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Old 04-16-2014, 06:06 PM   #61
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Old 04-20-2014, 11:07 AM   #62
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Excellent! Local is way better anyway.
Very happy to see that he is on his way toward a better solution than bugging the $#!t out of you.
Thanks. And here's what has happened since then: My friend had to postpone the guy's visit until Friday. When he came over, he thought he had fixed the problem only for my friend to realize the problem remained. The guy took my friend's PC home with him Saturday to work on it some more. I don't know if the guy is just trying to pad the bill or is this done at no charge. Either way, I am glad it is someone else's problem instead of mine, the whole point.
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Old 04-21-2014, 03:33 PM   #63
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Thanks. And here's what has happened since then: My friend had to postpone the guy's visit until Friday. When he came over, he thought he had fixed the problem only for my friend to realize the problem remained. The guy took my friend's PC home with him Saturday to work on it some more. I don't know if the guy is just trying to pad the bill or is this done at no charge. Either way, I am glad it is someone else's problem instead of mine, the whole point.
If I was to guess, the guy probably took your friend's PC home to work on it and not to pad the bill.

A few years ago I was helping a SIL with her pc that kept on shutting off after after on for a while or intensive CPU usage. A lot easier to figure what's going on sitting on my own chair that at another person's place and all the distractions.

But like you said, it's someone else's problem now. Your friend's PC is no longer on your watch
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Old 05-20-2014, 08:17 AM   #64
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Update on my snakebit friend:

The techie guy returned his comp and it was working fine......until his speakers began cutting out from time to time. I asked him to do the easy things such as checking to make sure the cables had been reconnected properly after the tech guy returned his PC. They still weren't working so I disconnected mine and brought them over on my next visit to act as a test. I was already guessing that this was going to be something stupid and I was not disappointed. It turned out that the electrical cord which has that bulky cube thing where it plugs into the surge protector had slipped partly out just enough to shut off the power. It was not easy to see from some angles as it was behind the leg of his desk. But he could have seen it just as I did, and I did suggest he check to make sure everything was plugged in properly. I pushed the plug all the way in and all was fine. Took me about one minute to look around and find this problem. This is the kind of helpless crap of his I have to put up with LOL!

His latest problem is with his smoke-CO detectors. They have been going off in the middle of the night, waking him up. With his partial physical disability, it is not easy and somewhat dangerous for him to stand on a small step ladder and try to detach the device from the ceiling. Even when I was there it was not easy for me but I got it down and he was able to, with some effort, to open it up so we could get the batteries out. He was using some old, cheapo ones from CVS with a "use before 2009" date on it, so I was already leaning toward those being too weak to provide power. I have a battery tester at home so I took them and other batteries with me. The CVS ones came up too weak while the newer Duracell's were okay. Meanwhile, another smoke/CO detector started doing the same thing a few days later last week, waking him up again. That one was not mounted on the ceiling but above a doorway so it was easier for him to detach. He can bring it to my place later this week and I can test the batteries. He will have enough newer ones we can replace the old ones with.

More of these weird-ass things happening to him......what will be next?
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Old 05-20-2014, 08:23 AM   #65
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Scrabbler, you are a good friend and are making your friend's life better way beyond fixing things.
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Old 05-20-2014, 08:53 AM   #66
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He can bring it to my place later this week and I can test the batteries. He will have enough newer ones we can replace the old ones with.
Having previously demonstrated that this smoke/CO detector behaves exactly this way when the batteries are old or failing, why is he even bothering to check them? Put new fresh batteries in. Takes less than a minute. If the problem goes away, then that was probably the issue. It's going to take a lot longer than a minute to take the thing down, make a trip to your place for battery testing, then make the trip back home to put the new batteries in. Either your friend is very entrenched in this learned helpless behavior, or really just wants to see you and social interaction is the real goal here. Sounds like a delicate situation.
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Old 05-20-2014, 08:58 AM   #67
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I just routinely change batteries every autumn at daylight savings time changeover. Smoke detectors, garage door openers, night lights, any kind of battery backup devices.

