Do-it-yourself technical support

Only last night I was waxing lyrical to Derek Wenmoth about the joys of being self-employed. I forgot to mention one of the downsides, though: having to do your own technical support.

For some reason, a few days ago Outlook started goiung wrong. Actually, it didn't so much start going wrong, as start to not start! And this is a known problem! How do I know it's a known problem? Because there is actually tons of stuff on the internet about it.

Well, I tried everything I came across, except looking to see if there is an upgrade. I managed to gain access for long enough to set it to 'Offline', so that it wouldn't try receiving emails, and to get my email settings. After much fiddling, I am now set up with Windows Mail which also has a bit of flakiness when it comes to creating signatures, but the important thing is that (touch wood), I now have a functioning email program.

Why not use 'the cloud' you say? No thanks. Having heard about thousands of emails being trashed, and not quite trusting free services to always be there, I much prefer having an installed program, with the emails stored locally. Silly, I know, but then losing a ton of emails would be even sillier. I think I'll stick with an old-fashioned solution for now.

But back to the tech support part. I think this week I have wasted around 6 hours or more trying to get this all sorted out.It means that the work I'd planned on doing today will have to be over the weekend. I like time-shifting, but not when it's forced on me in this way: I had other plans for the weekend.
So, much as it's customary to moan about technical support, at least when I was employed I could request that someone fix a problem while I visited a school or something. I can do a lot of this kind of stuff, but it's not a great use of my time when I have other (work) commitments.

Never mind: things could always be much worse. I mean, I could have ended up with no email access at all.

Hmm. Having looked at my burgeoning in-box, I'm not so sure that's an entirely terrible idea….