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Monday, 28 December 2015

Rear Window

The phone (landline) died at the same time as a massive Window 10 upgrade (a dump) managed to lose my accounting software data files.

Losing the landline was not such a trauma for me as losing all my data files. I don't know about you but I have no idea now what anyone's phone number is: because they're all stored on my mobile - so I never use the landline.

Indeed not being connected was a joy since none of the hundreds of those annoying nuisance calls could get through. It was, however, an inconvenience for some of our friends who phone us on the landline, although I would quite happily have not bothered with it.

Booking a house call from Virgin Media (VM), our telecoms provider, was a doddle. All done on line of course - painless provided you didn't mind setting aside a morning or afternoon. Our house call was between 8 am and midday. I was up well before 8 am just in case I was our repairman's first call. Fool that I am. I figured that since the local VM depot was just around the corner, it would make complete sense for our house to be the first port of call....At 3 minutes to noon, I received a text saying our man was on his way.

He was a tall, well built black guy: you know the sort you see outside of night clubs dressed in a dinner suit and dickie bow tie.

What has changed since VM took over NTL is quite telling. An NTL visit, resulted in much of the front garden trampled underfoot and huge muddy footmarks all over the house. On this visit, before entering the house and after checking our outside connection, our repairman put on over boots! I was very impressed.

He was bemused. There was a signal coming into our house, but it disappeared somewhere between the junction box and the phone socket. Much prodding with his sonic screwdriver which bleeped now and then and a quizzical look in my direction.

"Have you had any cables removed recently?" he asked. I explained that we had our old wired alarm system replaced with a wi-fi version in September but the phone had been working long after that work was completed. "Huh, the phone line's been cut here and here." He pointed to where  until recently two coils of cable had been carefully taped together. The two coils were missing.

Instantly I knew what had happened. When our previous alarm system supplier disconnected our alarm, they'd left two untidy piles of cabling by the front door. The missus, not liking such untidiness had coiled them up and secured them with gusset tape. That was in September. And for a month or so the coiled, taped cables sat on the floor by the front door. Obviously, that arrangement had continued to irritate and one day she cut the Gordian knot - tidying up the mess and....cut our phone line.

At about the same time I was explaining the sequence of events to the VM man, the missus returned from a pre Christmas shopping spree. There she stood on the threshold Christmas goodies in her hands, her face turning bright red as the cause of our telephone disconnection was described.

The repairman was very understanding: apparently he'd come across far worse mishaps. I, on the other hand, could not resist teasing the wife mercilessly - naming her Mrs Snip Snip of 6 The Cuttings. We have been reconnected.

I like Window 10, except not all of my computer programs do. One in particular Personal Accountz has a real dislike for the Portland OS. When, in this summer I installed Windows 10 opening Personal Accountz found me facing a log in dialogue box asking me for my Licence Key. It was with some relief that keying that code in opened up my unaltered files. I merrily continued with my accounting. Until earlier this month when overnight Microsoft, unbeknown to me, dumped a massive upgrade on me.

Following much whirling of hard drives and flashing of lights the upgrade was complete I opened my accounting program. Once more I was confronted by the log in dialogue box. I inserted my Licence Key and when the file opened.. nothing. No serried columns and rows of current, credit cards and saving account entries..just a pristine, clean empty page. I immediately went to the drop down list to open an existing file - there were none. I went into the C: drive found the appropriate programme and its data files. Data was there but two years out of date! A detailed search of my hard drive was of no help. The data was lost and I hadn't backed it up on my external drive!!!!!!

I've re-entered all the latest data from my accounts, set up the various categories I use as well as the automatic entries and have started again.

I've e-mailed Personal Accountz about my latest experience. They haven't replied. I don't blame them. If I were them I'd play dead and hope I'd go away.

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