I never check to see it they are still good; it's just easier to avoid the nuisance. Being woken up once in the middle of the night by a chirping smoke detector was enough.
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:18 AM   #68
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Having previously demonstrated that this smoke/CO detector behaves exactly this way when the batteries are old or failing, why is he even bothering to check them? Put new fresh batteries in. Takes less than a minute. If the problem goes away, then that was probably the issue. It's going to take a lot longer than a minute to take the thing down, make a trip to your place for battery testing, then make the trip back home to put the new batteries in. Either your friend is very entrenched in this learned helpless behavior, or really just wants to see you and social interaction is the real goal here. Sounds like a delicate situation.
It was not as easy as you or I thought it was going to be. Unlike smoke/CO detectors I have seen over the years (including mine), I could not get the lid off while it was still attached to its housing on the ceiling. So I had to take the whole thing down. Then, I was unable to undo the lid. It was as if it was locked on so I could not get to the battery area even though I could see part of it. After 5-10 minutes of each of us trying, he finally got the lid off so I could get the 3 AA batteries out. (More snakebit stuff from him!) He had a combination of the older, CVS batteries and newer, Duracell ones in there.

We get together nearly every week for our frequent Scrabble games, alternating between his place and mine, so there is no wasted travel for the detectors. Because he now has both detectors down, he can simply bring them with him, along with enough fresh batteries for both like the newer Duracells he already has and the ones he gave me to test, so I can test them and put them into the detectors. He may be able to install the second one back onto the wall himself. If he can't, he will have to get someone else (a neighbor, perhaps) to put them back up or wait for me to visit his place next week for our regular get-together.
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Old 05-20-2014, 09:50 AM   #69
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I just routinely change batteries every autumn at daylight savings time changeover. Smoke detectors, garage door openers, night lights, any kind of battery backup devices.



I never check to see it they are still good; it's just easier to avoid the nuisance. Being woken up once in the middle of the night by a chirping smoke detector was enough.

I had that happen to me in St. John a few months back. Nothing like having a $300 a night room chirping at you at 2 a.m. High ceilings, had to rig a chair on top of a table to pull it down. I probably shouldn't have done this but I pulled the batteries at my house. They were always causing problems for some reason. Every room has a window and I can land on my head and walk away so I am not too concerned.


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Old 05-20-2014, 11:09 AM   #70
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scrabbler1 - You're a much more patient person than me, so I applaud you for that.

I have a very hard time around needy/clingy/cant-figure-things-out-themselves kind of people, so doubt any friendship with such a person would survive. A couple weeks ago, one of my workmates came by to see if I'd be interested in heading up a training class for a new product feature, and I told them no. I'm not a teacher/trainer kind of person. I tried that once before and discovered that if I have to go over something more than about twice with somebody, or a group of people, I get very short with them. Not a good trait for a teacher.

If somebody can't "get something" reasonably quickly, nor start to handle their own problems, I get very irritated around them.

It's just not a trait I have, so I applaud those people who do. You're a very good friend to this guy.
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Old 05-22-2014, 02:12 PM   #71
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Egads, I learned today that snake bites are contagious LOL!

A few days ago I got a call from a friend of my snake-bit friend. He is also having problems with his PC's speaker. Unlike my own snake-bit friend, I barely know this guy. I have met him a few times over the years, almost always at events with our mutual (snake-bit) friend. But I don't hang out with this guy.

Anyway, I tell him the same things I told my actual snake-bit friend - check the cables, the power cord, the connection to the PC's tower. He tells me the speaker's power light is on but has no sound for more than a week since someone was at his (his mom's, actually, he is 53 and lives with his parents) house and did some stuff to the PC to make it work better (which it did, except for this). I am suspecting the connection to the PC's tower because that was the only thing we could not eliminate. He checked to see if the volume controls on both the speaker itself and on the screen were okay (i.e. not muted) but was unable or unwilling to slide the tower out from its open-back cabinet or get down on the floor and look behind the PC and try to untangle some of the cables and wires back there and check the connection. He, unlike my friend, does not have any physical disability which would impair him from doing this.

Anyway, I pack up my speakers and drive to his house which is not very far from where I live (about 10 minutes). I quickly untangle the wires to isolate the one which goes to the PC's tower. I then see that cable is not even plugged into the PC's tower! It is too dark back there to match up the color coding (green) so I get back up and carefully slide out the tower and plug the end of the speaker's cable into the green port in the tower. I then go to a website which has videos (CNN) and the sound works just fine! Took me a whole 5 minutes.

