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13 computer issues we've all lost our shit over

The problems we've all encountered when attempting to make computers do what they're supposed to

13 computer issues we've all lost our shit over

Computers are great. Bloody brilliant they are.

All those programs and code and stuff. The internet, eh? Bloody hell. It's excellent.

Right up until the point when it isn't. When that error message pops up for no discernible reason. Or that file you definitely saved has buggered off into the depths of your file system, never to be seen again. 

These are the greatest computer and tech related frustrations we've ever encountered. 

The spinning beach ball of doom

Don't. Touch. Anything.

Your Mac's beach ball has been spinning for the last six minutes now. You went to go and make a tea in the hope that it would have put an end to its revolutions on your return, but alas, it's still rolling on.

Macs aren't supposed to do this, are they? It's PCs that crash all the time, right? Microsoft is the one all the nerds in IT snigger about when you ask them for help with your ThinkPad? Macs are the good guys, the dependable ones, the faithful old mutts of the computer world?

Does anyone know how to do a hard reset on a Mac? Like - what's the Mac equivalent of 'Alt-Ctrl-Delete'? Asking for a friend...

Encountering the Blue Screen of death midway through your work

It's been what, maybe three, four hours since you last hit 'Save' on your essay. You didn't want to interrupt the flow of concise, articulate brilliance flowing from your fingers. You're pretty sure your keyboard is glowing with residue heat from the friction, but that could be the copious amounts of Red Bull you've been necking.

And then it happens. You're typing, but the words aren't appearing on the screen any more. That little [Not Responding] message creeps into the top of the window description. Nothing moves on the screen until - bam. Blue Screen of death. 

You stare, not wanting to believe what you see. The cursor blinks at you, mockingly. You press any key (space bar, obviously) and begin a prayer to Bill Gates that please, by the power of Word 98 and the spirit of MSDOS, that you've not lost the bulk of your work.

Of course it hasn't. Balls to you, Bill. 

Ejecting a USB stick without making it 'safe' first

Ten minutes. You've got ten minutes before your bus leaves. You need to be on that bus. 

This file just needs to save to USB and you're done. 

Eight minutes. Lord this is slow. You've saved the document to the USB stick, then closed it and opened it again from the USB stick because you don't really trust computers on a core level. But it's okay, the right file is now on the USB stick. You can go. 

'Eject USB DISK' - seriously, how slow do you think the world is, PC? Who has time to eject safely? Just pull and run. Pull and run.

You get to work and OF COURSE the stick is corrupt. Probably made of sand and air. Utter piece of crap. 

Getting the lines to print on an Excel document

WHY else do you use Excel OTHER THAN TO GET GRID LINES.

You've even highlighted the lines you want. They are BIG and THICK and BLACK.

But will they print? Will they hell. You have seven copies of your weekly schedule sitting in the recycling bin as proof that this process isn't as easy as Microsoft thinks it is. 

An install that takes the better part of a day

You know the one. That "quick update" that you let your computer do just before you need to send that urgent email, or just as your laptop flicks to nine per cent battery.

"One minute! We need to install some updates before that'll happen!"

Fine, fine, you're the computer, you know best. Any idea how long this will take?

"I have seven updates to install!"

Sure, but how long? You know, a metric of time? Can you express this period in minutes?

"I am installing update one of seven!"

Yes but...

"Look at this hypnotic little spiral of dots. Look into the dots. Everything is fine. These updates are important. You don't need to know how long they'll take."

Yes, PC. Whatever you say, PC. 

Trying to get Word to format things without screwing up a whole document

Copy and paste. 

Or is it paste as plain text? No, that's buggered everything up - undo.

Keep source formatting? Nope, obviously not. Merge formatting, that'll do it. But WHERE DID THAT INDENT COME FROM?! And why isn't it keeping the double line spacing?


Adobe Flash Player just not working

We sympathise with Adobe's maligned little Flash Player. In the digital age it's pretty much a full time job attempting to keep up to date.

