minutes to reboot.

"Can you send it back Dad?"
"Can we go back to BT?" they protested.

'Should I factory reset?' No, it's virtually fresh out of the box.
Should I disconnect everything? Hundreds of questions to how I could overcome this problem. Did I believe we had a faulty router? No, I didn't, I thought surely Vodafone would be better than this. The answer had to be in the house. I disconnected the powerline adaptors (Time capsule upstairs was flashing orange to suggest it wasn't connected properly) but still the frequent reboots persisted. Logging into the control panel was equally as time consuming, as the damn thing kept dropping off. Then it struck me, several years ago, with another Huawei router, it'd done exactly the same thing when the external HDD was connected.

I unhooked it and waited. Everything slowly reconnected from the last reboot. I cautiously checked the router menus, ran a speed test and hooked up the last few devices.

That was it, the external HDD was to blame. Experience knowledge and tenacity had solved the problem; perseverance and logic. It's possibly something to do with the way it's formatted, but that's another problem for another day. And the time capsule needs connecting too, but they're jobs for another day. For now at least, my eldest daughter could watch the next step and I'd avoided an hour or more on the phone to Vodafone.

Again, there's probably a lesson here to do with personal resilience, strength and acquiring new skills. But, as before, I'd need someone more intelligent to tell me what that lesson might be! I guess I would benefit to applying the same mindset to my life, "I can do this", "it should be ok"!

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