A punchline to remember when you’re having a tech meltdown:
A chemist, an engineer, and a computer scientist are driving through the desert, and the car breaks down.
The chemist says, “Look, guys, it’s probably something with the fluids. Let’s get out of the car, pop the hood, check the fluids, top ’em up, get back into the car, and I’m sure it’s gonna work.”
The engineer says, “No, guys, I bet it’s something mechanical. Let’s get out of the car, walk back, find the part that fell off the car, walk back, put it on, get back into the car. It’ll fire right up.”
Then the computer scientist says, “No, guys, guys, guys, listen: Let’s get out of the car, get back into the car, get out of the car, get back into the car, get out of the car, get back into the car… and then it’s gonna work fine!”
So, here’s troubleshooting 101:
- Whatever is not working, turn it off for 10 seconds, then turn it back on. (The geek word for this is “power cycling.”)
- Sometimes this means force-quitting an app (in the Apple menu). Sometimes it’s unplugging your modem. Target the thing that’s causing the problem.
- Check all cables, everywhere. I know this sounds like an obvious one, but it is often still overlooked.
- Restart the computer. We know this sounds like number one, but if quitting an app and firing it back up doesn’t work, it’s always worth a wholesale restart of your computer.