Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Technology and Me

I admit to learning how to type on a manual typewriter. I remember rotary phones. I remember phone prefixes that were words, not numbers, and 4 digit phone numbers. I remember life when if you had a television, the console it resided in was a major piece of furniture, although the set itself was very small.

I thought computers were nifty gadgets. We started with an Apple ii, back when the debate was Apple, Atari, or Tandy. We got an answering machine. A VCR (which I learned how to program without difficulty, thankyouverymuch). And when I found myself having to drive on deserted roads at wee hours of the morn, or late at night, I got a cell phone for security. It was about the size of a tv remote and lived in the car for emergencies.

While we have yet to do the Wii thing, we did have Pong and Space Invaders and Pac Man. I'm happy with my 500 versions of solitaire and some Mah Johngg. I have two iPods--almost the original and the 1 inch shuffle. I know how to shop on line. Heck, I maintain my own website and have mastered about 1/4 of what this blogger account can do.

So, when I tried to move along with the times, I was surprised to find it so stressful. First, the cable box fiasco, covered in an earlier post. I finally told the guy to move the box to the other television, where my husband is now discovered all the reasons I didn't like it, especially since we're not ready to pay for a DVR system. It's got a kazillion channels. You can program 'favorites' so the remote won't scroll through all 300 of them, but...it won't scroll backward. On all our other systems, you told the remote which channels were worth showing, and the rest were relegated to 'manual only' (and for the record, hubby is the only male on the planet who didn't put the sports channels into his list). No more. And you can't tape one show and watch another unless you upgrade. Not paying money to do something I've always been able to do.

Last night, I decide to tape a show so I could go to bed and read...BUT...the cable guy apparently didn't put everything back the way he found it, so I couldn't run anything from the VCR to the television, no matter how many times I went through the setup menu.

And then there's the new cell phone. It took several HOURS to get the computer to recognize it existed, and I'm still not sure it synced everything. I have yet to get it to send a single email, although the guy at the store said it was all set up (and since the phone has a camera, why not use the email to send pictures to myself so I can post them here?) Getting the phone to take a clear picture is something else I haven't mastered. Once I got the computer and the phone to talk to each other, I could transfer the picture I took last Thursday at the command center. It's not too sharp, but that's because it was in a dark room and I was shooting a wall of television monitors. I've added it to yesterday's post.

Today, I'm going back to the cell phone store and let them explain email to me. Again. It's not that I see a great need for emailing via phone, but it's part of the package and it bugs the heck out of me that I can't figure out how to make it work.

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