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Fixing Computer Bugs

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Computer problems! Arrrgghhh!    Recently, I’ve encountered two persistent problems that have stopped me in my tracks….but wow, what a feeling when I finally managed to solve them.   To me, it felt like the feeling I had when I knew I had overcome depression to discover peace of mind.   It’s great to confront a challenge and prevail.

Computer bugs really bug me, yet computer bugs became a fantastic analogy for me to use when talking about depression.  I have worked with a number of computer systems in the business world. It quickly became apparent to me that one bug caused many others. One bug was the root cause while others were the symptoms.   What surprised me was how many colleagues didn’t recognise the pattern. People would often complain about the symptoms and not hone in on the root problem.

It’s the same with life.   I recently saw a current affairs article where a student had been expelled from school four weeks out from final exams, all because she wore the wrong colored stockings.   Her mother and others complained bitterly. They can argue all they like about the validity or reasoning of the rule. However, to finish the year, all the student had to do was wear the correct stockings.   The expulsion was the symptom.    The cause was the student deciding to constantly wear the wrong stockings. Bloody hell! Wear the right stockings – finish your exams. Easy!

With depression, many people treat the symptoms.   The lethargy is treated with a need for exercise. The chemical imbalance with drugs.   The disinterest in life is countered by doing something you love.   And though those options may treat the symptom well, they do not remove or remedy the underlying root cause. I know. I tried them all.

When I had depression, I often searched the internet, as it evolved, for new information about depression cures.  There is a lot of symptom treatment but nothing focussing on a root cause. Adding to the mix was that there is differing opinions amongst researchers as to what causes depression.   I had a similar  experience when I began to research the first of my computer problems this week. Microsoft Outlook would not fully open. As the ‘waiting’ icon went around and around for hours on end, a small word appeared in the bottom left hand corner: “Databinding”.

Obviously, the word ‘Databinding’ combined with Outlook not responding simply were a symptom of a computer bug.   I researched the internet and found that the common suggestion was that Outlook had corrupted ‘pst files’ and that I needed to run a program called scanpst.exe.   The instructions that people offered caused me no end of confusion and I could not find one person who verified that the recommended and common solution actually worked.   Where was a practical step by step solution?

The solution was unlikely and came from an unlikely source. I stumbled upon a forum post by a man named Andrew Wallace. Andrew is a “Junior Member” of  the forum with only a few posts to his name. Andrew had stumbled across the solution himself whilst applying a fix for a different problem.

In contrast to the complexity of other solutions, the simple solution that this junior member was able to post was stunning and simple. It also highlighted, once again, about life being a paradox. The solution is often found where you least expect it.

The solution to the ‘Databinding’ and ‘not responding’ error in Microsoft Outlook is: Open Internet Explorer (an apparently unrelated program), go to Tools / Internet Options / General Tab / Browsing History and delete all history for all options.   That’s it.   Outlook then worked perfectly. There were no corrupt pst files. I didn’t need to run complex programs like the consensus was saying.

Now where else have I heard this type of thing? That’s right…depression cures. Depression is not an illness, it’s a symptom. Commonly misunderstood but entrenched by consensus.   But I digress.

The second computer problem I had was with my Skype connection. I have a Skype number and can dial landline phones from my computer. It is very handy when I’m travelling. However the sound became garbled and conversations were impossible. Skype had no answer to this problem.

Again, searching the net offered more ‘expert opinion’ rather than usable solutions.   There was talk about changing programs, buying compatible equipment, and running support programs, however, one post had a passing reference to a file named index.bat becoming ‘bloated’ with use.   This file can be deleted but reappears. However it reappears without being  bloated.   Now I don’t need to know how a common file named index.bat links with Skype, all I need to know is how to delete it.   For that, a nice simple little program named Crap Cleaner did the job. I’ve used this program for quite a while now and found it to be practical.   That’s what I like.   I simply selected every ‘delete’ option and it quickly cleared index.bat, as well as a stack of unnecessary other, um, crap!   Skype was now connecting me loud and clear.

Two computer symptoms cleared by totally ‘unrelated’ bugs.   Imagine how quickly you could clear depression if you knew where the root cause lay.   Look at depression as a symptom, not as a disease.

If you think you’re stuck with depression, think again. 2010 is the year to Discover Peace of Mind.

Rodney Lovell