What was turning out to be a relatively quiet day on Tuesday, turned into a test of my geek skills.
After finally depleting his stash of Christmas gift golf balls, Nat needed to buy some more and so we headed into St. Catharines Tuesday morning. We also thought we would wander around a couple of other stores and pick up a few items that were lingering on our “To Get” list. All in all it was a nice getaway, despite the fact that on our way in we remembered this was the day Cpl. Brown’s body was being returned home from the war in Afghanistan. We knew the turnout of support and well-wishers was going to be pretty heavy, so we stopped for lunch at “Timmies” until the traffic had dissipated before heading home.
Naturally with a quiet afternoon ahead of me, I decided to do some catch-ups on the computer. Record a few more albums, get the old iPod updated and recharged, finish converting some more photo files from “JPG” to ‘TIFF”, check out a couple new web sites and so on. I also thought this would be a good time to check for any map updates on the Garmin website. Sure enough, there was one and it was FREE until April 9th. Well, “Free” being the operative word, away I went!! Seemed easy enough, despite the fact it would take a couple of hours. What the hell, I had time – so I clicked on that ever-lovin’ “Download” button.
I managed to fill the hour or so while the download was going on. And once it was finished I tried to launch the application, but with no success. I clicked and I clicked and I doubled clicked on the “Launch” button, but to no avail. Then suddenly Garmin was showing on its screen that the “Software Was Missing”. OMG! What did I do!! I unplugged the unit, turned it off, turned it on, plugged it back into the Mac but nothing was happening. The unit wasn’t being recognized and still the “Software Was Missing”. I called in Nat and we both tried whatever we could – including checking the little booklet that came with the unit – but all for naught!!
I went back to the drawing board, thinking it was something in the download and decided to repeat the process. Went back to the website and downloaded the whole thing a second time. This time I thought I was being clever and checked off the “Launch On Completion” button. Another couple of hours to wait, another couple of hours to fill. As is always the case for me, this whole process was again useless. Now I’m pissed off! I know I did nothing wrong to lose the software!! My whole afternoon is now being wasted on this bloody GPS unit! A simple new map update was all I wanted!!
I was now scanning for the Tech Support on the Garmin website, and naturally there was nothing in their 24 pages of “Help Topics” that suited our situation. There never is, is there!!! With a few more clicks I managed to find a phone number, along with their working hours. I grabbed the phone and dialed as fast as I could. It was now 6:00 pm and they were closing at 7:00 pm. What luck, with about a 2 minute wait time, I soon had a techie on the line.
Explaining my situation to “Ryan”, he promptly explained that I would need to speak to one of their Mac guys. I’ve heard that before. But within seconds, “Hello Adrian”, I said and again went through my situation hoping like hell he could help. “Well, it sounds like you’ve lost your software by probably downloading a corrupted file”, was his response. OMG! I know what corrupted files can do, but was relieved to find out that he could resolve our little dilemma.
I’ve now got my headset on for the phone, the GPS connected to the Mac and my two hands are free for whatever paces Adrian wants to put me through. He was going to send me the new software via email, a somewhat large file and I was ready for him. However, trying to put it on the GPS was fruitless. It wasn’t going to go. So, now it was determined that we would need the latest drivers for the GPs and again, he would send them via email. The driver was only Windows compatible (what were the odds!!!), and I was also going to need our old laptop that has Windows XP on it, along with a flash or external hard drive (only because the laptop wasn’t connected to the internet). The whole process would be to open up his second email, drag the attachment to the external hard drive, disconnect the hard drive from the Mac and plug it into the laptop, then drag the attachment from the hard drive to the desktop of the laptop, plug in the GPS unit to the laptop, and he would instruct me from there.
As an aside – the laptop is on its last legs and was dragged out of the closet to use for transferring our record albums to CDs. As the Nero unit we purchased was “Windows” only, it would be a perfect set-up. The laptop, Nero unit, stereo receiver and turntable were all set up in the dining room, and lucky for me, we had just moved all of that equipment to the office in order to clear the dining room table for future use (like dinners!!). If we hadn’t moved everything into the office we would have been bouncing back and forth between office and dining room dragging a telephone (the headset is not Wi Fi), hard drive and GPS unit along with us. Adrian would be hearing the breeze threw the headset as we strutted between rooms!!
While Nat was turning on the laptop, I was in the process of retrieving Adrian’s email and dragging it to the external hard drive. We then plugged the hard drive into the laptop along with the GPS unit and with USB plugs being connected and disconnected and flying every which way but loose, the laptop began to beep – the new hardware had been found. This is now where my new found friend, Adrian, puts me through the paces of making sure everything is there – going through the Device Manager, which I haven’t had to do for several years since switching to a Mac – and slowly but surely things began to re-emerge into the old brain cells. I was pretty lucky, as half of my brain (or at least an eighth of it) had retained enough information to know and understand where I was going on a “Windows” machine. Well, Hallelujah, success had been achieved. That old laptop that was slow as hell, cursed at every now and again, and had had Windows XP reinstalled, found the devices and we were ready to go. I was now successful in getting the new driver and software dragged to the desktop, whereupon that blessed “Techie” on the other end of the phone line told me to drag the one icon ontop of one of the others. Hmmmm, that was new to me, but what the hell. He’s been on the phone line all this time while Nat and I have been muttering instructions back and forth and mumbling to ourselves, and I figured he must at least know what he’s doing. Sure enough, he was right. Suddenly Garmin lights up, beeps at us as if awakening from a long deep sleep, and was up and running again. Whew!!!!!
After giving my heart-felt thanks to my now good buddy, Adiran, we said our goodbyes and wished each other well. All is good in “Garmin Land” again – or at least until I try to download that new map update which put me here in the first place!! Thank God, too, for toll free numbers – as this whole process took about half an hour. Adrian, you’re a patient man!!!
This morning (Wednesday) was going to be the proof in the pudding. I was hesitant at first. Afterall, one screw up and a corrupted file is enough to make anyone jittery the second time around. But what the hell – I’ve saved the new driver and software and should be good to go if I screwed up again, right???
I guess I’m having a pretty good day, as the new download went smoothingly well – the GPS is now updated and ready to take us down the road to anywhere our little hearts’ desire. Donations are now being graciously accepted to our new Travel Fund which has been set up. Receipt upon request, non-tax deductible and void where prohibited (whatever that means!). Goodnight, Adrian, wherever you are!!!