I have had, at least I think, generally above-average tech literacy for most of my life. I make my career in being an, at least I think, high-priced tech consultant… and generally was good at helping people research problems. I spent my latter years at college helping scrub and then harden student’s personal computers from all the Ills of the Internet as of 2002. Sure I do the same “How do I make computer/phone/car stop doing [un-nerving thing], Google?” thing as most folks, but for some reason I seemed to zero in on the issue and fix it quickest. So I am comfortable with the idea that I have encountered and know how to fix a lot of random tech issues.
That being said, the most complicated and confusing and “unsolvable without some sort of large replacement purchase” issues are always courtesy of my Mother. I mean, I have seen heisenburg upgrades of Internet Explorer (I can’t see it in the ‘windows features’ list to uninstall it, but when I try to install a new copy, it says it’s already installed!?), I have seen more toolbars than an auto shop… but this most recent thing makes me think my mother just got cursed by someone.
So, I’m printing out some documents for my mother to read, and the printer jammed… and as I was yanking out the crimped sheets from the printers every orifice, I noticed that in the paper maelstrom there were some small strips of paper that were about 8 inches long and 3/8ths inch wide… and they were perfectly cut, not something torn off by something getting caught in the printer. The end of one was also singed by getting caught close to the fusor.
There were a few more jams, a few more strips, and eventually the paper ran out, and in picking up the remnants of a plastic wrapped, reputable all-purpose paper, and STRIPS STARTED FALLING OUT OF IT. I shook the rest of the ream from both angles until about 40 or 50 of the little suckers were littering the floor. And this was not like, some local hand-me-down paper from the friendly mill down across town or something, this was Georgia Pacific, bought in Office Max/Office Despot/Staples Should-not-have-little-strips-n-shit paper.
This is the sort of thing I don’t see anywhere else that has reassured me of my mother’s status of an aggregator for strange tech problems. I may soon be inquiring to the services of Young Priest & Old Priest LLC.