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That’s Going To Hurt. . .For A Long Time

December 16, 2019

Ever sprained your ankle? Or twisted it really bad? Sometimes the pain hits right away. But, especially if you are in the middle of something, the pain waits. You think, “That doesn’t feel too bad. Maybe it will be okay.” Except it’s not okay. The pain is just waiting, lurking like a lion hiding in the grass, ready to pounce.

That’s what this felt like. It started simply enough. We landed in Atlanta and I turned my phone on. It started up just fine. It had a password screen protector. (Safety first!) And the onscreen keyboard didn’t come up. No problem, right? I’ll just reboot it. Except that didn’t solve it.

I’m an IT guy. People call me when they have IT problems. Okay, honestly, in my current role I don’t typically have the skills to solve them, but they still call me. And I used to be really technical.

I tried multiple combinations of reboots and trying to nudge the system back to health. I can access my camera while the screen is locked. When the camera came up so did the error “gboard keeps stopping.” As you probably guessed, gboard is a Google keyboard on the Android phone system.

There is literally no way to unlock a phone if you cannot type in the password. That’s kind of the point of a security setting. Fortunately, I had another computer. I fired up my Microsoft Surface and logged into the airport WiFi.

Google searches sent me to a spot in settings to reset the keyboard. A good idea if I could get to the settings. Eventually, I found the result on how to reset a phone to factory settings.

When your phone comes from the factory, it doesn’t have a password, of course. So, after a few more fruitless troubleshooting tests, I reset my phone to factory settings. And Voila! It worked! Success, right?

Ha ha

Your phone also doesn’t come from the factory with any apps installed, like email, or my expense report app. Or the authentication app that lets me log into my corporate network. Or even stuff as simple as a weather app.

My pictures are safe. I back them up regularly. My contacts are good. I recently started linking them to my google account.

But, I’m still finding new stuff that I no longer have access to. Actually, it’s my old stuff. In some ways, I should be grateful, I guess.

My lovely wife recently set my kids to “Spring cleaning.” They pointed out that it’s snowy outside. She pointed out that, “Mom, doesn’t care.” I had to vouch for several of my items that were sitting in storerooms. But, the house now has less clutter. Stuff we haven’t touched in months is gone.

And that now also describes my phone. I just wonder how long it will take to get it all back.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2019 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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