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I love my tech gizmos, but sometimes they drive me a little bit crazy. Last week I made a trip to a friends house to set up a new Apple TV for him. Now, that is one of the easiest installations possible. Everything went smooth as silk until I tried to stream photos from his iPad to the new Apple TV. The scroll lag was horrible for the most part. A few would scroll, then it would stop. Huh? Shouldn’t do that. Then the lightbulb turned on. This is an old house, the kind with lots of wet plaster walls with lovely steel mesh. Steel mesh likes to block wireless signals. The router is in the front end of the original part of the house. The TV is in a fairly new addition at the back of the house. The electrical wiring is even on a new circuit. A couple of weeks ago we added a new WiFi access point in the new part of the house that is, in effect, a different network. When I finally remembered, and checked the connection on the iPad — yep, it was, for a change, connecting to the main router, not the secondary. Switched it to the secondary and all was well. See? Like I said, a simple thing.

A few days ago, all of my contacts, notes and calendars disappeared from my iPad mini (iOS 7.0.3). Checked my iPhone (iOS 7.0.3) and iPod touch (iOS 6.1.3), and they were fine. Checked the settings, and they were all the same. Rebooted the iPad, and the files were still missing. Connected to my iMac, did a sync with iTunes (it’s set to sync automatically over WiFi when plugged into the charger) and everything is back. Why did it disappear? Who knows. What brought it back? Again, who knows. It is set to sync those things through iCloud, NOT iTunes. When in doubt, do a reboot. If it doesn’t’ work, connect to your computer and sync. Can’t hurt, and it might fix the problem.

A friend was having a problem with her laser printer. Documents would get stuck in the queue. The computer would complain that it couldn’t find the printer. The printer would suddenly go into the power up routine, cycling continuously until someone turned off the power switch. When I was there, it worked well. Troubleshooting found no problems. It appeared that the printer was just trying to die. On a hunch, I replaced the USB cable. So far, it seems that it may have been the problem. Cables, like every other component, can and do go bad.

So, the next time you have a problem, look for the simplest solution. There’s a good chance that all you need is a simple fix.

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