But It Worked Yesterday!!

Have you ever had an episode with a website where something that worked recently doesn’t work anymore?? It might not be you or your computer.

Websites, including email sites, are written in programming code just like all other software. Programmers are notorious for not leaving well enough alone, which for the most part is a good thing.  Web sites can develop security holes, which programmers work hard to plug as they arise.  This, of course, can make the website behave differently from what you’re used to.  Since the changes are on the web site itself, and not on your computer, there isn’t really anything you can do about it other than learn to live with it.  Not all of the “improvements” that programmers make sit very well with the end user.

Fortunately, most of the large web sites have an excellent help section which you should familiarize yourself with.  They also usually have phone numbers that you can call to get help if the help section isn’t good enough.  Look around on the web site and you will usually find a link labeled help, generally along the top of the web page somewhere.  If you don’t find anything labeled help, look for an icon that looks like a gear, which will get you to the web site settings page.  An icon that looks like three horizontal lines is the menu icon, which may also get you to a help page.

Updates to Windows itself can also cause unexpected consequences.  Usually, Windows updates deal with things “under the hood” and are transparent to the end user, but sometimes they can make things stop working or work in unexpected ways.  If this happens, some detective work may be in order to track down the offending update, which can then be uninstalled.  This happens less frequently than web site updates, but can cause far more problems.

Because every computer is slightly different the instant you take it out of the box and start using it, software writers cannot possibly test their product under every possible condition.  Sometimes, a very small percentage of computer users will have a serious problem related to either the particular software or the particular hardware installed on that machine.  You will probably not be the only one with this problem, and sooner or later someone will come up with a fix for it, but it may take awhile.

The Windows operating System is not the only thing subject to frequent updates; many programs are updated on a regular basis for security, usability, or other reasons, and some of these updates may happen behind your back.  This can also lead to unexpected consequences.  The best thing to do in this situation, if possible, is call the company that made the software and see if there is a fix available.  Often, a search on Google for the particular problem may yield some important information as well.

Unfortunately, things that worked yesterday and don’t work today are par for the course in the computing world.  It’s just another one of those aggravations that people living in the 21st century have to put up with.

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