Ask Dr. Computer

Hylo Bates' Homepage II readers write in to ask for technical support from computer expert, Dr. Computer*.

Dear Dr. Computer: Sometimes, after finishing a document on my work computer in Word, I'll close the program, and I'll get an error saying that there's a problem with something called "the Normal.doc". What IS the Normal.doc, and how can I fix it?
Stumped in St. Louis

Dear Stumped: Think of the Normal.doc as the "blueprint" for all your Word documents. It's the standard form ("template" is the technical bit of jargon) that the program uses when you create a new Word document. This is a common error on systems that are connected to a computer network, especially if the network is inproperly managed (often because the company's Tech Staff are all sitting around in their dungeon-like offices playing "Quake" or "Doom" against each other).
You needn't worry yourself with the specifics of what is causing this problem, because it's more than likely a deliberate bug written into the software to cause your company to have to "upgrade". "Upgrading", of course, is another bit of technical jargon that simply means having to pay software companies exorbitant ammounts of money for new software every other month. The simple way to fix the problem with your Normal.doc is to reboot your computer.

Hey Dr. Computer: My computer locks up on me at least once a day. I've called the company's technical support line, but all they say is to "reboot" the machine. Any suggestions?
Frustrated in Phoenix.

Hey Frustrated: They're right. Reboot.

Dr. Computer: I think that the government, per se, may be monitoring my activities through my computer. I'm careful only to log onto the internet using and adjudicating other people's names, and I make sure I'm never followed or circumscribed when I go into my basement (which is where I keep the computer). But, because of my secret work at Area 51 in the early 60s, I'm convinced that government agents, per se, are still pursuant against me. I take apart my monitor once a week to make sure no one has secretly placed cameras inside it to film me, but I still feel there's more I should be implementing. Do you have any suggestions?
Your de facto servant and occupationary, Delusional in Deluth

Delusional: Take your Respirdol regularly, as directed by your doctor. And reboot your computer.

Dr. Computer. Help, quick! My computer is on fire! What should I do?
Frantic in Frisco

Frantic. Reboot your computer.

*Dr. Computer is a fictional character whose advice is meant for entertainment purposes only. He is neither a doctor, nor an expert. While he was employed as a computer technician at a regional bank for several years, he received no actual training in the field and probably damaged more machines than he actually repaired.
But, he would like the reader to know, that he kicked ass at Quake.
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