First World Problems


My computer will not open the website I wish to consult.

It will not, in fact, open any website.

Investigation of the bowels of the thing reveals – eventually – that the Windows firewall will not allow anything to pass it.


I mess about with the tolerance levels of the Windows firewall. It appears that those levels resemble the attitude of the Rev. Ian Paisley to mention of the Pope.

And just like the Rev. Ian, the Windows firewall has no intention of changing its views.

Eventually I turn off the computer and take to strong waters.

The next day the computer will allow access. Clearly the Windows firewall has not the  staying power of the Rev. Ian.

Probably lacking the moral support of a piss and vinegar band accompanied by the lambeg.

Technology, in respect of the internet, is a wonderful thing. If only firms like Microsoft would not keep hiring people to bugger it up for those of us who buy a computer with the idea of being able to communicate….to learn…to switch the wretched thing on to access the world rather than to learn that Windows is configuring it – at length.

You switch off at night.

No…Windows is configuring….you have to sit up or trust the brute not to stall.

You switch on in the morning…

Would you believe it? Windows is still messing about with the computer’s innards like an incompetent surgeon in search of a missing swab.

So while you wait you think you will check Facebook on your mobile ‘phone.

Fat chance. The blasted thing wants to download an upgrade – echoes of the Grand Old Duke of York – but on having agreed to its request it will smugly tell you that you do not have enough space in what is laughingly called the memory and you must then abandon other sites such as Kindle in order to make space for it.

Not a chance, Facebook!

Between being able to read books I have chosen and a screenful of ads which bear no relation to my interests there is no contest.

How Facebook believes that I wish to know fifteen methods of cleaning my oven without using harmful chemicals is beyond me, but whoever devised that algorithm has his airse oot the windae.

Come to that I can live without those who post that they are feeling down, wait for fifteen concerned souls to respond in terms of increasing anxiety and then say that they will reply by pm.

First world problems, comes the smug, dismissive reply from the yoga mats…..

Quite right the yoga mats! It is indeed, which does not make it any less of a problem, indicative as it is of a society where companies believe and act as though those who buy their products are supplicants before their altars rather than the foundation of their fortunes.

Mark you, I am beginning to believe that companies produce items as a sort of front for their real activities, such as buying up their own shares to boost the price on the stock market which in turn increases the value of the options held by their directors who all appoint one another in a game of musical chairs in which chairs are added rather than removed and a golden parachute takes them from one set of chairs to another when their incompetence becomes notorious even in their own ranks.

Incompetence used to be regarded as a Third World problem…’If only they knew how to manage things better…’ but is fast becoming the mark of the First World.

To work out the price of a ticket from London to Milton Keynes requires an Enigma machine while the French railway company, SNCF, managed to advertise cheap  tickets to be sold ‘at dawn’ which, had they ever existed, had vanished long before Bright Phoebe rose above the horizon to the chagrin of all those who had set their alarm clocks in order to take advantage of the offer.

U.K. embassies no longer issue passports….banks can’t tell their arse from their elbow when it comes to security…websites go in loops…

I tell you



35 thoughts on “First World Problems”

  1. I feel your technological pain. Last week I ran three Windows updates that my laptop swore I needed. It constantly nagged me with pop-up reminders. So I finally clicked ‘update.’ The next day I couldn’t boot my computer. The tech store says it’s unfixable. So now I wait for my new laptop to come, trying to get by on my iPad which isn’t optimal considering I’m working on my publisher’s final edits for my newest book. So frustrating. All because I ran a recommended update! Sigh.

    1. It is like that blasted McAfee which comes with the bundle…the first thing I do on replacing a computer is to look for that and get rid of it. Experience has shown me that it will completely mess up my computer within days.

      Why can’t we sue the brutes when they recommend an action which results in disaster?

      I am so sorry that doom struck at that precise moment…wretched for you.

  2. To clean up Faceache add FB Purity to your browser. To make your life sweet and calm again get rid of Microsoft Windows and install Ubuntu – it’s free, all the apps are free and it works. It doesn’t need anti-virus or a firewall Although both can be installed if you want free from the depository. Janet and I have used Ubuntu for years and would never go back to the rubbish that is Microsoft or Apple related. Go on, take the plunge and get your life back!

    1. I will try the FB Purity…many thanks. And when my little laptop comes back from the repairman I will try Ubuntu on that and if I can manage that then I will attack my regular computer.

      All i want is something simple that is not trying to use my data for its own ends…..

  3. Ah the Microsoft upgrade! How lovely to know you understand the frustration we all feel.
    Upgrades must be started before going to bed and allowed to run all night, by morning they might be finished…
    One thing I have learned is that those organised to help us will not do so in a direct fashion. There must be ups and downs, back and forwards, unhelpful disinterested staff, red tape, uninterested councillors/MPs, and eventually success if you wait long enough and have a good lawyer.
    Going round in circles is what keeps the world going, well going round in circles anyway…
    Hopefully the firewall has worked itself out properly by now.

