The days of plugging in the television, adjusting the rabbit ears, and deciding between two stations were long behind us, forcing us to call in our internet provider to wire us up immediately after moving in six+ years ago. The tech had to deal with latent phone and cable lines and old minds, as he tried to explain the technology to us. My interest in learning the technical aspects of computers is identical to my interest in the workings of a car: I just want to know how to run it. Assuring us that the modem was in the prime position, the tech left us to deal with the inadequacies of our systems.
It wasn’t long before we realized that, in spite of significant fees to our internet provider, our service was poor at best. After much coaxing, Mike requested another house call. This tech informed us that the modem was in a poor spot for us to receive service and relocated it to another room.
This is a household with nine or more devices on the internet at a time. At one time, we called Roger our ComputerMann to assist with a malfunctioning computer. While here, he was kind enough to investigate our service and, detecting a gap in power (or whatever computer people call it), suggested a call to our provider. Mike’s hesitation provoked me to the point of screeching to suggest/demand that he call them NOW! Both Mike and I were thankful as Roger talked computerese on the phone and improved our service immediately but not indefinitely. After another lengthy time (years?) of haggling with the provider, we changed to another service.
But this ain’t no fairy tale. We often encounter spotty WiFi connection, usually when most inconvenient. Yesterday was such a time when Blue Boy needed to complete homework (they no longer use manual typewriters, the top technology in my day). I had noticed difficulty when on my computer earlier but resorted to old fashion reading to pass the time. (Well, not old fashion: I was using my Ipad). Then ED who was out of state called to let me know that Blue Boy was coming downstairs to try to connect with the WiFi. Okay, I am downstairs. He couldn’t come down to tell me?!
Let’s make this as pretty as possible. Voices got a little loud as Blue Boy expounded on the inconvenience and I insisted even more loudly that Mike contact the internet provider. Mike passively asserted that this was a neighborhood issue (like the lights going out in a storm, also a frequent occurrence here) and that the provider was taking care of it. (He would do well living under a dictator). I promised Blue Boy that I would take him to Starbucks to connect if our internet failed him, the cry of “Starbucks” now awaking Mowgli who was disappointed to learn that we would be going to Starbucks to work, not to treat ourselves.
The technology confounds us. We have been advised to move the modem, add extenders, replace the modem, etc. etc. etc. all without assurances that any of it will work. If we replace every piece of technology in our house to be compatible, will we be happy? For how long? Until the next software upgrade? The next replacement of a device?
It is apparent to me that the technology industry designs tools so that when upgrading one device, all others need to be upgraded in order to work optimally. Let me just say that Mike and I are of the generation of running things until they die, including our bodies.
I often assert that I want to run away to a cabin in the woods,
with running water,
and of course,
P.S. Blue Boy got his homework done.