I have a love/loath relationship with technology. As an edge baby-boomer (born late in the category) I grew up in a time slightly before miniaturization. People walking by with the original cell phones (slightly smaller than a walkie-talkie and just about as nice looking) were viewed as totally off the rocker. Today to be a person without a cell phone at all is a chargeable offense. (Truth be known, I miss phones with cords. They were greatly more convenient to pinch between ear and shoulder…and, yes, I know you can get Bluetooth headsets to eliminate even this level of neck strain.) My education and training has allowed me to stay reasonably adept in new technology, but daily I find my level of usefulness is getting smaller as pertaining to new devices and tech. I can program my VCR (and even set the clock, lest the …12:00…12:00…12:00… blinking cause seizures) but don’t own a DVR at all, so programming TV to watch upon demand in digital format is outside of my wheelhouse.
I am currently away from home, having returned from my road trip earlier this week to Indiana and checked into my home (apartment) for about 45 minutes before dragging back into the car to spend time with my kids (son, DIL, and granddaughter), requiring another two hour drive towards Detroit. As a result, I am required to borrow and share technology I am somewhat unfamiliar with. The computer I am working on is a HP laptop running Windows 7. This is awkward for a couple of reasons: it’s a laptop, and it’s running Windows 7.
I am uncomfortable typing on most laptops (and this one is no exception) because the keyboard is (1) smaller than my Microsoft Natural keyboard at home, and (2) the keys are flat, planar, and have a small travel when pressed.I am a largish guy (I carry a lot of weight in this organization) so the smaller profile causes my hands to drift away from the “home” location. Typing by touch works only 30% of the time (added challenge is I type Dvorak layout, thus requiring a half hour to setup the computer configuration every time I start working on a foreign computer). In addition, the mouse-substitute pad is located exactly where my hands want to rest after 10-15 seconds, causing the cursor to move erratically to various locations on the screen. With a USB mouse and another 10 minute configuration change, i have been able to disable the blasted thing altogether. I hope it works when Samantha tries to use her profile…
More disturbing is that I am now required to ask to use the kid’s Kindle to check my e-mail and WP stats because my I-Pad has died. I was gifted with a first generation apple device when friends upgraded all the technology in their house. I lived in a state of abject isolation (no internet or cable TV in my apartment) so it was difficult (to say the least) to keep in touch with friends and family through e-mail. (Facebook is completely out of the question). My friend Ryan provided me with his old device so I would be able to use WIFI to check mail from the lobby (by connecting to the office’s link). It was quite a change from finding out events of interest and importance only a few days after the fact rather than weeks or months later. (Rumor control suggests it is possible to stay connected with modern cell phones, but I have a whole other rant about owning the WORST CELL PHONE EVER DESIGNED AND CREATED BY THE FOULEST DEMONS FROM THE LOWEST PITS OF HADES! I will post more about it some other time when my blood pressure drops to an acceptable level).
While traveling to the south earlier this week, it stopped working sometime in the very early hours of Thursday morning. This was not exactly unexpected, as for about the last year the device was temperature sensitive. When used or stored in ambient air temperatures below about 68F it would indicate a dead battery and would shut off. Showing love to the pad by cuddling or holding it close to my heart until it was warm (or using an equivalent, like a heating pad or furnace register) would bring my friend back from the icy wastelands of near-death. I found myself sleeping with the thing beside me in bed (singing me to sleep and providing ambient background noises throughout the night).
This time, however, things have become more serious. After almost an hour of attempting CPR (compress against chest) and defibrillator use (plugging into charger) there was still no signs of life, just the slim red bar on an empty battery appearing for a few seconds after pushing the on button, then fading to dark. Several times a day since, I have tried (again and again and again and …) to revive my fallen friend without any success.
A couple of people have suggested it is time to set it aside and move on with my life. While in my more lucid moments, I can acknowledge intellectually the wisdom of this action, I am not able to accept this as the end of our relationship. I had a couple of week period where it was in a similar coma around Thanksgiving last year, and I think maybe it will come back if I just show enough care and affection. I know it is just a matter of time (the device has no camera and is unable to understand O/S beyond 5.1.1 so it is incapable of learning new tricks). And I have enough invested in our relationship not to even broach the thought of moving to Android or another system.
I have not lost hope, regardless of the seemingly inevitable result. Just a couple of weeks more to see if it will come back. I know it will…
My heart just couldn’t take having to go back to my Palm Pilot III…
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