    1. Steadily descreasing circles, in my view…ending we all know where…

      Another little trick is to announce that a website’s security certificate is up the spout….if so, why can I get it on my mobile ‘phone, I ask myself. No point asking the professionals, they exist only to confuse.

  4. I am stuck with Apple but fear that my ancient machine will soon give up the ghost – not because it is broken but because it is too old to receive upgrades. Ubuntu looks like the answer. Thanks Alan

  5. Well, all my technology is working fine at the moment (famous last words), but you’re right about incompetence fast becoming a first world problem. As you know, I’m trying to sort out my mum’s 42 bank accounts, and the obstacles put in my path at every stage are incredible. Some banks seem determined to stop me doing anything rather than help me out. Like a copy of a six page document has to be certified on every page by a bank, building society or some other approved institution. I need the persistence of a saint.

    1. I can believe that!

      And, by the by, why would one have any faith in anything certified by a bank, a building society or other ‘approved’ institution? Given their proven levels of incompetence I would rather rely on certification by any passing toddler.

  6. How I feel for you. In the UK we had 10 Mbps, here we have between 0.3 and sometimes up to 0.5 Mbps so we feel the difference. Microsoft do not take into account that you might have a slow connection and they just whack you with massive updates. Drives us both mad. I am not sure that life was as easy before computers, but it was less stressful and you were used to waiting days or weeks to get the information required!!
    Hope that you are both well. Diane

    1. Our service here used to be tops…but it has declined over the last couple of years and bandwidth has suffered, so, yes, these massive updates can cause problems when we are in one of the low bandwidth periods…
      We are, as they say, bearing up under the strain!

      I am trying to catch up with your blog but for some reason it has disappeared…I think I can get it back via the dreaded FB, however and will try!

  7. Don’t get me started on computer things. My Achilles’ Heel. We don’t have windows. We just MacPro, which has a mind of it’s own. Ranked down their at the lower IQ rung, it is slow and frustrating, and refuses to follow my fingers commands. Arrrrgh. Believe me when I say I commiserate with you. That said, phew, I hope you, Leo, and your gang down there have a good day.

    1. You MacPro reminds me of the barrister who asked the judge to turn something over ‘in what your lordship is pleased to call your lordship’s mind…’
      I think it a poor show when my keyboard is slower than my fingers….

      Hope all is well with you…or should i say ‘the lamb be with you…’?

  8. I hope your technological woes have been solved. Technology is one of a long list of things sent to try us and keep us from understanding what is really going on…
    Aye, wur doomed!

  9. I’m becoming increasingly sick of computers, and considering whether there is any chance of doing without at least the kind of phone which gets the internet. I am having occasional days without the phone now, and the trick will be to put those days together to make, say, a week….

    I am glad that your power supply seems to be working all right again, though – at least you now have the choice of being frustrated and annoyed by the computer or not !

  10. Obligatory:

    Helen Devries: “I’ve been a very bad girl,’ she said, biting her lip. ‘I need to be punished.’

    Microsoft: ‘Very well,’ he said and installed Windows 10 on her laptop.

  11. So remember brave Lord Microsoft, boys, he had never known defeat. And for his reward they blew him up in the middle of O’Connell Street.
    Grand music. The young lad with the cymbals; doing the occasional double step to keep step.

  12. I don’t have the words in my meager armory to truly express my empathy but most days this is why I drink! Bon courage and I do hope that your issues will be sorted. I seems so little to ask that we are simply able to use the technology that has developed apace over the second half of my lifetime to keep in touch with those we want to. As for FaceBook …. I threaten a cull every day. Using it as a wholly attention seeking device is so crass – I wonder what so many would think if asked to enact what they do daily on Social Media in a terrestrial setting. For example, standing in the town square and telling all and sundry that they are miserable, getting a reaction from someone they know vaguely, who happens to be passing and asks what the problem is to which they say ‘I’ll ring you, it’s personal’. I would bet that most people would not do that in a month of Christmases so why on earth do it on FaceBook (and I imagine Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc etc). I could harp on but I think I’d better go out for a stroll lest I hit the bottle at 10:30 a.m!!!

    1. I took to strong waters in the evenng…but had it happened earlier then the temptation would have been extreme…
      I am on FB on suffrance…just because so many ex bloggers have moved there and it is the only way to keep in touch.

  13. While I’ve been otherwise engaged my computer (Mac, natch) has developed an ugly tick. It’s a hard life, it really is.
    Problems problems , if it isn’t one thing it’s another. Enough cliches?
    Commiserations, at least you live in a friendly place where everybody is saintly. Oh, hang on a minute . . . .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s