When the Network Goes Crazy

Let me say this: I know nothing about how computers and the internet work. For me, it’s a magic box that tells me things I need to know. So I may use wrong terms here.

It seems our computers are on different networks. So there could be a problem on a student computer when the same database or program is working just fine on the staff ones. Except for mine. My computer does not like to be a snob. So it shares the problems of the student machines.

Yesterday, we noticed that our links to ebooks were not working. But because problems can never be simple, they were working on some pages and not on others. The links worked only on one browser. And to make matters more confusing, they worked on some machines and not others.

Today, when I came in, a colleague told me the problem had not been fixed. I checked on my computer, and sure enough, the link led to a virtual abyss.

I check with another staff member, who said, “It’s working on my machine.”

“But it’s not working on mine.”

“I tried it a hour ago, and it was fine.”

“But I just tried it, and it’s not working at all.”

Then there was a stare-off between the person with working links who’s pretty sure that the other person is having user-error problems and the person (me) who is sure she knows how to click on a link.

I demonstrated that the links did not work on my machine. Then I checked the student machines and discovered that they did not work there. Now the  problem is in the capable hands of our beloved IT department.

It occurred to me that today held some pretty good life lessons:

  1. Don’t assume that because something has happened to you, it is universal.
  2. Know the cause of a problem before trying to solve it.
  3. There are some things that are beyond your understanding. To delve too deeply into them will only lead to madness.




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