Every day we wake up we wondering what we're going to fall behind on: who will drop their secret album project on Tidal? What new gadget is Apple going to leak? Has Chris Pratt signed for another remake of some film we totally loved as a kid? 

However, while we do alright at staying abreast of the latest developments, Flash absolutely sucks. It's never ready when we need it. It's not up to scratch. It's not good enough. Somewhere in the depths of Adobe, someone is cradling the computer on which they built Flash Player, gently weeping, whispering that "Everything will be okay."

No, it won't. Apple hates Flash Player, Google hates Flash Player, everyone hates Flash Player.

Kicking your power cord out

Your laptop battery has been buggered ever since you spilt half a bottle of Sprite over it back in 2014 - but what with computer repairs costing more than a new laptop and the hassle of swapping all your crap over to a new machine, you've been fine using it with a power cable. 

Right up until the point you're working away at a document due in for the next morning, lean back to stretch out the onrushing arthritis and kick the cable out of the socket. You could have sworn your laptop even made a comical "Vrrrrwwwwwwmmm" noise of powering down. 

A black screen looks back at you, mimicking the emptiness that now fills the pit of your stomach. 

Making your screen flip 180 without knowing how

Ctrl + F4?

Ctrl + Shift + Left arrow key?

Ctrl +Alt+ Up arrow key?

You've got no sodding idea what combination of keys you pressed to get your screen to perform a 180, nor why that's even a thing people would want a short cut for. You're not going to find the answer either, until you've craned your neck sideways as you attempt to find the answer via an upside-down Google search. 

(The answer, for future reference, is Ctrl + Alt + Up or Down arrow. Be sure to use it on your colleague's computer when they next wander off to the loo)

Getting Word to write things over the top of existing things

Somewhere on your keyboard hides a button that turns into a right little bastard when you're midway through a Word document.

Should you accidentally hit this key rather than the useful button you were actually hoping to press, you'll unleash a hideous curse not even the minds of Brothers Grimm could conceive: as you type words, they'll just barge their way right over the top of anything you've already written. 

It's like something out of Orwell's 1984 - your own document history being irrevocably rewritten before your eyes. You only wanted to correct the spelling on 'their', now you're ready to lob your computer out the nearest window.

Best save, close, re-open and hope you never press it again. 

Receiving an error message that just doesn't make sense

Like a cat/sick relative/angry partner, you want to understand the needs of your computer. You care about its woes and tribulations. You want to care for it in its times of need.

So when an error message pops up that just DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE, it's like trying to communicate with a petulant teenager. 

"What's up buddy?"

"Don't call me buddy! Don't pretend to be interested! You're so fake! I hate you!"

"Is it Dreamweaver? What did it do now?"

"Just F*CK OFF dad! I HATE YOU."

Losing a file

Giving directions can be a tedious activity at the best of times. On the rare occasion you actually know where the B&Q/pub/nearest cash point is, the moment you try to visualise how to get there can take more mental power than the average tax return.

When your computer does it though, it's just a non-starter. What do you mean, you can't find the file? You're the computer! Everything involved in your workings lives inside of you. The only way we're going to find it is if we do a search of a file name - but I'm going to ask you to do that search? Why not cut out the middle man and just look harder? Where did you last see it? Is there the computer equivalent to the 'back of the sofa'?

Bluetooth just deciding it doesn't want to behave

No, we don't know exactly how Bluetooth works. We're sure it's really complicated: lots of data being turned into signals that float through the air and make other things do stuff.

It's all really impressive - except when our Bluetooth headphones/speaker/mouse decides it doesn't want to talk to us anymore. It's sitting right next to our device. It's so close we might as well plug it in with a wire.

But then we'd be admitting that the future doesn't work, and that goes against everything we stand for. Down with wires, yeah? We'll just turn it off and on again - that usually works...