This was basically the same repair I made to my snake-bit friend's PC last week except it was the electrical cord which had become partially unplugged. This stuff really ain't rocket science.

But that's not the end of this story. Snake-bit friend's friend takes me out to lunch (pizza) for my effort. His car looks like a pig sty so we went in my car. He then wanted me to take him to a dry cleaners a short distance from the pizza place so he could pick up some shirts and pants (he's a lawyer). I pull into the parking lot and he goes inside. What should take about one minute to pick up dry cleaned clothes took nearly 10 minutes and he did not even get his clothes. Turned out the dry cleaners screwed up order and mismatched the clothes with his dry cleaner ticket. Someone else's clothes are matched with his ticket.

So he gets back into my car and I take him home and then return home, the whole time thinking to myself, "Looks like snake bites are contagious - this guy is snake-bit too! Can't wait to tell the folks on ER.org about it!"
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Old 05-22-2014, 02:38 PM   #72
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he's a lawyer
Now we know who graduated at the bottom of his law school class.
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Old 05-22-2014, 02:46 PM   #73
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...

But that's not the end of this story. Snake-bit friend's friend takes me out to lunch (pizza) for my effort. ...
With everything else, I was expecting the next line to be 'then he tells me he forgot his wallet...'

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Old 05-22-2014, 02:54 PM   #74
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This is a disaster.

When I lived in Boston, people would look at you when you got in these predicaments and say, "What? Are you soft?".
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:34 AM   #75
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Funny stuff! When my snake-bit friend came over Thursday night for his usual scrabble beating, I told him it was a bad idea to tell his snake-bit friend to call me. I did not want to become his personal tech services guy He siaid he would tell him the next time he spoke to him, which as of last Friday nght had not happened. Snake-bit friend's friend called me Friday night (I was out, thankfully) to tell me he got his dry cleaning straightened out. Oh boy, I was all tense with anxiety waiting to get an update on that LOL!

Yes, my friend told me he did graduate near the bottom of his law-school class LOL!

He did not, however, come close to leaving his wallet at home (would have made for a hilarious part of the tale). It had his dry cleaning receipt in it and I saw him check his wallet for it before we left. Where do I find these people?
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:38 AM   #76
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.......... Where do I find these people?
Looks like they are finding you.

Time to change your phone number/eBay I.D./Facebook settings/etc....?
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:49 AM   #77
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Looks like they are finding you.

Time to change your phone number/eBay I.D./Facebook settings/etc....?
And....just a reminder, "No" is a complete sentence.

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Old 05-25-2014, 11:55 AM   #78
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This is a sitcom writer's dream. I can't wait to gear what happens when snakebit's friend refers you to someone else!
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Old 05-25-2014, 12:01 PM   #79
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How about
"You know, people keep telling me I'm good at this, so I've decided to start a small, part-time "fix-it" business. But I'm afraid if I charge too little I'll be swamped with requests. And if I charge too much, people will think I'm taking advantage of them. So I'm going to settle on a simple $50 an hour (or fraction thereof). Sound right to you?"
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Old 05-30-2014, 06:48 AM   #80
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Some more updates on my snake-bit friend and his friend.

SB friend told his SB friend not to call me with any more PC problems. SB friend's friend responded to him that did not understand why I felt that way because he thought he had compensated me adequately (pizza lunch). I told SB friend that it wasn't compensation but the fact I did not want to be a go-to person for his (SB friend's friend) dumbass PC problems and make more housecalls for things which he could have discovered on his own. SB friend's friend said he sorta understood.

Last night I was at SB friend's place and guess what? His TV wasn't working. All he had was static and he wanted me to look at it. The first thing I saw was his cable TV descrambler box was off. No power light and no digital display of the time which what appears by default. I push its power button and nothing happens. What could that possibly mean? DUH, the descrambler box is not plugged in! But I did not have to start moving the dresser away from the wall to see back there. Instead, the power cord had become unplugged from the descrambler box itself and was laying on the dresser in plain sight about 2 inches away from the box! I yelled to SB friend and pointed to it and the lack of any digital display on the box. He gave me a DUH and I plugged it in and after the box rebooted all was fine. I told him he was turning into another [SB friend's friend name]. He told me at least I did not have to make any special visits (which was not the point, it was his increasing ineptitude on anything remotely mechanical). Unreal LOL!
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