You’re trying out your new scanning software — it’s working great. But a few hours later, it suddenly stops working. Now what?
Over the years, I’ve found that true Geeks do this without thinking. They reboot before trying anything else. And you know what? If the software had been working properly earlier, rebooting will get it to work against 9 times out of 10. Maybe 99 times out of 100.
You’d be surprised how many really smart people (even some very Geeky people) view rebooting as a last resort. I can understand that — after all, if the software had been working properly, why should rebooting help? And anyway, who wants to sit around for 5 minutes, waiting for Windows XP to do its thing?
Trust me — start rebooting, and go play some Super Metroid while you’re waiting. If you do this routinely, you will save hours of frustration in a year. (Or rather, you’ll substitute hours of Super Metroid frustration for hours of computer frustration…)
The hardware equivalent is to unplug and re-plug. If the device is battery-powered, then remove the battery and reinstall it. (This is different from using the on/off switch — you should actually disconnect the device from its power source.) Most computers and peripherals these days are actually “sleeping” rather than truly “off” after you use the on/off switch to shut down. Unplugging and re-plugging is often the only way to get a device to reset. (There was a printer at my parents’ house that hadn’t worked in months – an unplug/re-plug got it working again in less than a minute.)
And if rebooting/re-plugging doesn’t work? Now you can start digging through the manual and Googling.