Occam and his stupid razor

I asked my son yesterday if he’d ever heard a tech person talk about rebooting something, such as a modem, and suggest unplugging the power cord from the device and the outlet. He said he had, so I didn’t feel dumb, but it still makes no sense. Probably just doubling down on the process, although it’s perfectly plausible that I just don’t understand enough about physics and electronics.

The point was, my Amazon Echo has been a little buggy lately, dropping in and out of wifi and Bluetooth connectivity, and the other day it just stopped connecting to my PC. I rarely use the Echo for any of its intended purposes; mostly I just use it as a Bluetooth speaker. And now, with my new rig and certain issues about the sound card and this particular motherboard, it was my only speaker. I have a pair of wireless headphones that use a USB transmitter, which work just fine, but I’m less inclined toward headphones these days. I need a speaker.

Sidebar: If you type “speaker” enough, you realize what a strange, primitive word that is. Like “movie,” we say it without recognizing the silliness.

Reviewing the situation, then, I decided to go through a process, step by step. Turn off and turn on. Reset the device. Forget the device and re-pair. And so on, everything I could think of. No luck.

And I was fighting logic, which would note that the speaker connected to my phone without problems, suggesting that it wasn’t the Echo at all. Although I did remove my Bluetooth dongle and plug it back in.

See, I don’t need tech support, even if such a thing were available; I could probably find a way to contact Amazon support and talk to someone, but I assume they’d just walk me through every step I took. And this, again, seemed to be a PC issue, not an Echo one.

I ended up jerryrigging a speaker system, which sounded fine, and figured it was just something that would resolve or just wouldn’t work anymore. Later on, though, when I moved to put my computer to sleep, I saw an “Update and Shut Down” option. I took that, which seemed to be a small update, and went out and mowed the lawn.

Turning the PC back on afterward, I noticed that it was hitting the disk drive and remembered that I’d stuck a disk in there to see what was on it and never took it out. I couldn’t figure out how that could be affecting Bluetooth, but it was the only thing different about my setup. I took the disk out and tried to re-pair the speaker. Bingo.

Except. I’d just gotten an update.

You see? Was it the disk, or some bug in Windows that the update fixed?

Not that this is a problem; I’m just glad the speaker is back. It’s just become one of those we’ll never know moments, and I hate those.

Except. I have a son, who actually is pretty good when it comes to logic, not to mention motherboards, and he had an answer, which sounds obvious but you had to be there.

“Put the disk back in.”

Maybe. And maybe tempting fate is a game for the young. I think I’ll pass.

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