Fandango’s Friday Flashback — January 17

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember?

Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 17th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

This was originally posted on January 17, 2008 (12 years ago!) on my old, old blog.

iMac Attack

7F25435A-B857-4ABD-B975-CE2905034797When my wife’s PC, an “older” (4 years old) HP desktop computer began to have serious performance issues (e.g., it would take around 10 minutes just to shut down), we decided it was time to get her a new computer. She uses her computer primarily for e-mail and internet access, so she really just needed something basic…nothing fancy. In other words, inexpensive.

My wife is a very good web researcher and she really focused on gathering intelligence about what to replace her aging HP with. She looked into PCs with Windows and looked at Apple computers, since our daughter and her husband both have Macs and love them. She read a lot of negative things about Windows Vista, Microsoft’s new operating system, and also read universally positive comments about Mac’s OS-X operating system. She read that Macs are less prone to internet and computer viruses and hacker attacks than are Windows-based PCs.

With all of this information in mind, we bought her a brand new iMac computer, the one that doesn’t appear to be a computer as much as just a large, flat monitor on a stand. We bought it at our local Best Buy store and also purchased he extended service contract (more about that later).

Sure, I wanted to spend no more than about $500 for a computer, but my wife insisted that the iMac was the better, albeit considerably more expensive, option. So I shelled out $1500 for the iMac, plus another several hundred dollars for software, since none of our Windows software would run on the iMac.
I even paid $100 for the Best Buy Geek Squad to come to our house, set up the computer, provide a brief Mac orientation, and transfer data files from my wife’s ancient HP to her brand new iMac. And it was good. My wife quickly got used to working with Apple’s operating system and with using the Mac software. The computer was fast, responsive, and, according to her, gorgeous.

Unfortunately, just three months and five days after we bought this allegedly reliable, state-of-the-art iMac computer, it simply stopped working. We took it to our local Best Buy, since we bought the iMac and its three-year, $250 extended service warranty. The folks at Best Buy said they’d have to send it back to the factory and projected that we’d have it back in a month. A MONTH! Fuhgeddaboudit, we said.

So we drove the 25 miles to the closest Apple store, where the guy behind the Genius Bar examined the iMac and took it into the “back room,” saying the computer either had a failed power supply or a failed multi-function board. He said they’d run diagnostics on the computer and would do what they had to do to fix it — in just 7-10 workdays. If they couldn’t fix it, they’d replace it, he said.

“Wait,” I said. “We bought a Mac because everyone said how reliable and dependable they are. Why would it fail after just three months? I have had dozens of PCs over the years and none of them failed that quickly.”

The Genius Bar guy shrugged and said, “Yeah, well it’s just a computer. Computers sometimes crash.” End of story.

We drove home and I hooked up my wife’s 4-year old, sluggish HP computer, which works fine, albeit a lot slower than, and not nearly as pretty as, her iMac. But, unlike her iMac, which failed after just three months, her four-year old HP just keeps plugging away, like the proverbial tortoise versus the hare.

While I Was Sleeping

I picked up my iPhone and opened up the WordPress app when I first woke up this morning, as I am wont to do. I went to my stats page and this is what I saw:Blank Stats pageWTF? Where are my stats? I clicked on “Weeks,” “Months,” and “Years.” No stats! Shit, did WordPress somehow misplace my stats? My posts?

I opened up my Safari browser, logged into, and went to my stats page.AA58C03B-F5DD-4C59-87E7-A1B83F6024D7Ah, that’s more like it. But what’s the deal with the WordPress app for iOS?

So I went to the App Store on my iPhone and checked to see if there was a recent update to the WordPress app. Sure enough, the app automatically updated sometime overnight while I was sleeping.BA980EAB-98E0-46AF-A8A3-D3600A579A47Sheesh, WordPress, I appreciate that you guys want to keep your app for the iPhone up-to-date, but don’t you ever test it before releasing the updates?

Okay, I guess it’s time to reach out to the Happiness Engineers…again!

Browser Bug

2be639c5-27fa-4de9-af9e-ec041c09607b-e1573942737695.jpegDan was surfing the web the other day and came across an almost imperceptible bug in the browser he was using. It really freaked him out, so he call the tech support hot line. When the rep answered, he said, “How are you doing, Mr. Jenkins?”

That shocked Dan out. “How do you know my name?” he asked.

“We at Shell Technologies pride ourselves on knowing our customers,” he said. “I see you live in our fair city and that you’re calling us from one of our smartphones.”

“Wait, what?” Dan said. “How could you know that?”

“It’s based upon your IP address,” the guy said. “Plus, we have an algorithm at Shell Technologies that has a very sophisticated prediction functionality, and based upon your past behaviors and purchases, we predicted that you are not only using our browser on one of our laptop, but you’re also using one of our smartphones. Plus, we have all of your product registrations in our database. I want to laud you for your excellent purchasing choices.”

“Listen, I’m calling you because I discovered a bug in your browser software,” Dan said. “I think it’s a serious vulnerability that might permit the capability for bad actors to install spyware.”

“Congratulations, Dan,” the guy said. “May I call you Dan?” Before Dan could answer, the guy continued. “You clearly have demonstrated some serious technology chops to have uncovered that. Since you live here in the city, I want to invite you to come to our campus so we can discuss what you’ve uncovered. We’ll send a car to pick you up. We have your address and will be there in five minutes. Bring your laptop.”

Dan didn’t know whether to be worried or excited. The limo arrived precisely five minutes later and Dan was driven to the Shell Technologies campus. When they arrived, the driver said, “Follow the path to the main building. Our representative will meet you in the lobby.”

Dan got out of the limo and headed down the path toward the main building. He met the tech rep he had spoken with on the phone. “Thank you, Dan,” the guy said, shaking Dan’s hand, “for discovering the bug in our browser. But let me assure you, Mr. Jenkins, that it’s not a bug, it’s a feature.”

Dan was never seen again.

Written for these daily prompts: Daily Addictions (surfing), Ragtag Daily Prompts (imperceptible), Word of the Day Challenge (prediction), Your Daily Word Prompt (laud), The Daily Spur (path), and Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (lobby). Image credit: OMKDrawing at

More Power To You

E1B1CA02-1374-41BA-821B-E20084E20806The lights and electricity went out in my house on my block in my neighborhood at around 8:00 tonight. The electric company originally estimated that the power would be restored by around 10:00 tonight. But when 10:00 came and went, I called customer service and was informed that the next update will be at around 4:00 a.m.

And wouldn’t you know it, I went to the grocery store today and did a big shop. I picked up some frozen pizzas and ice cream, which will probably be thawed by morning, not to mention milk, fruit, veggies, cold cuts, and other goodies that require refrigeration. They’ll certainly be warm — and possibly spoiled — by the time I wake up. Sheesh.

I do hope that the three posts I’ve scheduled to be published tonight — one at midnight, one at 3:00 a.m. and one at around 6:00 a.m. — will still be published, since they are in the hands of WordPress. But for now, I’m going to bed. No lights, no power, and my iPhone’s battery is down to 12% with no way to charge it back up.

Unfortunately, this is generally the time that I read all of the posts from those of you that I follow that I didn’t get a chance to read during the day. But with a dying iPhone and no way to charge it, I will not be getting around to reading many of your posts tonight.

I apologize for missing some of your posts and I probably won’t have time to go back and catch up on them tomorrow, assuming power has been restored. Let me know if I missed anything good, okay?

Anyway, that’s it for me. Over and out. Hopefully there will be power in the neighborhood tomorrow.