To say we live in a plugged in world is something of an understatement, even for us older than 30. To sit surrounded by no less than 4 ‘devices’ and still be utterly defeated is not exactly what I had in mind.
Last week my ‘work’ laptop had a bit of meltdown. It has had the wobbles before, plus I am sick of having my life split between two computers, one a Mac, the other a Hewlett Packard that has seen better days, not least because it runs on XP ‘no longer supported’ software.
Thanks to a ‘yahoo’ moment when I found I had put too much money aside for tax, I thought the time had come for a new computer that would meet all my (computing) needs. Because Vectorworks is the only reasonably priced CAD software and because I work with a Mac nut and because I fell in love with my first iPhone, I decided to get a Mac.
Some debate about which one, but my theory is today’s ‘top of the line’ is tomorrow’s has been, so the 2.3 Ghz 15″ whizz banger it was. How exciting to unpack it. Those Apple guys must spend as much time designing the packaging as the products; you almost can’t bear to throw away the box. I had a bit of an emergency situation, so I got what had to be completed done, swivelling on my ergonomic office chair between old and new Mac’s and at times the HP and even the ipad, before I needed to get serious about transferring data and consolidating my computer stocks.
Yesterday was the day. Yesterday was still the day. The day that all communication ceased. I can receive, but I can’t send. This is terrible, like having the door slammed in your face. Our IT geek lives in the south of France (seriously) and it goes like this: dial the number, let it ring 2x then hang up, then log on to ichat and he will appear. Depending on the quality of the broadband service, sometime we can even talk face to face. Of course there is a time difference, so I try not to bother him too late. His name is Martin, and since he moved to the south of France his health has improved significantly, and he has lost weight and looks much better. Such is the beauty of face to face.
Martin could not understand why I can’t send emails either. He made a few suggestions, mostly talking me through what I had already done. Then he thought it sounded like the Mac was not quite right – not something I wanted to hear. Apparently they ‘ghost’ the operating system on to 10,000, yes, 10,000 machines at a time (although he may be exaggerating) so naturally sometimes it is not quite right. However, because Apple are nice and you can keep your operating system up to date for free, it is easy enough to erase the disc and start again. Erase is again not something a PC user likes to hear, to be honest, but I have faith in Martin.
Midway through the reloading of the system, while Martin was still there, the phone rang, thereby interfering with the wifi. End result of that is trundling off to the shop where the Mac came from and getting some adaptors to plug into the wires we don’t really use, and a new phone system.
Many many hours later, (Martin now tucked up in bed in France I assume) we gave up on the ethernet (the wires) went back to wireless and managed to download the system, reload the emails and guess what? Nothing. Same as before, but we have new phones.
This is all enough to test the patience of a saint. I always assume it is operator error. Yes, my fault, I have done something wrong. Not this time. Neither the old Mac nor the new one will let me send messages. I have copied a few to gmail, the urgent ones, but as for the rest, those expecting anything from me will be enjoying a deafening silence.
Not, unfortunately for him, the unlucky photocopier salesman. Can you believe they have added in a charge for scanning? Scanning! Did a copier ever break down due to scanning? I think not. What is worse is it just sort of arrived unnoticed on the account a few months ago. No mention of scanning charges when we talked about the new copier. No mention of the increase in copy costs while we waited for the new machine to arrive. So I had to copy that email to gmail and tell him to sort it out or come and take the new one away.
Tomorrow morning, at about dinner time in France, I will call Martin again, this time from home, just to eliminate one variable. Our internet is boringly reliable. And with anything like luck, two way communication will be restored.
There is always the flock of pigeons that have established themselves next door.