Oct 252009

I was hoping that the cold weather here in northern Indiana may have forced the gremlins who inhabit my computer to follow the rest of the RV snowbirds south, but alas, the little buggers are still hanging on.

We use a commercial mail service for sending the Gypsy Journal to most of our subscribers, who chose the Standard Mail rate. But we also send out separate mailings to subscribers who use the Escapees Mail Service, FMCA mail service, and some of the commercial mail forwarding services such as Alternative Resources, as well as for our subscribers in Canada, and those who choose to pay an extra fee for First Class postage.

Yesterday as I was trying to print the mailing labels for those subscribers, I suddenly starting getting an error message and they would not print. This has happened before, for no apparent reason, and usually after a lot of frustration, whatever the problem is seems to clear up and they finally print. But yesterday I spent hours fighting with the mailing lists, with no success at all.

Our friends Rick Schafer and Marcia Gantz stopped over to see our new motorhome and tell us all about their summer travels in Alaska. Between the two of them, they have forgotten more about computers and computer programs than I’ll ever hope to learn, and when I mentioned the problems I was having with the mailing list, they put their heads together and tried to come up with a solution. Rick downloaded new drivers for our HP laser printer, which we hoped would do the job.

As it turns out, the problem still persisted, and I tried to get the mailing labels to print out all evening. Finally, about midnight, the gremlins must have fallen asleep, because suddenly the problem disappeared and the labels printed just fine. I didn’t do anything different, so what gives?

I think we have figured out a problem a few subscribers to the digital edition of the Gypsy Journal had with the current issue. In each case, they could not open the new issue, and by a process of elimination, I discovered that all of their computers had recently done an automatic update to Adobe Reader version 9.

Miss Terry experienced it with her laptop, which did the automatic update after she had already opened the new issue on the older version of Reader. She deleted the update and reinstalled the earlier version 8 of Reader and once again could open the file with no problems.

We have also had subscribers who use Firefox as their web browser report the same problem, but when they use , it works. Did I mention that sometimes I hate computers?

Even with all of the computer problems, it was nice to see Rick and Marcia again, and to hear about their travels since we last crossed paths. Terry and I have not made the Alaska trip yet, but it’s very high on our bucket list.

Quite a few Gypsy Journal subscribers were readers of a great little tabloid called Two Lane Roads that a fellow named Loren Eyrich published a few years back. I was a fan of Loren’s work, and when he was diagnosed with cancer and had to stop traveling and publishing, we took over the balance of his unfulfilled subscriptions.

Several people have asked me from time to time how Loren is doing, and I’m happy to report that I got an e-mail from him yesterday. Loren has been cancer free for seven years now, and he told me that while he has some long term effected from the chemo and/or radiation, he’s well and happy to be alive. Loren posts occasional updates on his website at http://www.two-lane.com/, and I know he’d be happy to have you log in and pay him a visit. 

Thought For The Day – Don’t assume malice for what stupidity can explain.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  5 Responses to “More Computer Gremlins And A Visit From Friends”

  1. Well Nick, I use Firefox as my browser (AND, I’ve got Adobe 9.2.0 running), and the latest digital edition of the Gypsy Journal opened up just fine for me — ???.

  2. Hi Nick I have a few Gremlins in my computer some times when I start it a by holding the start button to long or to short . Some days I think they are some place else in the Motor Home doing there thing there. But were still try to “”GET-ER DONE”” SAL

  3. Adobe 9 was the problem, upgrading to 9.2 eliminated the problems for me with Firefox.

  4. Nick. It would be nice the set up a trip to Alaska after the Yuma Rally. It would be nice to have a caravan heading north.

  5. I haven’t updated or used Adobe Reader for several years. It just got bigger and bigger, more program bloat that I didn’t need. I found Foxit Reader, much smaller footprint and works flawlessly. Oh, yes, it’s free. http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/reader/

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