Ever since the boy moved in with me, I've had to live with his need for constant upgrades to our various electronic appliances. I'm sure it's a boy thing as well as a geek thing - if I were still single I'd still be using the same VCR I bought about 8 years ago (instead of a new-fangled DVD recorder) and the 17" television my mum loaned to me 10 years ago. I would've bought myself a PC eventually, but I probably wouldn't have upgraded to broadband without the boy's insistence. And I'm pretty darned sure I wouldn't have a 42" plasma television on my living room wall instead of a nice, block-mounted poster of Venice.
But now that I've gotten used to living in a high-tech house, it's all the more upsetting when the gadgets stop working properly.
Last week the boy came home with a new, improved router for our home computer network. Being a computer-whisperer (I tell him that when he fixes his staff's computer problems he should first bend towards the relevant hard drive and talk to it softly, just for effect), he confidently spent the three hours required to reconfigure all the...um...configurations...to get the network connected up via this new router.
And he was really very upset when, less than 24 hours later, I told him that the laptop and the internet connection were no longer on speaking terms. Much cursing and general grumpiness ensued, including an implicit accusation that I did something to the laptop to cause this rift.
I don't know why, because I'm not a complete techno-cretin, but sometimes things stop working around me. VCRs stop recording as programmed, DVDs become "invalid" and home computer networks crash and burn. Maybe it's something to do with leylines, or bad feng shui. Or maybe there are electomagnetic hotspots on my body. Whatever it is, I can actually understand why the boy acts like I'm some sort of anti-Midas.
So now you know why I didn't get online until now, after the boy's gone to sleep, so I could use his computer.