Over the phone yesterday I was talking to a friend who is also a computer client. They have an interest in computers and like me, use the Linux operating system. They have a Microsoft Windows 10 computer which has built-in memory stick reader which worked at one time. One day, they noticed it wouldn’t read memory cards any longer and started troubleshooting. They tried many different things to no avail. They other day they noticed it was working again and they didn’t know why since everything they had tried had failed. Then they noticed two Windows ten updates had been installed the day previous and they figured this was the reason.
You never know when OS updates will break or fix problems and this is a good example of an update fixing a problem.
Updates are necessary for any computer operating system to stay functional and secure. The operating systems I am speaking of are Microsoft Windows 10 and Linux Mint. I have experience with Microsoft Windows and Linux distributions like Ubuntu and Mint. Of the two, Windows is the most intrusive from my experience. I’ve had my own Windows 10 laptop reboot with new updates three years ago. It messed up my accounting program and it took me a day or two to repair. To be fair I think Microsoft has improved the update installation procedure where it doesn’t reboot when it wants to. I have had some computer service calls where a Microsoft Windows update has rendered a computer unusable and I had to remove an update.
Linux Mint updates are much easier to manage than Microsoft Windows 10 because they let you install them when you want to. In Mint, a grey and blue shield appears on the panel near the clock when updates are available. You have the choice which ones you want to install. It reminds me of how Microsoft used to do things.
Yesterday around 200PM I received an urgent LinkedIn message. The person said I had helped them a few years ago with an IT issue and they had an emergency today. Two hours later I was at their Bluffton, IN location ready to assist them. My contact person was in another state and we spoke on the phone for communication. The Bluffton trucking location had two buildings: Dispatch and the Shop. Each one had a 24-port gigabyte ethernet switch. The two switches were connected via an SFP fiber optic cable running underground.
My contact person had spent the morning trying to get the switch in Dispatch to respond and it never was completely down but it wasn’t perfect either. Sometimes the internet worked for the computers and sometimes not. The phone system also was up and down. The night before, there was an alarm for one of the switches that said a problem occurred but I don’t remember the details. They tried re-booting it and sending it instructions via the network and nothing seemed to work.
My contact wanted an IT person(me) on site because he tried instructing the local employees but they lacked the knowledge to help my contact. They did their best, but it wasn’t enough. My contact wanted to see if disconnecting the switches from each other would help. The problem the local employees were having was disconnecting the fiber optic cable from the Dispatch office switch. Four or five people attempted to pull the connector out and all failed. It took me several minutes but I finally got it disconnected. A thumbtack was used to pry the plug out of the connector. . It was in pretty tight and I had to pry it out with damaging the small fiber optic cable.
Once the two switches were disconnected from each other, the situation improved and we got the network back to normal and phones and internet, email all worked as usual. I checked back today and it’s still working normally.
This summer I refurbished an industrial cart for my Mom which had been outside in the weather for many years. Many pictures were taken during the project to record the terrible shape it was in and the various stages. I wanted to share them with others who would be interested. One of these is a computer client of mine who is also a woodworker and wanted to see pictures of the cart. Since he is on Pinterest(the photo sharing social media site) and I have a Pinterest account, too – I shared the pictures on Pinterest.
Most of the time it is easy getting pictures into Pinterest because I use my smartphone. This time I had to use my Linux computer since the pictures had been moved off my phone a few weeks ago onto my server. I assumed I could copy them directly from my Linux server to Pinterest and that’s how I proceeded. When I dragged and dropped a picture nothing happened – no picture. So I tried an old computer trick : copy the pictures from the server to the computer you are logged in to and then to the target (Pinterest). This worked and now pictures are on Pinterest.
When I first heard about Pinterest around 2011, I used it frequently for posting business networking groups. Pinterest allows you to save pictures on a “board” for organizing. I have created many boards for various categories like pets, my garden and computers. It was easy and fun to post pictures from my smartphone while I was at a networking group or at a client. I still have hundreds of pictures pinned in my business account (Shane Grantham Consulting) and my personal one in my many boards.
Something happened a few years ago which interrupted my Pinterest passion. It was called Instagram – another social media platform revolving around pictures. Instagram is a little simpler than Pinterest and it allows the user to post pictures in a straight line feed without categories. I started posting pictures from my smartphone but found it hard to do it from a regular computer. A few weeks ago I started using Pinterest again and plan to start posting pictures again regularly. I do have a personal and business Instagram account and I suggest you create them for yourself.