Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Murphy: 2,642; Jaffee: 0

I think I've kvetched before about technology, and how it would be so nice to use - if only it ever did what it was supposed to do.

I used to be tech-savvy, and I'm not sure exactly what happened but now I'm baffled by the things computers do, or don't do, on a seemingly regular basis. The thing that baffles me the most is when something doesn't work one day which worked just fine the last time I touched it.

Last August I downloaded a program called Zun Tzu, which allows you to load up a "gamebox" and then basically connect with other people online and play a board game. Someone has to create this gamebox, and the program acts like a table with the pieces on it, and people can do whatever they want with the pieces. It's like playing a board game on a table in your living room, only you can do it with your friends in New York, New Jersey, Utah, California, and Uruguay. When I downloaded it I tried it out - loaded up a gamebox that a friend had made, connected with 3 other people in three other states, and everything was groovy. I haven't used it since.

Today I tried to load up a new gamebox made by another friend. When I opened the program, the first thing it did was search for updates, to make sure all users have the same version, which seemed to work fine. Then it automatically opened a 'wizard' to make sure my USB microphone thing was working properly, which I believe it did last time as well. That too seemed fine. Then all of a sudden it gave me an error message, stating that the program had a problem and had to stop.

After that message a couple of times I got a different message, the program simply would not start - it wouldn't open the new gamebox file, nor the old one which used to work, nor the program by itself. I tried uninstalling and re-downloading the program (more than once), and still nothing. I tried a System Restore, going back as far as I could, still nothing. In fact, and I'm not sure what caused this, but now the program won't even try to start. I simply get an "Application cannot be started" dialog. And I can't seem to uninstall it anymore either.

This is the kind of thing I find frustrating and infuriating. I've been annoyed with my computer for a while now, and I've been thinking of getting a laptop - this incident may be the proverbial straw that breaks the camels back.

Anyone know a good brand/model laptop to get? I don't need to do any "serious 3D power gaming" or anything. I mostly would use it to do web stuff like post these blogs, and use programs like that Zun Tzu. Maybe also run things like Photoshop from time to time.

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