Computer Woes

Cedric was called into the office urgently on 21 September

The base website of the Arteman Team had gone down

The Chairman told him to fix it

I carried out some quick checks and the site was indeed down

computer doc

The base address, returned a yellow error page, and while some of the subsidiary pages did seem to load ( probably from the cache ) even these appeared to disappear to be replaced with either an inability to load or a screen saying page not found


A couple of hours work had most of the subsidiary pages working successfully but no matter what I did I could not make the base address work at all.  Still got the yellow error page

I opened helplines to both the domain registrar and to the organisation that hosted the website and spent a very frustrating 36 hours being passed backwards and forwards finally resulting in a decision that there must be some error in ” our” configuration file

I did not think so and I had on several occasions advised the hosting company that I thought the problem was at their end

No, I’ll revise that last statement

I ” knew “  that the problem was at their end and that their server was functioning inappropriately ! !

I got very frustrated

I sought help from Arteman

He said, ” many years ago when I was dealing with helpdesks I often found problems like this.  My usual solution was to thank the helpdesk for their assistance, tell them that I would continue to work on the problem and let them know when I had the solution “

“I usually also added a rider to the end of the final email along the lines of ” I think you should tell the techies in the basement that they have a problem “

So that’s what I did.  This is the email that I sent


Thank you for all of your advice
I have deployed a personal workaround for the time being and will continue to investigate the difficulty
If I find a solution, I will let you know
I think we can close this ticket now – but it might be worth telling the Techies
Everything worked perfectly on 16 September 2021
Web site has been up with same configuration for 25 years ( Yes it is old ) !
Web site not working by 21 September 2021
No changes made to configuration
I note from the Status page that
All of your servers (are in the process of being transferred to another UK data centre. ( August to September 2021
And that another Status update was issued at 1630 BST today
Many thanks for your help
If I find a solution, I will let you know
Best wishes

an hour later I received this response

Hi Cedric,

Thank you very much for the update!

There was a recent maintenance on our Plesk Windows platform that caused the IP change. It should have happen automatically, but as your domain is using third party name servers the IP needed to be set manually.

However the issue with the ‘Runtime Error’ should not be related with the maintenance.

Meanwhile I changed the ASP.NET version to 3.5 and an application pool setting, can you please test now and let us know if it is working correctly ?

Thank you for the understanding and cooperation, once again!

Kind regards,

I checked the web site and it was functioning normally !

Problem Solved

Thank you Arteman !

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Another Final Upgrade

Cedric has finally managed to update the team laptop to the most recent version of Windows: Windows 10 version 20 H2 (OS build 19 042.985 )

upgrade time

It’s been hard work – and it has taken almost two years of his life !!

The laptop has been on the shelf in the workroom for several years

From time to time Cedric puts on the bench and tries to upgrade it – it usually ends in tears  – and the bench and laptop get a thump

This time however – SUCCESS !!!

Apparently the Laptop is now dual boot – but booting into Windows 10 version 20 H2 (OS build 19 042.985 is fantastic

All the members of the Team are queuing up t0 try it !!

Cedric is very pleased with himself

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Just a Quick Note

Amos asked me to remove  “ Seasonal Greetings “ from the website

I did

Took less than 30 seconds  ( see Promotion )

I also took Raybits advice  – No upgrades to the old Netbook for at least a month !!!

Life is much calmer !

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Upgrade Update !!!


Stuck at 1909  ( OS Build 18363.1256 ) with repeated messages

“ failed to upgrade ! “

I got quite frustrated !

Late last night Raybits came over tapped me on the back and said

“ Enough ! ;  We’ve all been there – Got the T  shirt – Got frustrated and angry – It doesn’t help “

” Turn it off– Go to Bed – Turn it on in the morning – Clean it up- and don’t touch upgrade for at least a week – Better still a month and then. maybe, just maybe, try again “

“ in the meantime remove any programs you don’t need – Run “ Disk Cleanup “ and “ Clean system files “  Then WAIT ! “

I can recognise sensible advice and experience

So I will !

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A Funny Old Week

It’s been a funny old week!

