My computer was possessed by the letter “h” . . . lessons learned.


Liz Jenkins


A couple of weeks ago, my computer became possessed by the letter “h”.  It started out occasionally typing an “h” randomly while I was working and then began doing it more frequently.  It got to the point where I couldn’t backspace fast enough, log into anything that required a password, and it changed the name of my iphone to “hhh” in my itunes.

So off to the computer shop it went.  At first I thought it was cat hair or something that was jamming the key but no amount of cleaning would help.  Turns out it was an electronic glitch in the keyboard system itself.  Of course, my hot pink laptop needed a special keyboard that no one carries in stock so I had to wait for it to come in.  To my tech guys credit, they had my new keyboard installed within an hour of its arrival.  You know it’s not a good thing when the tech geeks say, “Hmm, haven’t seen this problem before”.

BUT, here’s my lessons learned from being without my laptop for 2 weeks and attempting to work with only an iphone that wasn’t able to be synced for that whole time (or for about a week prior – see above note about itunes):

  • be sure that all of your contacts are updated regularly in your smartphone or that you have a printed backup
  • be sure that all of your passwords for accessing things like, oh, your bank account or your WORDPRESS BLOG are written down somewhere that you can access if you normally save all your passwords in a (very secret) file on your laptop so when you go on a different computer to try to do something you can actually access your accounts
  • be sure to write down all of your appointments from your Outlook calendar BEFORE you take said computer to the shop (or consider using something that is based on the web such as Google Calendar)
  • Place all important documents (ones you need to access regularly) in your Dropbox account so you can get to them online when you need them
  • be sure that your smartphone can actually send emails as well as receive them

Here’s some things I did right, though:

  • My iphone has apps for Facebook, Twitter (I use Tweetdeck), Linked In, Kindle, Evernote and many others that I use on a regular basis
  • Most of my client and project research was in my Evernote account
  • My paper files have blank copies of contracts, important documents and client notes
  • My whole computer is backed up using Carbonite so even if the whole system crashed, I had all of my information that could be restored if need be
  • All of my current clients and projects were in project folders or project bins along with all pertinent information & materials
  • I had current checks, envelopes and stamps in my mail center

I was also lucky that it was the end of summer, just before school started back up, so I wasn’t as busy with clients.  It’s typically a slow time of year for my business as families are trying to wind down summer and gear up for school.

I felt as if a body part was missing.  It did give me some critical insight that maybe I’m too attached to my computer, or too dependent on it.  I kept walking over to my desk and staring at the pitifully empty spot.  While I was going through the withdrawal pains, I came to the conclusion that at least it gave me something to blog about that others can learn from.  Other than that, it sucked.  Seriously sucked.