Let's start with geekstuff.
Last week I let myself get bogged down in tweaking my graphics program. There was an awesome offer of an upgrade to Corel's Paint Shop Pro Ultimate for less than thirty dollars. It also included a lite version of Corel's PhotoMirage, which had piqued my interest when it first came out, but research told me that you could find better programs for less money that did the same thing that cost less than seventy bucks. So, I passed. I just checked the Corel website and the version of PSP I got at a special, limited upgrade price, is going for a hundred bucks. So, I figured it was a pretty good deal and I jumped on it.
Windows 10 runs programs that are 32 bit or 64 bit. I have no idea what that means. What I do know is that my plugins, those cute little programs that do really fun things to graphics, like make a photo look like an oil painting, run on 32 bit versions of software. They won't run on 64. Yeah, I know, a 64 bit processor runs faster than a 32 bit, but a 32 bit plugin will NOT work when input into a 64 bit version of the software. So, I installed both versions on the laptop. Then I had to install the plugins.
Now, dear reader, I don't know how familiar you are with software like plugins. But plugins are like the drawers or closets you never clean out. You just keep squishing more and more stuff into them. Some of the stuff is no longer useable, but you wouldn't know that because you rarely used them in the past and don't give them a second thought. Old teeshirts, coffee mugs (I have SO many mugs right now, I have no more room in the cupboards, this is a serious problem at this point), screwdrivers, hammers, you know, just stuff. And I finally decided to clean out my plugins.
I have them all in their own little computer cabinet with a label on it "Plugins". And as I upgrade my graphics programs or upgrade computers, I just save that file and copy it over to the new system. Obviously, some need to be officially reinstalled, the ones I paid for, the ones that need a license code, and that all takes time. And then you get the ones you've moved so often, they can no longer be activated without contacting the mothership where those codes are reset.
There was another instance where plugin #2 didn't work if plugin #1 wasn't activated. But plugin #1 would not activate. It was very frustrating. What I ended up doing there is copying a file from the registry on the PC in the office (I run this stuff on two devices), exporting it, deleting that entry on the laptop registry and importing the one from the PC. Plugin #1 won't activate, but it no longer matters because plugin #2 is a bigger, badder version of plugin #1 and it works nicely. I had contacted the company where I got them originally, but I bought the first one in 1999. So, there ya go.
And then there are the demos I never bought, or I did buy and they came with a new install, so the demo was still showing up in the plugin menu.
I finally got them all cleaned up. It took me days, but I got it done. It took me most of the week.
Then yesterday, the laptop internet was running slow so I figured it would be a great time to reboot the cable modem and the router. This shouldn't be a big deal.
It was. The laptop could no longer connect to the LAN. It couldn't see the other computers, it couldn't see the external hard drives that run as my own personal cloud on the router.
I reset the range extender a couple of times, finally got that working. But then, when I tried to connect to the other computers, I got a message asking for my credentials.
My what? Credentials? I didn't need them an hour ago, why do I need them now? What kind of fresh hell is this?
I did the obligatory Google search and found out how to make that stop. A privacy setting on my laptop that I needed to disable. Yeah, okay, got it.
Why is it enabled in the first place? Who did that? It wasn't me. Oh, yeah, right. Windows update. That's the only thing I could figure out. But fixed that and now all is back to normal.