The whole Team is, of course, in modified partial shielding because we are now in coronavirus tier four.  We have a lot of time on our hand in the shed

Arteman popped in on Boxing Day to wish us all a happy Christmas.  Although he has now slowed down and retired from active membership of the Team he is still quite interested in what we do

He bought an old computer with him.  ” I found this in a cupboard “, he said, ” whilst we were rummaging around looking for the Christmas decorations “

The computer was a Toshiba NB200 netbook

” It used to be quite good “. He said, ” but then progressive upgrades of Windows 10 made it slower and slower and slower, so like me it got retired “

” You can play with it if you like,   and see what you can do “

So I did!

After three days of intense work it was finally running reasonably swiftly with Windows 10 version 1909 installed

I should probably have left it there – because it was running reasonably well and doing the couple of things I wanted it to do although it was obvious that Office 365 was never going to run  satisfactorily

Google Docs and Sheets provided a workable alternative

Last night however it offered an upgrade to Windows 20H2 OS build 19042.685

I think this may be a bridge too far  !!

The little netbook is sitting there at present trying to install the upgrade ( currently 70% ) so we’ll have to wait-and-see

I will post in an update – successful or not, when I know what has happened

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Cedric’s Promotion

Cedric’s promotion has been made substantive !

He is now officially ” Master Gopher and a member of the Shed “: Not bad for a lad who used to be a chimney sweep’s boy

He spent most of yesterday afternoon and almost all of today online with the helpdesk at TSOhost but the problem is now finally resolved

Arteman and the team have access to their old website!

Sergei has sent his congratulations and confirmed the appointmnt

The silly thing is it was the most minor change that occasioned all the heartache.

All I wanted to do was add   ” Seasonal Greetings ”  to the personal part of the menu at

The actual change only required the removal of two // and the change of one URL

The changes took less than 30 seconds!

Rediscovering the location of the website and gaining access to it has caused a problem over at least three days !

On the positive side we do now have a faster way of updating the old website

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More Technical Trouble

A very frustrating problem has arisen

Most of my output now is done through blogging on WordPress.

I do however maintain a very old website which acts as a direction indicator to all of the WordPress blogs. I use it a lot to move around my sites

The website is almost certainly 30 years old,  very ancient, but does what it says on the box –  it directs people to the appropriate websites.

It has worked well for 30 years with only the occasional hiccup and I last updated it about six weeks ago.

I update it regularly every year at the end of November to add a festive ” Seasonal Greetings ” direction.

I tried to do it a couple of days ago

Total failure.

FTP access which has always worked in the past just would not work.

I spent some frustrating time trying to locate the problem and then realised that the site had probably been moved

I tried to find its new location

Total failure


I know where it used to be, but it’s not there anymore!

doc thump

I finally discovered that my original host had been moved many times over the past 30 years, I won’t bother you with a list of the different providers, but after many hours work, and being passed backwards and forwards between different hosting companies I finally gave up and handed the problem to Cedric

Cedric had already been promoted ( following the disaster of the Prime Minister and his soundless Zoom meeting – Cedric demanded a promotion and new title for all the work he has done recently for the team )

Cedric is now ” Master Gopher and has been admitted to membership of the Shed “. HIs elevation is contingent on him successfully re-establishing contact with the website.

At the end of his first day’s work he has finally been able to get one of the hosting companies to admit that they are  in fact hosting the website,  even though they denied it to me

At that point things turned a little more complicated as they claimed that ownership of the website was vested in an email address which was not the one from which he was working.

He reported this morning that the helpdesk of the website

  1. Admitted that it hosted the Team’s website
  2. Could not verify that any of the addresses used by Cedric were valid.
  3. He is currently attempting to verify an address to obtain access the website

It looks as if he may be halfway, or partway there

It has been very tedious

From Arteman’s desk it looks a bit of a shambles.

Sylvia ( acting head of IT ) is keeping an eye on the matter

It may be that Arteman holds two accounts with the hosting company ( not impossible ) and that we will eventually we will be able to gain access to the site.

