I learned two techie things this week. Both by unhappy accident you might say.
First techie thing I learned: I ordered the DVD of a British sitcom called Miranda. It airs on KERA (DFW public TV) Sunday nights at 10:30. Writer and star Miranda Hart is nothing short of brilliant and, more important, always makes me laugh. Out loud laughing. The show is current in the UK and has won a gazillion awards. It's not just me.
So I go to Amazon to order the DVD from some supplier in the UK. But when the DVD arrives, it doesn't work! It just shows some message about "wrong region." I even try different DVD players. Same annoying message. Next, I do some google research and talk to a youngster at Best Buy. Turns out as an anti-piracy move, DVD players and DVDs are now made to match specific "regions." This allows distributors to control how and when and where their material is distributed.
I did not know that.
So, the US is in region code 1; and Europe is in region code 2. If you buy something that comes from outside your region, your DVD player won't work because manufactures of DVD players also are on board with this, obviously. Get this, though. There is a gadget called an all-region DVD player that you have to buy online because, says the Best Buy guy, they are no longer sold in stores.
Dilemma: do I now spend more money to get the player?
Answer: Of course I do (Craigslist here I come). That is how much I am obsessed with Miranda.
Second techie thing I learned: I bought a new computer last weekend, and with it, I purchased the Geek Squad support services for a year. (see previous post Extended Family: empty nest = lost tech support). I let them load the new computer with stuff and dropped off old cranky and slow computer for a tune up.
During the exchange, I ask the Geek why my virus scans the last few months always come back "congratulations, you have no viruses," when for years, it always returned finding stuff to "quarantine." He didn't have to even think about the answer.
It appears that someone - OK me - allowed another anti-virus protection onto my computer. In fact, I had three anti-virus programs standing guard over my precious hard drive. Turns out, he says, the effect is that they battle each other, not the viruses contaminating my computer and slowing my processor. Theses competing programs literally attempt to wipe out the other, which is why, I am told, you can have only one anti-virus program.
I did not know that.
The Geeks were able to not just tune my old computer, but restore it to ONE anti-virus program so it is back on the fast track.
If only I had known about the virus thing before I purchased a new computer. And if only I had known about the regional DVD code thing before I bought the DVD set.
I guess life is a classroom. Some lessons are just more costly than others. That, I did know.