Saturday, September 30, 2006

Technical difficulties

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.

8 comments:

Gary James said...

I'm a bit like you. I don't so much 'upgrade' as 'call fire brigade'

My grandmother used to say, 'If it ain't on fire, it aint broke.'

Great woman. Mad, of course.

Ms Mac said...

"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."

I hear ya, sista!

The Editter said...

maybe you can fix your computer by rubbing it all over with a hard boiled egg with a silver coin inside?

Violet said...

gary: there must be a term for people like us - but "luddites" isn't it...

ms. mac: When I can't check my emails for a whole day it feels like I've been locked out of a really good party.

the editter: I'd be desperate enough to try it, but the boy probably would throw a fit. He doesn't believe in ancient Chinese remedies for computer problems.

Beth said...

Oh Violet, I so know where you are coming from. When I met DH I had an old PC that was already 10 years old and connected to the net via the traditional wire in the phone socket method. I then met and married a techie who spends his working day fixing complicated technological disasters and comes home to our no less than SIX computers and proceeds to meddle with them to the point where I BEGGED, yes begged him to buy me my OWN lap-top which he would not tamper with. He did buy the lap-top but couldn't cope with the not tampering rule and we now connect to the internet wirelessly and have home computer network. I share my house with wires upon wires and all the modern mp3 type gadgets you can name, but where do I play a NORMAL CD????

Cathi said...

Violet, I could have written your post, even down to the "just got a new router and now **my** machine doesn't connect" part. Except I am a computer techie. But when I point out my connection issues I still get spoken to as if I weren't.

ah me. In the old days I'd be happy if my cooker was working and my knitting was coming out according to the pattern.

flying kiwi said...

So how is it exactly that you worked in IT for so long?...

Violet said...

beth: it's like we're tech-widows or something :-)

cathi: oh yeah. Whenever I've talked to our ISP guys about a problem they alwaysjust tell me to turn the modem off and on again.

flying kiwi: I always wondered when "they" were going to find out about me, but they never did!