It is possible that the administration of the website has been stolen and compromised

Time will tell.

Sergei  (SVP and Super Head of IT and All Things Technical )  is of course still on the West Coast with Aleksandr    ( prolonged,   ” promotional ”   holiday ! )

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Technical Troubles

Yesterday was a day of technical disaster !

For some reason Microsoft Outlook failed to close properly and froze my entire Microsoft Office 365 suite

We depend heavily on Office 365 which provides a integrated cross-platform system ( on all the computers and android devices ) for the whole Team.

The problem with Outlook prevented any of the office programs from working

Sylvia and Cedric came round very swiftly ( Sergei is still on the coast with Aleksandr on their promotional ! holiday !  )

It took them all afternoon to solve the problem and I understand that they had to uninstall Office 365, and uninstall the residual part of Microsoft Outlook which remained behind and then reinstall all of Office 365.

Happily all of the data ( seriously backed up but not needed ) was not affected so all is well

Before they left Cedric made a few adjustments to Arteman’s new Home Television Studio!

And because the Boss has now started using Zoom for quite serious Zoom Meetings for one of her ladies organisations,   Cedric ordered the additional bits that she needs to turn her study into a Home Television Studio!  ( Really just a green screen and a stand )

Happily all now seems to be running well so a round of applause for Cedric and Sylvia


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End of Year Report

To Sergei: Senior Vice President and Super Head of All Things Technical

From Sylvia: Acting Head of IT

You asked me to submit an End of Year Report if you were still on the West Coast doing your promotional tour for AutoSergei

I’ve seen the videos and it looks more like a holiday than a promotional work experience

Before you left for the Coast, we discussed Arteman’s equipment.

I had a good look at Arteman’s equipment and it is certainly getting very old and beginning to look a little strange.

I’m not the only person that thinks this; both the alarm engineer and the gas engineer have said much the same thing

But then Arteman is getting quite old!


The two computers are both very elderly; built and designed originally for Windows XP they have been progressively upgraded through 7 and 8 to Windows 10 and you have managed, miraculously, to get them all updated to Windows 10 version 1909!

Unsurprisingly the equipment is at the end of its’ lifespan!

The scanner is even worse!

In its heyday, the Canonscan 8000f was an excellent scanner for early versions of Windows including XP: It survived upgrade to 7 and 8 but was never certified for Windows 10.

Quite how you kept working under 10 is beyond belief!

For the last 4 or 5 years Canon have been issuing warnings that continuing to use 8000f on Windows 10 might cause severe system instability

I did tell you !!!

No surprise, therefore that the increasing instability of the scanner attached to Arteman’s Spare Backup Computer has been causing problems for some years culminating with a fatal collapse on Christmas Day.

I was called in on Christmas Day to resurrect the system.

I had to carry out a full destructive reinstall of Windows 10 and a reinstallation of all the programs!

What was even worse I was called in just as I was leaving home to go to a party.

I was wearing my glittery Christmas frock ( the one you admired so much when I last wore it! ) and I had to keep it on throughout Christmas Day and Boxing Day!


It was hard work

I took Cedric with me, ( you might not remember Cedric he’s the young lad we took on just before you left under a government-sponsored apprenticeship scheme.)

He has been kept busy making the tea, sweeping the floor and keeping the workshop clean, though he has exhibited a surprising technical ability regarding cabling.

He is able to get into the smallest darkest and most obscure corners and sort out cabling


We should keep an eye on him – I think he is playing around with coding and I keep finding copies of the magazine “ Hackers World “ hidden in the tea room !!

I took him with me, ( which was just as well because I didn’t fancy crawling around on the floor in my best frock! )

Computers are both now up and running and the new scanner installed

All now appears well (You will have to buy me a new frock ! )


Acting Head of IT

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Technical Update

Sergei SVP and Super Head of IT and All Things Technical remains in California.

Arteman is continuing having regular one-on-one meetings with Sylvia Acting Head of IT

She is a very hands-on instructor and she’s given Arteman lots of advice and suggestions about how best to use his equipment!

Not sure how long Sergei is staying away

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