Road Trip Technology

We were midway on the second day of our 4-day road trip from Colorado to Florida, successfully navigating the Dallas, Fort Worth interstate wormhole when the GPS in the car and the GPS on my iPhone seemed to be duking it out like two hussies at a backwoods bar.

It all began with my search for a bar-b-que restaurant near me as we headed south on I-45 toward Houston. As luck would have it, there was a restaurant coming up just south of Ennis, Texas that had a high customer rating. It sounded like a local hole-in-the-wall, which suited my husband, Wayne, and I just fine. I directed him to leave the interstate at the next exit. That’s when the problems began.

The car GPS immediately started her protest that we were off course while my iPhone Google Map tried to talk louder in an attempt to direct us to the restaurant, “Turn right on Main Street…”. The rest was unclear as I started the process to turn off the routing on the car GPS.

It seemed my iPhone wanted us to take a left, but I didn’t see the little local street we had already past. My attention was elsewhere. Google Maps seemed quite content for us to continue on FM 1183, as we drove past pastures and the occasional farmhouse. This didn’t seem right. I could have sworn the original search indicated it was right off I-45. There wasn’t an easy place to turn around, so we continued on FM 1183 as Google Maps directed. By the way, FM in Texas refers to “Farm to Market”. In times past, rural farmers taking their crops to town used these local roads roads. Sure enough, my phone directed us to make a left.

“This looks promising”, I said, thinking we were at least heading back the way we had come.

The paved apron quickly turned into a white clay road riddled with potholes. Wayne deftly avoided most of them while we waited for the next directions emanating from my phone. The scenery was enjoyable, mostly residential on 2-5 acres, well-maintained yards and the occasional cow grazing in a pasture. As we made the third and final turn, I saw FM 1183 coming up. It looked very familiar. We could see the I-45 overpass over to the right as we turned onto the blacktop.

Now we were both curious where this restaurant was! Sure enough, we turned onto the North Freeway Frontage Road, drove past the convenience store where we made our first erroneous turn and saw our destination just beyond, “Alma Smokehouse BBQ”. We both laughed at the absurdity of modern technology. If we had just followed our instinct, we would have found it 20 minutes earlier!

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Technical Difficulties

It was tough getting my WordPress files onto this website. First I couldn’t get the FTP password set. Leaving it alone a few days seemed to solve that problem. Here’s a tip if you use GoDaddy – don’t forget to use Mozilla rather than Chrome. The pop-up to change the FTP user password doesn’t work in Chrome. After giving my frustration a few days rest, I successfully changed the password and could upload the files.

The fun was just beginning. Although all the files were on the host server, I couldn’t run the install program. The error was for specific program files (php for other techies like me). I’d see that my local php file was larger than the file on the server. Once again I walked away from the computer, going outside to shovel a little Denver area snow.  As I was taking off my wet snow boots, the light bulb above my cartoon head went on! My errors were due to cutting off part of a text file. Solution? I moved the WordPress files directly under My Documents – problem solved. It’s a miracle!

Even though Windows convinced me I could use long file names and have many nested folders, my host website is housed on a Linux server. Lesson Learned – always follow the rules of the lowest common denominator.

Leave a comment with your most recent or most aggravating technical difficulty!