Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Electronic Agonizations Part 2-Can You Hear Me Now?

In the good old days.....
1. You had a black phone with a dial.  It probably hung on your wall.  You dialed, a process needing some skill.  You usually got the right number.  You rented it from the phone company. It lasted for years and years.

2. Your TV.  It was usually black and white. It had tubes.  If the tubes burned out you called the repairman (or replaced them yourself if you were talented.)  Some people even built their own TVs from Heathkits. 
They lasted for years and years.

3. Computers? Aren't those for universities and heavy duty science laboratories?  And the phone company, who sends your bill along with a Do Not Fold Spindle or Mutilate card? I bet those huge computers lasted for years and years.

In the year 2012.....

1. Phone connection works.  Phone connection doesn't work. Call cable company. They say no service problems in the area. They tell us to reboot modem. (If there was smoke pouring out of the modem it still wouldn't be their fault.)

Phone works.   Phone doesn't work.  Figure it's the phone. After all we've had it for what, 8 years? Less? Nowadays we own our own phones so we pay $80 for new wired landline phone (yes, we have a landline - although it is through the cable company) with two wireless sets.  Phone connection works.  Phone connection doesn't work. Sometimes it rings and the answering machine doesn't pick up.  Sometimes we get a fast busy signal. Other times a recording about "network problems".  Today, the phone seems to be working.  Tomorrow, who knows. Can you hear me now?  It isn't our phone. Time to call the cable company again, which is tied with root canal on the list of Things I Want to Avoid Forever.

2. TV.  Well, that's a story for another blog post.

3.  Computers?  Yes. I own three, one of which has been packed away since the flood.  It's from 2004, no sense trying to run that old relic.  It's been limping along on Linux for several years, anyway.

 Laptop - 2 1/2 years old - is now my main computer.  Now the computer case cracks, hinge breaks, hours of agonization.  Repair? Replace? Get a tablet? something else?  on and on and on.....

Thank you, all who commented and gave me advice.  The saga still is not over.

My laptop is sitting in the local computer guru's house.  He should call tomorrow with an estimate.  If the price doesn't justify it he will tell me to go to the local Wal-Mart and get a new laptop for $298.  He calls them "throwaways".  He explained to us that certain things, like printers, he won't even fix because you can buy one for less.  Well, if I get a cheap laptop I could get a iPad to accompany my iPhone, or maybe even the Google Tablet (Nexus 7). Then I could have something really portable with a battery whose life isn't measured in minutes.

I don't want to think about throwaways.  I don't want an electronic agonization.  I want the good old days.
Well, maybe not, but why must life be so complicated?  Makes me want to Bend, Fold, Spindle and Mutilate something.

Do you remember Fold, Spindle and Mutilate?

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