Software angst

Since my computer died two weeks ago I bought a new computer with all the works and with Windows 10 installed.  But, I needed Microsoft Office, that group of software programs that allow you to do all the things for which computers are essential, like accessing the internet, writing masterpieces, communicating by e-mail, etc.  I was able to download and activate the latest version of Office via an organization that I no longer work for, for a small cost.  This was perfectly legal inasmuch as it allowed me to do it.  I have to say that from the first moment everything worked fine.  I Googled and Chromed and word processed to my heart’s content.

But, there was one program that I could not configure for my preference as I had used it before, namely MS Outlook.  Since I have two e-mail addresses and one (Yahoo) works fine on the web, but the other (Bezeq) doesn’t, I have used that e-mail on Outlook before.  I must confess that I was unable to configure Outlook myself, so I called Bezeq, with whom I have an account.  But, the person I spoke to told me it was a Microsoft problem, which was actually incorrect. Anyway, I called Microsoft and eventually got through to a technical expert, who said he would fix the problem and then took over my computer remotely and proceeded to completely check and reinitialize the whole of Office.  At this point I must admit that this was a huge mistake by me.  I should have either left the problem alone or insisted the e-mail people Bezeq, not Microsoft, solve the problem.  After 1.5 hrs of waiting on-line (he told me I could go and have lunch or do something else) he finished and when we got to Outlook, it was the same as before, so he told me to call Bezeq.  I called them again and told them it was not a MS problem and this time I got someone who actually seemed to know what he was doing and he reconfigured Outlook for Bezeqint e-mail for me.  So far so good.

But, there was a problem, on the top of the Outlook program there was an error message (in red). It read “Outlook has not been activated. To keep using Outlook without interruption activate before Sun Sept. 13”.  I clicked the “activate” button next to this message, and it asked me for my e-mail address and password to activate “Office” (not just Outlook).  I put them in, but it would not accept them.  After trying several times I was prompted to change my password, which I did, but it still would not work.  To my horror I also discovered that all the MS Office program had the same message.  I thought that this must be because of what the MS technical expert had done, so I called MS again at the special number for these products (another big mistake).

I was answered by a woman with a thick Indian accent, on a bad telephone line, but I finally got through to her what the problem was, but since it was an Office problem she transferred me to another expert.  He was also Indian and he asked me for the Program key (five sets of 5 digits that come with the product), but by mistake I gave him the product key for MS Windows and not Office.  Understandably this confused him, but when he realized the mistake he told me to call another number, and it was the previous one that I had called.  At this point I was understandably annoyed and frustrated.

So in despair I appealed to my son for help, but of course, he could not help me in this situation.  So I gave up and went to bed.  I awoke early in the morning and the solution to the problem was clear in my mind.  I got up and re-initialized Office from the beginning as I had done days before.  I was worried that doing so would remove all the changes and details that I had made in the programs, such as my favorite sites on Chrome, my Yahoo e-mail and my Bezeqint e-mail on Outlook.  But, I braved the possibility, the re-initialization went quickly and easily and when it was done the threatening error message with the date for destruction was gone and all my programs worked as before. Success.  If there is one lesson from all of this, never call MS unless you are in extreme dire straits, and make sure that if someone says they can’t help you, call again and get another expert (as I should have done with Bezeq at first).  Finally, when all else fails, start at the beginning again.


2 thoughts on “Software angst

  1. Jack –

    If you are not aware already of a similar saga, find *Gerard Hoffnung at the Oxford Union – 1958 – “The Bricklayer’s Lament”…..*brilliant…….you will want to hear it again – and again….


  2. You are lucky to get through to Microsoft. I have had big problems over the last week Windows 10 would not work at all. I tried to contact Microsoft. There’s no telephone number on the website, so I tried for an chat – I was 59th in the queue. So I went to the chat page and I was not the only one having this problem There were lots of the same comments and a Microsoft Engineer had written what to do This worked till the next day and then it went wrong again . Luckily when I rebooted it came back on


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