Sunday, May 26, 2024

Tech Challenges

By Terry Whalin

The writing world continues to change and a key element is our technology. Years ago when I faced a deadline and needed an extra day or two, I could tell the editor the submission was in the mail. At that time, the mail was slow and not dependable (little has changed in this area). You would mail a floppy disk with the story and later a hard disk with the electronic file. 

With the advent of the internet and high speed transmissions, the writer has no ability to fudge on their deadline. Instead the editor or agent wants the file right away as an attachment. Many professionals expect to receive the file in a few hours instead of days later.

These days it seems like Im constantly learning a new program or a new technical skill. Sometimes I'm an early adapter and other times Im behind the curve of what others are doing. For example, Ive not had a webcam on my desktop for many years. In these days of zoom teaching, Ive used my iPhone on a tripod instead of a webcam. 

Recently I purchased a GUSGU 1440P Quad HD Webcam. I used google to find a top webcam. When it was delivered, I set it up and experimented to see if I could get it working. I could only see the black screen. Then I decided to pull out the instructions and read them. Thats what you do when you are experimenting and not succeeding with some tech matter. After reading the instructions, I discovered this webcam has a “privacy cover which arrived closed.  Its a nice feature so no one can “spy on you without you knowing that it is turned on. When I slid back the cover, the webcam worked perfectly. 

Also reading the instructions, I discovered my webcam came with some accessories like an extension cord, a tripod, a powerbank and a device to extend some ports on the computer. To get these extras, you had to send an email and ask for them. I followed the instructions, furnished my order number and then these extra accessories arrived and Im using them.

If you get stuck with a tech challenge, I encourage you to read the instructions. If this doesnt work, then reach out to a friend. If this doesn't resolve it, then possibly reboot your computer. Often my “challenge is something easy to fix with a bit of patience and persistence.

Do you have tech challenges? What steps do you take to resolve them? Let me know in the comments below.


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