Defeated by a Scanner


When do you say enough is enough?

I have just about been “done in” by technology.  Attempting to add a scanner to my PC, I had high hopes and bright ideas of all the wonderful things I would be able to do.  The software installation seemed to go well. All the “next, next, next” buttons flew by and finally the “finish.”  I even passed the “test.”

But when I attempted to run the program, I began to receive a series of “illegal operation” errors.  The computer was having a nervous break down, and I was not far behind.  Why, why, oh, why did I put that stupid scanner software on my computer?  My whole system had gone berserk.

I put in an emergency distress call to my computer manufacturer’s support line and got some even worse news.  My error message showed the system had software with a corrupt file (no kidding).  Solution: Take off all the software and reload it until I found the program causing the problem.  “Well, thanks for the information and I’ll think about it.”  A bit drastic, even though my computer was having a tantrum and sending up skyrockets by now.

I decided to call the manufacturer of the funky scanner and get help.  But two frustrating hours later and even the manufacturer’s tech support technician called it quits, saying it was a conflict with my anti-virus software and that the program could not be loaded.

Now, I remember the day I put that anti-virus software on the machine.   It was being eaten alive by a bug, barely running even in safe mode. That software killed the virus dead.  Let’s not bad mouth the anti-virus folks.  Let’s send ’em love notes.

I decided to try to uninstall the new scanner program.  Voile!  It worked!  No more “illegal operation” messages.  Everything functioned again like magic. I now had a better idea than removing my anti-virus program.  I packed up the scanner and hotfooted it back to the computer store to return it before the 10 days return policy ran out.

Sometimes you just must know when to say when.

One of these days when my hair quits being frizzed and my teeth quit chattering, I’m gonna take the anti-virus software off, buy a scanner, load it, hope it works, reload my anti-virus software and see if it all works together.  For now, though, I am once again “scanner less” – but the good news is I’m no worse off than I was to start with.

I would like to have an old computer and a mallet.  Every time I feel frustrated I would pick up the mallet and smash the computer, sort of like Gallagher smashing watermelons.  Maybe that could preserve my sanity.

©1998 Sheila Moss

About Sheila Moss

My stories are about daily life and the funny things that happen to all of us. My columns have been published in numerous newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and websites.
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4 Responses to Defeated by a Scanner

  1. Lois says:

    I have found that anytime anything new is added there is bound to be trouble. But for some reason I have two scanners on my computer, a flat bed/printer and document feed scanner. Maybe I should not be saying anything, or the universe will send a virus to my computer. The joys of technology.


  2. You know it’s a lost cause when even Tech Support gives up on you. What’s worse is when they start hissing into the phone and saying, “Sorry, ma’am? You’re breaking up. I’ll have to terminate this call.” You can rest assured, then, that the problem will be left unsolved.

    I like the idea of the mallet and the old computer. My current regimen of pounding on the keyboard just isn’t sufficient to relieve all the tech-induced stress, 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sheila Moss says:

      Seriously, I think I’ve read of high tech places keeping one for staff to kick. Great idea as far as I’m concerned. Yes, I’ve been cut off before when they can’t fix something. When they start saying reload Windows, I cut them off. I never call support anymore. I know about as much as they do. If it is really, really bad, like a virus, I take it to a computer shop and let them do it. My sanity is worth the cost.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s sort of like dealing with IT at work. No matter the problem, their first suggestion is going to be to reboot the machine.

        Whenever I file I ticket, I’ll say something like, “Outlook crashes each time I try to attach a file. And yes, I’ve already rebooted the machine.” 🙂


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