Monday, 19 July 2010

Crawls exhaustedly to computer, tries yet again, flings self onto floor and sobs wildly

Where to start?

Early last week I unpacked my nice new iMac. Prudently,  knowing that help would be needed to get it all up and running, I beseeched two kind friends to come and fritter away their spare time helping me. They came, they unpacked, we had lunch, we puzzled and we fiddled. We rang the Apple Support people. Things were not as simple or obvious as they seemed, and this call turned out to be the first of many, reducing me to a gibbering and nervous wreck, and provoking the even more technologically challenged, but notwithstandingly ever-critical Dr P, to loud and irate abuse. The friends departed, and I raced off to choir practice.

My friends returned the next day,  and we spent the afternoon on the phone, changing settings, in the attempt to set up a wireless connection to the internet connection. Our case number was getting expert attention from numerous Apple staff. By this stage, my mind was totally confused, I was exhausted and upset. It is impossible to remember even a small part of the processes we tried. I dreamed a dream of easy access and problem free use of computers. Is there such a thing? We did get a connection, but by the next day, it had vanished into the ether.

Left to my own devices the following day, I floundered along. Domestic relations were fraying rapidly. Having managed to communicate to Dr P  how upsetting it all was, he calmed down, apologised and offered a modicum of consolation and comfort. This left me free to ponder the vicissitudes of life, the futility of effort, the remote prospects of ever being able to rectify anything, and the advisability of flinging myself off the nearest cliff. (The cliffs are actually very close by.) I tossed and turned all night, fretted and fumed, and wondered why the absence of the Internet should leave our lives feeling so totally empty and frustrating. Ever one to take a far-ranging historical vista, I contemplated how in the olden days of my childhood, we had only the radio, and very little other forms of entertainment (other than lots of playing outside, roaming the neighbourhood, or curling up with a good book until such time as my severely authoritarian father roused on me to go and lend my mother a hand, and contrasted such times of yore with this current decadent age where even three year old children have mobile phones and similar devices to while away the incredible tedium of sitting on a bus for fifteen minutes or so.)

I won't attempt to detail all the options tried, nor the conversations between the ISP and the Apple Help people. Eventually, it seemed a good idea to go out and buy a new modem. The connectivity problems had occurred before we bought the new computer, and thus I was able to persuade myself that the new computer was not (necessarily) the source of the problem. So on Friday I bought a new modem, and did my best to connect it, guided by the Apple people. It did seem a good idea to me that someone should actually call around and check it all out physically. This did not happen. Still no internet.  Dr P's patience and kindness were wearing a little thin by this stage.

At this stage my darling son rang and proposed visiting for the weekend. I should mention that we also had what seemed like a plethora of stepdaughters staying this week, and all this computer mayhem was severely impeding any attempts at step-motherly hospitality. It was most embarrassing to have my technological incompetence so readily apparent. My son arrived, we had a very good time together, with lots of deep and meaningful talks, and he talked to the Apple people, checked all the cables, and BINGO, all seemed well. The Apple people must have uttered glad cries to be dealing with someone who knew rather more than I did. We had Internet. Obviously the problem was not merely one of the wireless connection, the settings on the modem, and the impossibility of changing then without an Internet connection, but also something to do with the connection of the trillion cables that are an intrinsic part and parcel of everyday life. The cables are now all labelled, and all the relevant paraphernalia neatly stacked in plastic boxes.

The old computer seems to have gone out on a sympathy strike, as it keeps freezing, and how I am to use the Migration Assistant to transfer data from the old computer to the new one I do not know.

Am I the only person to have such problems? And how does it come to pass that it all takes such a long time to get it all fixed? (Apart from factoring in client ignorance.)

In between all these dramas there were three dress rehearsals this week, culminating in the concert this afternoon. I have no voice left. Overall it went well, with some dicey bits near the end. Don't know quite what happened.

It is evident that there is no shortage of things to keep me occupied, indeed, quite flat out, and with a distinct shortage of leisure time.  There is an immense amount to learn about the new computer. I can hardly wait.


VioletSky said...

Oh dear.
Every time I mention that I'm thinking of buying a Mac, I hear that {someone] LOVES their Mac. No one ever says they love their PC. So I have been visitng a nearby Apple store and contemplating and counting my money...
but now, I am having (again) second thoughts (and by thoughts, I mean fears).

Molly said...

Throwing one's self from a cliff seems a far more enticing option than dealing with so much frustration.....I could live with just going to the library when I wanted to blog/e-mail/google. Preferable to losing my mind from frustration!
No words of wisdom for you save "good luck!"

Isabelle said...

Well, you have my heartfelt sympathy, if that's any comfort!

Mary said...

Delurking (yes I still read - just a rubbish commenter!_) to say that there used to be a very good bloke at Next Byte in the suburb where you live - I know he went to John's flat and sorted everything Apple related out for him - and if he is not still there there will be someone else who should be able to do same - worth the money I reckon!