Help Our family has nick-names for just about everything; Ruby, Jade, Baby Rocket and Scootie are in actuality; my red Mazda 3, Abby's green Mazda 3, Amy's black Acura TL and Carly's Honda Scooter. No, you don't want my car insurance bill 🙁

But when one of them (or some other mechanical / electronic device) has failed in some fashion, its name changes to a less endearing term, typically - Pig. So when I saw this text from Amy on Monday, after she had taught her noon class at Cycle Quest, my first thought was; "well, bring the Pig home and I'll see if I can help you figure it out.

Once I had the Pig her Android Razor in my hands, Amy showed me that there were in fact a bunch of her Spotify playlists that wouldn't play. They appeared to be correctly downloaded (Spotify describes making tracks available off-line as Downloaded on a Droid vs. Make Available Off-Line on an iPhone... go figure) and when you clicked a song it showed it as playing, but no sound came out.

I'm not an Apple computer user, so I don't know if  the below applies to you - but it probably does.

My brother Dan taught me a number of years ago that the first step in diagnosing any PC computer problem is to Re-Boot (shut down everything) and see if that will fix the problem. Many times that's all that's required.

Dan explained how device software and the hardware they run on are not 100% perfect - resulting in small errors that occur each time you load or run a program. The operating software system can deal with these small errors (which build up over time) until they become unmanageable, resulting in your computer/device changing into a Pig.

So after poking around unsuccessfully, I asked Amy when was the last time she re-booted her phone. She couldn't think of a time, but she did remember seeing a notice that Spotify had updated. This appears to be another difference between Android and Apple. Droid Apps update on their own. Apple device Apps display a little red arrow indicating an update is available & you manually approve each. Hearing Dan's voice in the back of my head saying; "you need to re-boot the Pig", which we did and problem solved 🙂

Side note Over the past 4 1/2 years I've answered hundreds of tech related questions from ICI/PRO members. A common theme that runs through these requests is; I'm not very Techie, I must be doing something wrong or similar self-defamatory statements where the questioner takes personal responsibility for the problems/issues they are experiencing. THIS IS ALMOST ALWAYS NOT TRUE!

A lot of the technology we use as Instructors IS confusing, frustrating, problematic or just plain doesn't work like you think it should. In nearly every instance I can think of, what was preventing the person asking me the question from solving it themselves, was a reluctance to take the next step.

The next time you run into something confusing, frustrating, problematic or just plain doesn't work like you think it should - give yourself permission to try something else; start clicking buttons... every one you can find. If that doesn't work close the program, walk away, and then return with a fresh perspective.

My brother Dan is really sharp with computers - a real Techie. I've watched him work trying to solve a problem for me and he'll be zooming around my laptop, opening and closing stuff faster than my eyes can follow. I'll ask him; "what are you doing?" and he'll say; "I have no idea... I'm just trying different things, hoping one will work."

And of course, if all else fails, please know that we're here to help 🙂

Originally posted 2013-03-06 04:52:19.


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