TechnoTirade

Maybe using the term 'tirade' is a bit strong, but after spending almost 10 minutes attempting to access my own blog, I am a bit ticked-off. This whole "google" thing is supposed to be simple, free, and easy, but I have yet to experience the "easy." Turns out that all I had to do was logout of the Gmail account I never use and login the good old-fashioned way, but who knew? It certainly wasn't intuitive.

The tirade is supposed to be about all the technology in my life that has screwed up in one way or another. But I got sidetracked with attempting to access my own blog, which ratcheted up my stress level and sent all my writerly impulses flying into oblivion. That's how it is with writing - you have it, but if you don't act upon it, it goes away.

This morning I texted Laura, my school's bilingual front office manager. She knows somebody who can fix computers but has to contact him herself since he doesn't speak any English. He's like a miracle worker - people light candles at church for him because he can repair the impossible.

Laura: Well, give me an overview of what is wrong with your computer and I can relay it to him.

Me: Well, last week it started revving up like a car engine. I thought it was going to explode because it kept revving and revving. I manually shut it down out of sheer terror because I don't want shrapnel all over the room.

Laura: Okay.

Me: I gave it a couple of days to calm down and get over whatever issues were driving this behavior. When I turned it back on, all was well. Everything worked fine. Then, I got home on Wednesday and Dan said something like, I don't want to alarm you or anything.... I knew it wasn't good. He found the Black Screen of DOS when he turned the computer on earlier. When he followed the limited prompts, he got a pseudo-Windows screen and then (DEAR-GAWD) the Blue Screen of Death. To say I was annoyed is an understatement because the last time he used the computer he managed to contract the FBI Virus, all while claiming he just went to the bowling alley's website to look up stats for his bowling league. Sure, I thought to myself, SURE. He probably clicked on some flashing thing and subjected the PC to techno-mayhem.

Laura: Oh dear. I hope this guy can fix it!

Me: Me too! AND, the school Macbook has a funny rattle and I can't get a DVD or CD into the slot - it pokes out and then ejects. I don't want any more computer difficulties.

Laura: Uh oh.

Me: I know. No bueno.

Laura: Si! I will call and leave him a message.

Me: Thanks, Laura. I can use the Macbook otherwise, but I need to print and the printer is attached to the ailing PC. I used to have a classroom printer that also took photocopies and I really liked it. But then it stopped working and only shot out paper with mean gray streaks on it. So I have to print at home. But the home printer bitches at me constantly about wanting more ink. MORE INK! MORE INK! As soon as I satisfy one need it starts barking about another need. Sheesh. It is a needy printer.

Laura: Oh!

Me: I bring this up only because I need to use the CD thing (or DVD thing, whatever it is called these days) to make podcasts of kid books on audio. I am yanking out the computers in my classroom because I cannot use them - no bandwidth and no way to get past the screen that demands an administrator's login. Only the administrators don't know the login. So, out they come and in goes the Listening Center. Except now I can't make CDs for the "listening" portion of the "listening center."

Laura: You are making me cry!

Me: I also own a cute little red Dell laptop but the external CD thing stopped working one day, about the same time as the computer's wireless capability. Since I needed the computer to complete the 8-step attendance process, this was an issue.

Laura: What happened to the wireless?

Me: I had it on a table at school. Sammy spilled his drink on it. He apologized. But the wireless never got over the damage. I bought an external wireless when Staples said they couldn't repair it, but that only lasted a good month. TRY to keep track of a small little protrusion that sticks out of your laptop. I didn't lose it, but it managed to stop working.

Laura: That's awful!

Me: I know. I liked that computer. Not that it didn't have its own issues, but still.

Laura: You are definitely having techno difficulties!

Me: Don't even ASK me about the iPhone. I can get wireless anywhere but my own home with my iPhone.

Laura: You're having wireless trouble at home?

Me: Oh yes. I had to have somebody reboot and uninstall and reinstall the CISCO router thing several times since I got it. Finally, I just bought a NetGear and installed it myself. It took an hour. It works, but the phone won't talk to it.

Laura: Have you tried synching your phone?

Me: Well, I let my daughter-in-law use the Macbook to try and update her iPhone 4. Now, my phone won't talk to the laptop. Or iTunes. Or anything Mac. The PC would just snort when I connect the iPhone after synching the iPad. I mean, really - it just did this "guffaw" thing. And my digital camera? I can't get the timer to go off.

Laura: I will call the repair guy and see if he can come out tomorrow. I will translate.

Me: Thanks Laura. I'm going to make a cup of tea now.

Laura: Good. Enjoy.

Me: Only thing is... the microwave is making funny noises when it starts up.

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