It all started with the mouse. No, not the furry Tom-and-Jerry “Night before Christmas” creature, but the plastic and electronic controller of computers. Specifically, the wireless mouse we use to control the cursor and functions on the household desktop, named “Big Mama” because it has so much stuff on it. Documents, pictures, songs…you know. You do that same thing. I hope you back it all up. But I’m getting ahead of myself because thereby hangs a tale.
I had noticed that the mouse was acting, well, goofy for a couple of days. The cursor didn’t want to move correctly and in some cases wouldn’t move at all. I ascribed the problem to a bad mouse pad. It was old and dirty, so I bought a nice new one with a cloud-filled sky pictured on it. The mouse’s performance improved. Marginally.
Then one fateful day the mouse lost its mind. It started working backwards. And both the buttons wouldn’t work. You know that without buttons, all control is lost. If this were an episode of Star Trek:The Next Generation it would be time to separate the saucer. “We’ve lost control! Brace for impact!”
So, as Yoda would say, “A problem we have.” But I quickly thought of a fix because after all, the work of looking for cute pictures of cats on the internet goes on regardless. I took the cordless mouse from my laptop and switched it out. And there was the rub. You see, the laptop mouse used a little USB thingie (be in awe of my technical vocabulary) to communicate with the computer. The addled desktop mouse didn’t. I don’t know how it communicates with the computer. Magic? Text message? The Pony Express? Anyhow, it does not have a little USB thingie. It just sits there and goes. Or not, in this case.
So, the laptop mouse worked like a charm. Until I went to save a document to one of my external drives, the “G” drive as I fondly call it. (I have two. I got them to back up aforesaid files when my “C” drive gave up the ghost. I thought I had lost everything until I remembered the blessed Norton backup feature of my anti-virus. Whew.) Anyhow, when I went to save to the G drive, it wasn’t there. I don’t mean it had disappeared physically–the computer couldn’t “see” it. And it couldn’t see the F drive either.
I spent a fun-filled hour trying various complex and arcane methods to reintroduce Big Mama to Mr. F and Mr. G, to no avail. Finally, I remembered reading somewhere that if you make a change to your computer and it goes all Grape Nuts on you, undo the change and see if that fixes the problem. Become the change you want to see in your computer. This made sense when I realized that the external drives used USB ports as well. Something was rotten in the state of USB connection.
I removed the laptop mouse and brought Mr. Desktop Mouse back for an encore. He actually worked enough for me to navigate around and open the control panel to find…Mr. F and Mr. G! We were so happy! We had a party with microchips and Jolt Cola!
Somehow the USB device of the “new” mouse had interfered with the USB connections of the external drives.
So, I was back to square one with an ailing mouse. It occurred to me that it might be an adjustment problem (isn’t it always?) so I opened the mouse control thingie, increased the cursor speed and voila! (or as a student once spelled it, “Walla!”) my mouse was cured and happily scurrying around the desktop showing me cute pictures of kitties.
It was a close call, but everything turned out all right. Just another day in the life of Mr. Technology.
(No mice were harmed in the writing of this post.)