Friday, December 19, 2008

The Machines Are Coming!

I've shared this picture before, but I use it again because it speaks of my feels towards modern technology - occasionally. Our home computer has been out all week after a short power outage or surge last Sunday night. It caused our cable Internet connection to - evidently - fry. The cable fixer-upper was scheduled for Thursday between 1 and 3 in the afternoon - BUT - they would call twice prior to that, and if no one answered the phone the repair visit would be automatically cancelled. So, how soon before the 1 o'clock time would they call? And why schedule a time to be home for the repair, if you have to be there to cover the phone? Well, no big deal. I came home for lunch and they called while I was finishing off my microwaved soup. Then I thought, I can still use Word on the computer even if the Internet is down! DUH! I did - working on the final scene of next years play. BUT - I could not make that thing save the file to the same CD I brought in home on! Long minutes where spent trying to figure out how to do it. I couldn't even find the crazy program that I know we have that lets us burn CD's. Oh well, after it was fixed, much later, I sent myself an email with the doc. as an attachment so I could pull it up at the office and save what I had done. See, I have learned something.
The cable man did his thing - put a new cable box on our machine and it worked like a charm. It seemed good to me (sounds biblical doesn't it?) to ask, "Hey, while you're here. Can you change out our DVR? It's really been acting up lately and I thinks it's bout to go out." He was more than happy to do that. Nice guy! BUT - I forgot how EVERY cable fixer-upper has a terrible time trying to figure out how to hook things up to our TV. It took him much longer than he had planned. I almost invited him to stay for a microwaved soup dinner. He finally got it up and running and the new DVR is great. I just had to program all the shows I usually have recorded into the new box - Jeopardy was first. BUT - I noticed that the wide screen picture had three inch black borders top and bottom - like watching a movie, except it was regular TV programs. Ha-ha! This happened before and I knew I could figure it out. Wrong. Two hours of reading every word on every page of our giant TV manual and pushing every button on everything and even a few things that weren't buttons - no luck. What was wrong with our crazy TV? Exhausted and frustrated, I picked up the control to the cable box and began scrolling through some of it's index of capabilities. One said Wide Screen Set Up. I clicked on Extended Wide Screen and presto - I had a full wide screen. Who knew it was a cable thing and not a TV thing?
Okay - there's a great lesson there somewhere, but it took too long to tell the story. So come up with your own. For now 1) I'm a techo-idiot; 2) User-friendly is a relative concept (my relatives can do it but I can't); and 3) Maybe machines will one day take over the world - they certainly know how to push my buttons.


elizabeth said...

I'm impressed with your take hours trying to figure those things out. I give up on techno things very quickly.

Curt said...

Hi Mike, You can always hope for the STAR TREK version of computers, just talk to them and tell them what you want to do!
Computer, ....