Computing headaches

Well, I may be feeling smug because, as a Mac owner, I am spared all these virus and spam problems – at least so far. But I have been wrestling with problems which have quite turned me against computers this week.

Suddenly, out of the blue, I have had problems with my blog, and my website generally. I use something called WordPress, which is a free open-source content management system. It uses something called ‘Visual Editor’, another bit of free software which allows you to format text and insert images how you want. It is not working. And nor is another bit of software, called Envira, which allows you to upload pictures and insert them in your blog or other pages.

I should add that none of these are problems with my Mac: my website and all associated software is on a server (host computer) somewhere in California, running a flavour of Unix.

Neither is crucial to my well being, but I hate being defeated and I have spent a good part of the last few days trying to work out what has happened. One visible sign is that I have changed the selected layout (known in wordpress or wp parlance as ‘themes’) to one that is more mainstream (not sure if I like it, but it is here for the time being). I’ve been ‘deactivating’ other bits of software (plugins) trying to find the culprit. And I have been googling like mad and roaming around forums (or fora??) trying to find the solution. All I have found so far is that there are quite a lot of people who have had the same problems as mine, but that the reasons for them are so varied there seems no magic solution. I have also strayed into a world whose level of computing expertise – or at least knowledge of the jargon – is way beyond mine.

Anyhow currently I’m waiting for Envira support to come back with suggestions, and I have been exchanging emails with a young (I assume…) Indian who started by answering my queries on a forum and then followed up with email offers of help. Would that I had someone nearer home to turn to!

All of this seems totally unimportant in comparison with the current global cyber attack. One thing I cannot understand about this is why on earth so many computers were running out of date versions of Windows. Were the computers too old to be upgraded, or was it laziness, overwork, ignorance or maladministration that left the NHS, for example, so appallingly vulnerable?

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