The headache was mild and expected. I always get one when I'm dehydrated and I had forgotten to bring bottled water. I finished two morning computer service calls and skipped lunch to make it on time for the third -which ran long -until about 3:30PM. My clients love that about me; I give them a one-hour arrival window. It makes me look golden compared to the four or eight hour window offered by utility companies or furniture deliverers, but I sometimes pay a physical price for punctuality if I'm booked too tight.
On my last stop of the day, I was tired and anxious to get home. I knew my wife would take one look at me and say, "You didn't eat lunch did you?" I considered grabbing some chips or a candy bar on the way home so my breath could back me up in that "discussion" -but I digress.
Now with stomach growling, I contemplated the quickest way to finish my final task. I needed to set up a new Blackberry, install its software and configure it to synchronize with Outlook 2007 on a Windows Vista PC. No problem, I thought.
I popped in the CD, ran the install, rebooted and connected the Blackberry and the last message I wanted to see at the end of my long, famishing day popped up: Device not found. When the stinging subsided from slapping my hand on the top of my head, I tried plugging into a different USB port -same problem. I checked the computer's Event Log, rebooted again and then downloaded newer software from Blackberry. The installation screen froze for over five minutes so I canceled it.
I then did what has never failed to rescue me in such situations. I sought to benefit from the struggle of others. For every problem you have with your computer, it is not only likely that someone else has already experienced it, but it is likely that they posted the fix online.
I Googled: Blackberry, "not found" Vista. On the first page of results, I found a complete discussion of problem identical to mine, and its solution posted on a message board.
Updating to the newer software had put me halfway to fixing it, but what I learned from the poster on the message board was that the installation in Windows Vista was super slow and I had canceled it too soon. I went and guzzled three bottles of water while the software took its sweet time (fifteen minutes) to install. It worked and the Blackberry was happy. There's no telling how long that would have taken me to discover on my own.
Learning how to find effective solutions offered by other computer conquerors is a fantastic way to conquer your own computer problems. The Internet offers an enormous knowledge base of fixes. Carefully chosen search phrases can splash written steps to resolve almost anything.
Next time you struggle with a computer problem, remember that someone already had it and wrote down the answer you need. You just have to find it.