Working from home can be tough, especially if you work the late night shift. What do you do if you have computer problems when the IT department is not available? To answer that question, I thought I would devote this blog to a couple solutions you might not think of right away.
Problem: You find that you can get to Google, but you’re not able to run some of the programs you use for work like your instant messenger, or everything suddenly seems to take a long time to load or, even worse, you have no internet service at all. You’ve tried rebooting your computer. You’ve tried rebooting your router / modem.
Solution: Before you spend hours on the phone trying to get somewhere with your Internet Service Provider (ISP), try using your cell phone as a wifi connection for your computer. If that works, you still need to contact your ISP for assistance, but at least you can work while you try to solve your internet connection problem.
Most of us now have smartphones. One of the features you may not be aware of is the ability to use your cell phone to connect your computer to the internet. On the iPhone, there is an option under settings called Personal Hotspot. Other phones will call the setting something different. Check with your phone carrier to see if this option is available for you. While you’re checking, find out how much data you are paying for to make sure you don’t end up with an extra cost. My only warning is that you should not use this option to watch movies or stream video since these functions use a lot of data.
Problem: A USB device suddenly stops working, or only works some of the time. Some common USB devices are mice, keyboard or foot pedals.
Solution: Try plugging the device into a different USB port. Most computers have multiple USB ports and, like anything else on your computer, one can go bad while the others continue to work just fine. Trying a different port will help you figure out if the device is the problem or the port. If you have another mouse, keyboard, etc try swapping it out. Devices tend to go bad faster than USB ports.
Do you have suggestions for unusual solutions to IT problems that you would like to share? Is there a topic you would like to see covered in these blogs? Email or comment so that I can talk about them in future posts. Remember … It’s only magic until you know how it works.
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