Technology Is Mean

This blog post was originally written in March 2012, so it is by no means a current event, though the setting is still current. However, it’s an odd story, and I thought it would be nice to share. šŸ™‚

Technology is mean. Really. I’m not kidding.

There is a computer that I use every week that has a multi-monitor setup: My primary screen, a second smaller screen to the right and a projector. I’ve got two GPUs in this thing: an integrated (for the main monitor) and a discrete (for the others). Both are nVidia cards.

Sunday night, I saw that the GPU drivers had an update. I had not updated them since December, so I downloaded and installed them.

Fast-forward to Wednesday night, I get a call from Dad saying that the projector would not connect. You see, the second monitor is a clone of the projector and it would not clone. I told him the steps to hook it up (I’ve memorized them because of how many times I’ve had to do it), and it still didn’t work. He ended up with some workaround that I don’t know.

Today, I went to see what the problem was. Remember I said I updated the drivers? GPU drivers are usually ok to update. Usually. As it turned out, nVidia changed the criteria for display cloning. The second monitor uses VGA, and the projector uses HDMI. So what’s the criteria for display cloning now? Display Port. And I don’t have any of those, only VGA, HDMI & DVI-D. I looked up older drivers, and the last one before this mess was a Beta. I started downloaded it, but ended up going back to the one had already used. My second mistake on this (the first being the new drivers in the first place), I installed the old driver over the new ones. It worked, but the control panel kept crashing. I uninstalled the GPU via Device Manager and restarted. I loaded the setup again, and it wouldn’t work due to the Find New Hardware wizard. I waited for it to finish, and loaded it again. This time though, I did a clean install and removed the old drivers (which I should have done in the first place). This entire ordeal lasted about an hour, and I learned something: Be wary when updating GPU drivers, especially when you run a multi-monitor system. Now I’m unable to update the drivers unless there is some mass outrage against nVidia about this thing and they bend to our will. And this will happen on the first Sunday that falls in the middle of the week.

Also on Sunday, I moved some files I use all the time to my Dropbox so I may work on them at home. Back I home, I tried to share the files with another shared folder do they would be in one central folder. After a bunch of sharing/unsharing, I ended up leaving it where it wanted to be. Today, I found that I had two folder with the same contents. I removed one, which was the wrong one, and I lost about 2000 files. I pulled the files from the backup, and now I have to go back through then and re-delete everything i deleted.

And this is why I say Technology is mean. And yet I still love it.


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