It has been weeks since I last posted. But I have just spent the last month working in a learning curve that Sir Edmund Hillary would love. I have always considered myself a person who could learn new things, but this past month has been a bear….
I stepped into the world of MAC, when I replaced my ancient HP notebook with a Macbook Pro. My family had all switched years ago, and were wildly enthused that I finally took the plunge. My beloved mouse was replaced by a touchpad, any shortcuts I had memorized were now useless, and I was now expected to use touchscreens.
I am one of those people who have a problem with touch devices; they pretend I don’t exist. I can’t tell you how often I’ve stood at ATM machine, touching the screen as the machine laughs histerically and a mechanical voice sneers, “Oh Please!.” My body has a strange electrical field of its own which means I negate the charges on digital watches, and particularly in winter when the air is dry, I can walk across a carpet and generate a big enough static charge that you’ll not only feel it, but SEE it, when I touch things. I have to be very careful to make sure I touch another surface. I before I touch people in winter, and I have turned off a TV set just by touching it…. For a long time no matter how many fingers I used, how hard or in what direction I swiped, the MAC kept saying “Whaaat?”. When it did respond, the images went flying all over the page, and I couldn’t BEGIN to find the cursor.
Passwords. Look, I know they are a great security measure, but when I’m the only person in the house; and the only one to use my computer, it drives me wild that I need multiple passwords just to start using my machine. I spent WEEKS fighting the password battle with my MAC; it said I was using the wrong passwords, and the MAC store had to keep resetting the machine.
WIFI. Another great concept. I bought my own router, installed it, and it worked just fine with my HP. The MAC said, “Seriously?”, and ignored my machine. Back to the MAC store. They said I needed to contact the router’s manufacturer. $29 and nearly two hours later CISCO’s help desk helped me reset the router(it needed a software update), my MACbook, AND the HP.
My Verizon flip phone started having trouble charging in April, and Verizon informed me that I’d either have to buy a new phone–and a 2 year contract–or wait until June when my contract was up. Incidentally they said it was worthless as a trade-in. Two weeks ago, the flip phone started ignoring the efforts of the charger, so I had to keep taking out the battery and rub it to make it take a charge. Then one Sunday morning the phone didn’t charge, and when I picked up the charger to see why, the charger fell apart in my hands, and said, “I’m done here”.
With the demise of my phone, I decided to buy the simplest smart phone I could find. Yep. My new phone was a (shudder) touch phone, but that wasn’t the biggest ordeal. It came with minimal information about its function, including how to make a stinking phone call, and it has taken me 3 days to make it produce a ringtone when I call it, and set up voice mail. I found plenty of reviews of the phone on Youtube–all singing the praises of the simplicity of the unit– but evidently everyone assumed the phone was self-explanatory. I’ve wasted more time on gooogle, finding out how to do anything on this phone. The setup menu said all I had to do was go to the Nokia site for more information, but the phone couldn’t open the site. There I sat, with the phone in one hand as I hunted for instructions on the internet.
The idea of technology was to make life simpler, but honestly, there are days I long for the simplicity of two tin cans and some string…