|Posted on December 10, 2013 at 10:45 AM|
By virtually any metric, I would consider myself a pretty tech-savvy individual. I’ve programmed multiple Control4, Lutron and URC systems. I’ve set up, configured and troubleshot so many home theater systems I couldn’t possibly keep count. I’ve also installed Escient, Kaleidescape, Sonos and almost everything in between. Point being, there aren’t too many pieces of tech I’m not totally comfortable with.
So, after battling with the other tributes at Wal-Mart’s annual Hunger Games Black Friday event recently, I brought my wife’s new HP laptop home and figured it would be nothing to get it all configured and set-up. Unlike the other hundreds of thousands of people buying laptops from various door buster and Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, I certainly had a leg-up by being a custom installer that is intimately comfortable with technology; surely configuring a new laptop should be child’s play, right? After all, this was an entry-level computer that I purchased for my wife, not some tricked up gaming rig, and was a model that many users like her – or other non-techie types – could have purchased for themselves and then brought home wanting nothing more than to turn it on and start surfing the Web and emailing.
It should be easy, right? I mean, right?!?
When I got the new computer home, we powered it on and right out of the box it had 74 critical Windows updates that needed to be downloaded and then installed. This was a process that literally involved hours of download, install, restart, update, download, install, restart…
Once all of those 74 updates were finished, the computer was finally ready to actually move to the latest stable version of Windows, version 8.1. And that upgrade was a smooth little 3.4 GIGABYTE download that took several hours to complete, followed by a lengthy install and system configuration and then six more updates to download and install.
And during the midst of all of this, the computer’s Wi-Fi continually dropped out. It would connect, and then 1-2 minutes later it would say “not connected to any network, connections are available.” I’d reconnect and then…drop. It showed my Pakedge wireless access point, and showed that it was receiving 5 bars of signal and that it was selected as the preferred, “connect automatically,” network but it wouldn’t hold the connection for longer than two minutes.