A long time regular customer called saying she needed me to fix a few things on her PC.
She runs a business, so needs the PC running reliably.
When I get there, I’m told that a 20-something year old “wizz kid” had worked on her PC about 2 months ago…
Apparently, the PC was very slow to start, so he enthusiastically volunteered to fix it.
The more I worked on the PC, the more I wondered about what had actually happened.
First, I noticed that the RAM had increased from 512Mb to 1500Mb. In this case, an unnecessary RAM upgrade, as 512Mb is plenty for running outlook, word, and some very rare web surfing… and I’m sure it wouldn’t have fixed the slow startup.
Next, I see XP only has SP2. I’m sure I installed SP3 about 6 months ago…
Customer also tells me she cannot understand “godzilla”, and wants google back… OK, reading between the lines, I go to make ie7 the default broser (instead of firefox)… but the PC has IE6 🙁
So I spend the next hour installing SP3, then IE7, and various other microsoft updates, so that the PC is less likely to be hijacked.
All this detail would be over her head, so I explain it as “I had to do a lot security updates”.
Along the way, I see my automatic backups to the external USB drive no longer happen, and there is no antivirus nor any antispyware. So I also install antivir, windows defender, and re-install logmein (which I use for remote emergency maintenance).
Now for the main reason for my visit: Customer is only getting some of her emails… for the last 2 months, people have told her they sent emails, but she never receives them…
The customer has 2 main email addresses: her ISP address, and her website address (which is redirected via gmail, to minimise the amount of spam she gets).
The wizz kid had only setup her ISP email (ie he took the easy way out), so all her website emails were building up on gmail.
Teaching her how to use gmail was not an option, so I had to re-do the outlook settings.
By this stage, its looking like wizz kid probably re-installed windows.
I ask the customer if she knows what he did, and she says he had to return a few times, as she couldn’t use the PC at all.
This customer has a sharp tongue, and won’t take cr*p from anyone (ie a “challenging” customer to deal with).
So I reckon wizz kid probably got what he deserved, and will be staying far away from this customer… he might even give up on computers and become a monk 🙂
But it still makes me angry, given that it was unnecessary. Its probably the same feeling you would get if you spent a month buiding a wooden fence, then hand painting it, then a truck destroys it in just a few seconds.
Anyway, I went to re-do the gmail account, followed googles instructions on setting up gmail on outlook 2003, but found I could receive, but not send emails.
After trying a few combinations of settings I eventually decided to just use the ISP account for sending emails (until next time when I’ll look at this more closely)