Living in a world of software updates

I’ve been saying recently (kiddingly) that my version of heaven is one where everything just works. Need to change your cable plan? No problem – one short call and it is done correctly. Question about a bill? No worries – it is quickly solved.

Today I lived the frustrating part of life where things don’t “just work”.  Earlier this week our Frontier Fios cable box software updated. Hmmm, not bad – it’s not the same but I’ll learn to love it. This set top box has a guide feature where you can switch between “all channels” and two sets of favorites. There are hundreds of channels – most of which I don’t care about or don’t have access to per my agreement. This was never a problem with the old set top box because when I touched the remote control “Guide” button it remembered that I was on “Favorites 1” last time. The new set top box doesn’t remember that so I keep going back and hitting a button on the remote to get back to where I want to be.

Because I want to live in a world where things just work, I have a universal remote control; so when I want to watch TV, I touch the universal remote “Watch TV” button and all the components come on and I can watch TV.  Well, because the Guide button for TV just worked before I never had to worry about the fact that I don’t have a “Favorites” button on the universal remote  – things just worked.

No worries, it shouldn’t take too long to program the favorites function to an unused key on the remote. I fire up the Logitech Harmony Remote software on my Mac only to get a message that it needs a legacy (i.e. old) version of Java to run. Not good; but I’ll install the older version and then reinstall the latest when I’m done.

Restart the remote software and quickly add the Favorites function to an unused button. Great! The next step is to download the changes to the remote. Hmmm – problem. The software can’t connect to the remote to download the changes. So, I fiddle with the cable to make sure I have a good connection; then remove and reinstall the remote battery to reset it; try a few other things – still no luck.

I think to myself: it’s been a while since I’ve had to program the remote; I wonder if there is a new version of the software. Search the web to find the download site and find out that the latest version of the software may not be compatible with the newest Mac OS X version (Sierra). I download the latest version just to see and sure enough, no dice.

No worries! I have a Windows Virtual Machine running. I bet I can install the Logitech software on that and be up and running in no time.

Worries, the virtual machine software hangs on launch – big gray screen. So I troubleshoot (tech term for “Google”) and find that  I am two major versions out of date (cause I hardly ever use it). The version I’m running apparently doesn’t work with the new Mac OS X version.

Next step, go to the VMWare site and download a test version of the latest version. Install it (after a couple of attempts) and try to load the Windows 7 virtual machine.VMWare launches but “can’t connect to peer”. More technical troubleshooting (aka Google) and groan. Um, did I mention I’m running Sierra and for some stupid reason chose to put my Documents folder on (in?) the iCloud. That is where my virtual machine is so VMWare couldn’t connect to it. So, I drag it out of the cloud and back into a safe place where it won’t get moved back. Restart and finally get a Windows 7 session running.

Next step, download the latest Windows version of the Logitech software. It takes forever to download and start to run the install process because so many processes are running in the background to update  Windows  and sync documents for DropBox and Google Drive. In addition, a new version of VMWare tools has to install and then I have to reboot the virtual machine. While that happens I go strain the chicken stock I’m making today.

Finally, FINALLY, I download the Logitech remote software, run the install, connect and goodness gracious: my current remote setup is installed – one of the nice things about cloud computing. I update the firmware on the remote and then download the changes.

It took a lot longer to do than to tell about it. It looks like a straight line in the retelling, but it was really a journey of fits and starts. I started at 11:00 and it is now 3:30. I still haven’t tested the remote so who knows what will happen.

Bottom line: to update a button on my universal remote I spent 4 1/2 hours and $50 (to update VMWare fusion). Go figure

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