Thursday, March 06, 2008

Technical Label Lunacy

There are tons of different types of labels. There are record labels (my line of research leaves me iffy about some of them.) There are clothing labels (which I find myself seeking out more often for country of production.) There are food labels (that tell me there are too many carbs in my favorite things.) There are even stereotypical labels (that I will not generalize here.) But most often the labels we look for most are the ones that actually name a product.

I'd like to focus on that last one for a moment. You see, my older but very useful second computer did something screwy. It was trying to do an iTunes update that failed because it couldn't find a specific file. I then decided to check if there were any other updates Windows XP should have for hardware. During the install of those (which included a wireless card update), I figured that I'd get ready for my next project and inserted my USB thumbdrive. Dumb idea. It'd been way too long since I've seen a crash here at the house. Anyhow, upon needing to reboot Windows XP said that so many changes have been made to my system over time that I needed to re-activate it within 3 days. Whaaa..? Think about it. How many changes have been made on your computer since you first bought it? It keeps track of these things? Well, of course this is their way to avoid piracy of the operating system and to urge those who have a 'less than legal' copy to purchase an 'upgrade.'

To do this, I was urged to connect to the Internet for activation. But it couldn't. It seems the driver to the card was now AWOL. I thought about this for a moment. I was going to need to search for the driver (could have the disc but I stored a lot of things to make the house look more presentable...which could have included the registration key for XP.) That when I started freaking out. (Which includes me pacing alot and saying, "Oh, shit. Oh, shit!", very fast.) Had to leave for work though. Came back to the project 8 hours calmer...8 hours more tired later. I removed the case and pulled out the network card. I knew that it was made by AirLink but there was no other label to designate the model. Googled everything on the card from the serial number on down to a weird series of numbers but to no avail. I went to the Web site and found that there were 4 or 5 different types that could match up. I even called their tech support, emailed them too. Freakin' labels. Anyhow, I tried one last search adding AirLink+ to the serial number. One page on there referred to a possible model number. All this done, it's up and running.

Then I had to re-activate. I was a little afraid because I still hadn't found my product key. Would it shut me out of my system? It didn't even wind up asking for it though. I was pretty impressed. Fearful, I didn't do it online. I wound up trying the phone option. This was a pain but it got me through and now I can update the Web site. (I use the very old school program Symantec Visual Page that, for some reason, also went AWOL when setting up the new computer. I can't seem to find a new version for purchase anywhere for Windows.)

Overall, I think a lot of this headache would have gone by if I didn't have to go searching for what model number that card was. I guess you pay a little more to get a card that knows what it is.


LoraLoo said...

Did you try to repair your Windows' installation? A good cleaning is always a great idea, except in the experience you had, LOL. Disappointing XP didn't have a driver for your network card.

Microsoft does track all of your service packs and patches, it is so big brother anymore. All in the interest of protecting their mighty dollar.

I've had the iTunes issue too, usually happens if I move a file - but it can be screwy.

David Amulet said...

Sounds very frustrating. Like my experience lately with my wireless connection. Ugh.

Martin said...

Ok. Thought that I'd be able to get a post in but getting an error right after clicking New Post. B( Looks like a planned outage is coming and I'll hope that they are working on that problem.

New and notable: starting to mess around with PhotoShop. Now I just need to learn my way around it. It can only improve the way some of my pages look.