The continuing saga of my computer woes, other things

Hammer smashing phone

If, hopefully, you read my last article, you’re probably wondering just what else might befall the Sochin family after all that. I didn’t bother to mention my wife calling to tell me that the car would not start and needed to be towed because the battery was totally dead. That is just normal happenstance.

By now most of you have read about this incredible new virus called Cryptolocker, which we were lucky enough to receive. In the olden days when you had a computer problem you would call a friend who knew more than you did and they would help you solve the problem. In some cases, I was that friend. Later it progressed to the point where you had to call a so-called expert for advice. I am afraid that these no longer exist because computer technology has advanced beyond the normal human brain.

There still are some stores and shops that will claim, at the drop of a hat, that they can fix just about anything. Not true! We have been through quite a few of these, where the “high level tech” would promise us that they can solve our problem. Again not true. We haven’t given up and are planning a trip to another city where a computer company has promised us success. If this is true, I promise to let everyone in the world know just how great these people are. It remains to be seen.

FYI, I have done all the things that you are supposed to do to protect your computer — antivirus software, external backup drive, etc., etc. It turns out that the backup drive also backs up the virus. Great, huh?

Okay, so I am lying in bed feeling sorry for myself with my painful knee in a process of recovering and my home maintenance supervisor wakes me to advise me that I possibly left one of the faucets open in our bathroom because she heard a dripping sound. I checked the faucets in one bathroom and nothing seemed to be amiss. When I walked into our other bathroom I stepped into 2 inches of water on the floor, and down our hallway. A very simple thing happened that I’m sure happens to people all the time; the toilet tank sprung a leak.

We were fortunate enough to get a local plumber early that morning to come and replace our toilet. Four hours later the plumber called advising us that they had to come back and replace it once again because the one that they Hammer smashing phonebrought was a defective one also. Fun, huh?

Now my orthopedic doctor advises me that I may need additional surgery to break up all the scar tissue around my knee that is preventing me from gaining full motion. Just what I was looking forward to.

Of course, up until a few weeks ago I kept myself well drugged with Percocet, Vicodin and whatever else would make me feel happy. Believe me, they do work except once you stop taking them you pay a severe price. I have never been so low and depressed in all my life and cannot wait to clear these things from my system and get back to being the normal silly Ernie Sochin.

We finally got that awaited call from the computer firm in West Palm Beach that felt confident that they could at least solve our computer encryption problem. They informed us that the encryption was so complex that even the NSA couldn’t figure it out. Several police facilities, doctor’s offices, etc., also had been hit and ended up paying the ransom. The crooks have earned millions of dollars doing this and the mastermind is hiding somewhere in Russia.

Fortunately, the outfit in West Palm, FastFix 123, was able to solve a host of other problems with our computers after spending untold hours online and by phone with us. It seems that the technology has been advancing so fast that virtually no one can actually keep up with it, especially us, who actually want to use the stuff.

We have become paranoid about opening any PDF, YouTube, or any other attachments. Almost everyone I know has at one time had his or her email hijacked to send out some form of advertising or virus. I can’t help but look back to the happy days of Prodigy and simply sending and receiving emails from friends and relatives. I had Windows 3.1, which worked well and graduated over the years to Windows XP, which I actually came to understand and use. But, no, they had to improve on that and screw up the entire world of computers for all of us. I can’t wait for Windows 9, 10, 11, etc. What new things will they bring?

As for cell phones, I thought it real cool to be able to talk to people anywhere just by calling them. I really don’t need to tell everyone where I am, what I am eating, who I am with, where I am going next, but I am in the minority. Besides I just don’t have the time or desire to figure out all the new complexities of these phones.

I always can ask my 8-year-old grandkids if I get stuck, that is if they can break away from their iPads long enough to answer me. Read more from Ernie at and contact him at

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