October 1

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

We all know that saying, do we. And guess what: it is RIGHT!

What you see here….

… is a photo of my computer monitor, taken with my phone.

What you see on the monitor is the starting page of Microsoft Excel 2016 (and excuse me for blurring all the names of my last saved documents).

Now it surely isn’t obvious right away why I’m posting a screenshot of an Excel page, so let me explain.

I have to start at a point that is several months in the past. I can’t say, how long ago exactly, but I guess it was sometime in Feb/March, if not earlier.

From one day to the other my Microsoft Office programs wouln’t work anymore. Whatever I wanted to open, I got an error message. I googled that message and all I learned in online groups was, that there were other people with the same problem. I’ve also learned that you have to deinstall the complete MS Office and reinstall it.

Now I don’t have these programs on CDs at home, but I use Office 365, which means, I’ve downloaded it from the Microsoft page, pay 100 Euro per year for the service, can install it on 5 other devices (I only use it on 1 other, but that’s okay), and always have the latest updates. But that Office 365 is – according to those who had to do it – tricky to uninstall. If you make one wrong click, you can mess up your computer. Or something.

At the beginning of the year I had to deal with different things, such as a Lee MacDougall tour, 4 weeks of bronchitis and huge stress at work. If there was one thing I didn’t have the time and nerve for, it was dealing with my own computer shit. I’m really not the greatest when it comes to dealing with the inner life of my harddrive and with software diva problems. It’s like with cars. I know how to drive them and put fuel into them, but otherwise I’m completely hopeless.

And so I procrastinated the problem. Or better… the solving of the problem. Which meant: I wasn’t able to use any of my Office programs. Which really sucks because I use them frequently. If I had to work on something, I did it at work. Which is not exactly allowed, but… yeah. Just make sure you don’t get caught, right?

The worst was: I couldn’t use my Outlook. It’s my email program of choice for many many years and I HATE if I’m not able to use it. While I have other email accounts, e.g. from Gmail or Yahoo, I don’t really like to use them for my regular emails. They are only used for signing up on websites, for newsletters etc. I hate to use those otherwise.

At least I could use the online version of Outlook… which isn’t as comfortable as the real deal, but at least I was able to read and write emails from my T-Online account there.

Time went by… I kept telling myself that I had to do something about the problem. I had no clue if it was a Microsoft/Software thing, or a Heidi’s-Computer-Problem-Thing.

Then came June 10 and in the three months that followed I had other problems than software that wasn’t working.

Just the other day I said to S: “well… I have to take care about that MS Office problem anytime SOON. I have to find out how to contact the customer service of Microsoft and let them tell me what I have to do to uninstall and reinstall”.

Then came this morning.

I don’t shut down my computer every day. Sometimes it runs for days…  I only switch off the monitor. One reason is, because it usually takes ages for the anti virus software to update when the computer was shut down for a day or more. And so I leave it on so that it can update itself with everything that needs to be updated.

When I switched on the monitor today, I saw the starting page of my Microsoft account. Which meant: the computer must have updated itself last night and had made a restart. That’s nothing new.

I logged in… but then a blue screen came up and I was told that new apps had been installed and that I should please wait until they had set up everything.

Okay… looked like they had sent a massive update of some kind. That’s also nothing new… but it really seemed to be somethng huge, because normally there’s no blue screen to tell me about new apps and whatnot and it doesn’t take several minutes to set up everything.

When it was finally done, I clicked the Windows start button to see if there was anything new. I went through all the program buttons and saw one of a little Advent calendar program I had installed last year. I don’t really know why I actually went looking there, but I did. And I thought: well, lets delete that program… Advent 2015 is definitely over.

I was taken to the page with all the software and I went through it to look for that Advent calendar thingy. And came across the entry for Microsoft Office 365. For some reason I looked at the date and saw that it was “installed Sept 30, 2016”. Huh?

That was strange. I stopped looking for the Advent calendar program but instead clicked the button to open Excel. Not that I had really expected anything to happen other than the usual error message, but then, to my VERY VERY BIG SURPRISE, Excel opened. Then I tried the same with Word, Power Point and of course Outlook. And there it was again: my Office!!

Now you may think: Jeeeeesus… ten thousand words just for stupid software that reappeared? Well, YES! Because it WAS a big deal for me that I still had in the back of my mind: you have to take care about the Office problem. You have to take care about the Office problem. And the procrastination because I HATE to take care about that stuff. About speaking with hotline people to solve computer problems etc. Hate. It.

But now, the problem has solved itself.

Believe me… I’m the happiest camper right now. Some big load was taken off of my shoulders.

Whatever the problem was… whatever they have done… thanks Microsoft 🙂

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