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Cathy DeBuono Talks Tech Hell!

Cathy DeBuono Talks Tech Hell!

Cathy DeBuono shares with SheWired readers her first-hand account of the tech hell that has her next 'What's Your Problem?' running just a tad behind. Does the term Mother Board scare you?

Hello my Fellow Wired ones,

Have you ever wondered if Mercury was in perpetual retrograde?  

Yesterday I was editing a video blog, three different video blogs actually... well not all at once, but I'd work on one for a while and switch to the other. It keeps it exciting...but not as exciting as what happened next. 

First, a series of software seizures stopped me dead in my tracks... you know what that's like right? The little hour glass, or swirly light or whatever icon your computer chooses to alert you to the fact that it's working right now and you just have to wait pops up on your screen, then your cursor disappears like it wants nothing to do with the situation and is taking a hiatus, right after which, the whole screen highlights itself as if you are going to copy & paste it somewhere else and then after several minutes of staring blankly at this you try the old stand by move of hitting "ctrl + alt + delete".... nothing.... and I tried it again, then again... nothing.  

You then have to hold down the power button for 8 to 10 seconds, wait for it to power down and then restart again.  You do this while praying to the computer gods that all the work you spent doing since the last time you hit "save" hasn't vaporized.  While it's booting back up -- does anyone say "boot "anymore? -- you grab a quick bathroom break, or pet your dog or shoot some tequila only to return to your place in front of the screen to find that it's as if the last hour and half of editing or writing or photoshopping you were doing.... never even happened.

Just me?.... I didn't think so... So anyway, I had that day yesterday -- three times! Until finally, the worst happened -- the rebooting failed.  Nothing worked...not unplugging it, not removing the battery, not CPR, not 10 Hail Mary's.... nothing -- ok, to be honest, I didn't even try the Hail Mary's.)  Now people, we are talking about a computer that is not even a year old yet.  Not only is it not a year old but I hadn't even started using it until about six months ago. 

So, I took the next dreaded step for any electronics owner... and I reached for my cell phone and dialed tech support. I dialed the hateful 1-800 number, but not before I searched through my files for the service code, which much to my delight -- and surprise -- I found fairly quickly in the first place I looked.  After obstacle coursing through the automated system --is that a verb, "obstacle coursing"? - I was finally connected to a human being, albeit a human being who's accent I could barely understand, but a human being nonetheless... and then my cell server dropped me. Yes that's right, T-mobile hates my apartment and insists that I sit outside my front door if I'd actually like to talk to someone, no matter the weather -- and yes, it does get "inclement" here, contrary to popular belief -- and I don't mind that I'm calling them out publicly right now either... You hear that T-mobile!? I am less than satisfied with my service! But I digress... 

I of course, called back -- traversed the same automated obstacle course, connected to another thickly accented -- yet bi-lingual so who am I to criticize -- human, gave my address, my phone number, my service code --which I was armed and prepared to give out --  and was just about to launch into the details of my computer's sudden, mysterious and untimely death when T-mobile struck again.  (Cut to a maniacally laughing T-Mobile agent jokester as he unplugs my connectio). Having caught on to T-Mobile's evil ways, I decided to pull out my old lap top and try to access tech support via the chat room at

more on next page...



Now I know what you're thinking... Old lap top? Well why don't you just use your old lap top then Cathy?  Well I'll tell you why, it's all about Ghz, and RAM and software and processors and external hard drives and video files and being an innocent by standing victim of the MAC vs. PC compatibility war.... enough said about that...

So, I got online and entered my handy service code, prayed that the warranty on my computer would cover what ever gnarly, random, Moroccan bird flu or rare astrological event had caused this situation, and much to my delight -- it does! It covers... EVERYTHING! ANYTHING! -- even if I intentionally spilled soup all over the keyboard while finger painting on the screen -- it is completely covered -- oh happy day! I thanked my gay angle, heaved a sigh of relief and clicked on the "live chat support" so I could find out where the nearest service location was.

Bharva, my helpful and knowledgeable support tech quickly entered the room and I was ready to write down an address and get in the car.  But no, that isn't how it worked, and not what was about to happen...  What was about to happen was nearly four hours of Bharva chatting with me as I followed directions in a service manual as to how to remove the hard drive, the memory modules and the communication cards.  

I had to read through each step and carefully find the right tool,  remove the tiny screws, ground myself by touching metal every 30 seconds, while continually checking in with Bharva about what to do next.  I felt like I was delivering a baby or disarming a ticking bomb while a 911 operator talked me through it...and I wasn't happy.  

Apparently a full service warranty means, you've paid for the opportunity to diagnose your own computer after you teach yourself what to look for by reading about it online while someone in India sweet talks you so you won't hate their company completely.  Once you've diagnosed the problem, they take down your number and inform you that a tech person will contact you within three business days to make an appointment to come to your home and replace the part.  My diagnoses was a fried mother board. How that happened no one could explain... They didn't call today, I hope they call tomorrow.

With my newly learned knowledge of how to remove and replace a hard drive, I had the genius idea to put my hard drive in my friend's dell laptop so I could keep working.  I picked Bharva's brain about the possibility of this working out and he told me that it would. It didn't... surprise surprise...

Now I wait, tomorrow is day two of those three business days and no call yet. All I can do is wait.And for an ADHD kid like me, it's painful.  But good for me, in a way I'm sure will reveal itself later...

So what were those three video blogs I have been working on? 

1. My next episode of "What's Your Problem?", in which musician Janet Robin joins me on the heels of her world tour with "Air Supply" and we discuss the difference between Narcissists and Sociopaths.

2. Jill Bennett's next episode of "The Violet Underground" where we take a tour with the force behind the "Dinah" curtain, Mariah Hanson at the Riviera Hotel (the hot new spot for Dinah Shore Weekend 2009).


3. The first episode of a brand new video blog with cutie pie Veterinarian Michelle Jack, called simply "Ask Dr. Jack", where we get to know her better and watch her perform an emergency procedure on "Lucy," one her favorite K9 patients.

So rest easy ladies, and bear with me...I will be getting these videos to you just as soon as my computer is cured, or exorcised or whatever needs to happen.  In the mean time, I will have to learn how to wait.... 


Stay cool and stay wired,

Cathy DeBuono



All of that said...because Cathy is a terrific tech wiz, SheWired anticipates getting WYP? up on the homepage by Wednesday afternoon or early evening depending on which side of the pond you're on.


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