Saturday 7 January 2012


I am a conflicted person. Well, you know that. Anyone who is more than three score and ten on the outside and forty on the inside would be, would'nt she? To-day's conflict is between the advantages and the disadvantages of current technology. You'd think there'd be nothing new to say on the matter. There is. There is my experience of it. Yesterday, my computer decided to exclude me from my emails. Normally, after I have logged in, a red screen appears with the announcement that it is loading. Yesterday, there WAS a red screen. The announcement, however, was "Goodbye. Come back soon". I tried this that and the other thing. (No, I did not ring the Guru. Even I have some sensitivity about his availability some of the time - some of the time I'm sensitive, that is, not he is available some of the time). After a considerable and frutrating aeon, my older self clicked in. I rang my server. When I was a girl, as the saying goes, if an appliance went wrong, you telephoned someone. So I did. I found a number and I used it. It was an 0845 number which, on this side of the Pond, is very expensive But there is a system for finding cheaper alternatives. I used that. By this time, I was already considerably nearer meeting my Maker in terms of time passed, but I got through. There were 5 options. I pressed one of them. There were 5 more. I pressed another. There were 5 more. When I finally did reach a human, after repeating this process thrice, I had gone in to a trance and forgotten why my ear was stuck to the phone in the first place. However, this story is nearly over. As instructed by the human, I held on in an interminable silence waiting for the "someone will help you in a minute" and, 57 minutes from the beginning, was told the server's whole system had crashed in my area. Thank you very much. How about "system crashed" instead of "Goodbye. Come back soon"? A neat illustration of the two ages of Liz but draining, to say the least.

Which brings me to my printer. That has crashed, too. The Guru did mend it once and left me the 'Printer Test' sheet to prove it. Then it refused to use its ink tank nicely and started printing over itself. It told me it was 'offline' then it said it was 'online' when I had moved neither a finger nor a mouse. I put 'Printer' in to my search engine. Yes, I did. I'm not entirely without resource, whatever the poor Guru - and you - has come to expect. The problem with that degree of enterprise is that I then fall upon instructions for cleaning or testing parts for which I don't recognise even the names: stalemate. It's like knowing enough Portuguese to ask the way but not enough to understand the answer.
Were you to be familiar with my arthritic handwriting, you would know why the printer is important to me. Anyway, in his wisdom, the Guru has decided to buy me a new one. He didn't confer. He just did. More conflict: I like, where help is concerned, both to be me Jane: he Tarzan, whomever is helping me, but also I like to be asked to think before expenditure. However, I trust the Guru with my passwords and pin numbers so why wouldn't I trust him with making unilateral decisions on my behalf? Throughout the Christmas and new Year period, the post has been erratic, to put it at its politest. Thus, with 45 options and no printer I am beginning to regret having sacked the carrier pigeons. Happy New Year, even without a verb.

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