I Heart Indies

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Modern Technology

Have we tried turning him off and then on again?
You know you're going to be treated to a rare dose of old fogeyism when a blog is titled "modern" something-or-other.  Only us old farts bother pointing out when things are newer than we are.  In this case, it's our cornsarn dad-gum television set.  (Sound effect of vigorous and angry rocking chair noises.)

The other day it refused to work, so my wife called the handy 800 number and the service guy asked if she'd tried unplugging and plugging it back in, which she had.  Here commences my old fogey rant.  What kind of damn crazy nonsense is it to expect electronics to fix themselves just because we turn them off and on?  Yes, yes, I know, a lot of times this does work, and there's a sound scientific basis because when the power goes off, the little squirrel inside has a chance to reconsider his work ethic, and when it comes back on, he may get on his wheel and run in the opposite direction.  I'm just saying the procedure is damn silly, is all.  In the old days (here the rocking chair noise softens to a mellow squeak) when the tv went out, you'd give the side a swift bang with your fist.  In truth, this was a lot less effective at rousing the little squirrel from his slumber than switching the thing on and off, but you felt like you were doing something.  You were taking action.  You feel so pathetic watching a dead laptop or tv or whatever, hoping that when you plug it back in, it will deem you worthy of functioning for.

So to make a long story medium-sized, Nancy and the technician powered off and rebooted that sucker every way you could imagine.  Nancy rebooted it one component at a time, she rebooted it all at once, they rebooted it remotely from the factory.  Nothing.  Actually, less than nothing.  At first it would say, "Quit Client," as enigmatic a phrase as any Zen koan.  What am I supposed to quit, or has the device quit me?  If they've got the thing programmed with an error message, couldn't it say something more useful like, "Hey, I don't think I'm working.  Have you tried switching me off and on again?"  But after repeated attempts to reboot, the tv quit saying even that.  It just showed a red "x," which at least isn't as ambiguous as "quit client."

After over an hour trying the switching on-and-off method, and being disconnected twice - Nancy had also switched off the phone - tech support finally decided to send out a service guy.  But the only thing they'd tried was switching it on and off.  Oh, and by they way, in the first place, this was a new router or hub or gizmo which they'd sent us after the old one had refused to respond to being switched on and off.  I won't identify the company because I don't want to irritate the fine folks at AT&T U-verse on Independence Parkway in Ft Worth, Texas, but I miss the days when owners could take more tangible action that switching things on and off.

Here endeth the rant.

No comments:

Post a Comment