👍 #795 – Why Do So Many Tech Support Solutions Start with “Reboot” or “Turn It Off”?


I did it myself, just this morning: I rebooted my machine, and a problem I'd been experiencing just magically went away.

On the surface it makes no sense, yet it's by far one of the most effective steps to resolving many issues.

Why the heck is that?

Also this week

Websites and email are full of pictures -- that is, if you can see them, that is.

To help diagnose some of those missing photos I scratch the surface of a super geeky, but powerful tool included in most major browsers these days.

Windows 10 changed many things. At least for how you set default programs there's a clear reason.

The TEH Podcast

Last week Gary and I talked politics without talking politics! Oh, and that machine I rebooted this morning? It's a brand new one -- there'll be Ask Leo! articles, of course, but I talk about it first on the podcast. All that, keeping your hands warm, batteries charged, and how many of the Oscar nominees I've seen in TEH 084: Caucus Ruckus. The TEH Podcast

Paperbacks & Kindle

For those who were waiting, both Kindle and Paperback editions of my most recent books are now available: Confident Computing, and The Best of Ask Leo! -- Volume 2.

Have a great week!!



Why Do So Many Tech Support Solutions Start with "Reboot" or "Turn It Off"?

It seems like every time I call the tech support line for my software, operating system, or even my broadband connection, the first thing out of the technicians mouth is “reboot”. Or worse yet, “Turn the power off for a while.” What does that have to do anything? And why does it work?

It does seem like magic, doesn't it? The computer's acting up, you reboot it, and poof, things are better again. At least for a while.

It gets even weirder when you achieve the same effect just by shutting it all down and pulling the power cord for a while.

A friend of mine once provided a nice explanation for the power scenario, and I can speak a little bit to the magical mess that is software.

Continue Reading: Why Do So Many Tech Support Solutions Start with "Reboot" or "Turn It Off"?

Confident Computing - The Book!

This Week's Articles

Why Don't Pictures Show When I Visit Some Websites?

Why don't pictures show when I visit websites?

Do pictures on a website show as red X's?

There are a number of things that affect how pictures show up in your browser. Some you control, but many problems are caused by the websites themselves.

Let's look at a few things that can happen.

Continue Reading: Why Don't Pictures Show When I Visit Some Websites?

Diagnosing Web Pages with Inspect

Before you run away thinking this article topic is too advanced, I'd like to point out that even if you don't understand what we'll be looking at, providing the information we'll uncover to someone else — like a website owner such as myself — can be invaluable.

Modern browsers, including Google Chrome, Firefox, and the new chromium-based version of Microsoft Edge, include an incredibly useful tool for debugging webpage problems. Normally considered a “developers' tool” (because it's used primarily by website developers), it's available to anyone at any time.

Knowing about it, even at a superficial level, can help you diagnose issues you experience online.

And, as I said, even of you don't “get it”, I'll show you the kind of information you can pass on to those who do. It makes their life easier, and increases the chance that whatever problem you're experiencing can be resolved.

Continue Reading: Diagnosing Web Pages with Inspect

How Windows 10 Changed Setting Default Programs

In order to thwart poorly-behaved and malicious programs, Windows 10 made a major change to the way default programs are set. The change can be startling if you're not prepared for it.

So, let's prepare.

Continue Reading: How Windows 10 Changed Setting Default Programs

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Posted: February 11, 2020 in: 2020
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