Did we anger the technology gods?
April 18, 2016
My tech boom and the day it all went south
We aren’t early adopters.
Setting up new gadgets, or paying for them, isn’t fun the way it was when I was 13. Or was it 15? Honestly, I can’t remember when communication technology first crept into our lives, but I was part of the generation that adopted pagers for fun at $3/month. We’ve come a long way since then, with the smartphones and the touchscreen computers, and the phablets.
(Can’t you just hear the old age settling in? Or is that creaking our bones?) Either way, new technology here is unusual, but we can’t seem to survive without it.
It was a big deal when PiC surprised me with an iPad so that I could still work on days that my fingers had checked out of Hotel California.
It was a huge deal when we graduated from only upgrading our phones when offered a cheapie free phone in exchange for a renewed contract (remember that?), to buying the exact one that he wanted.
It was the biggest deal to buy a new laptop, only the third one I’d bought in 16 years, that was exactly what I wanted and needed for all my work and personal-work life.
Riding high on the clouds of “high” tech is exactly where they want you
…when the machines turn!
First, it was the brand new laptop. Less than a month old, but more than the 3 weeks to qualify for a return, the laptop randomly, and without warning, turned off.
At first I chalked it up to carelessness, obviously I’d let the battery run down. Right? After leaving it plugged in overnight, satisfied it had had more than enough time to get a full charge, I cracked my knuckles (mentally) and set in for a good day of work. Only to sit in front of a black screen, head cocked, wondering if it was just me.
It was and it wasn’t. In expert-speak I believe this is called “The computer hates you-itis”. Something was seriously wrong and thankfully, I had sprung for the premium service plan: parts and labor and in-home service, for three years. Responses were guaranteed within 2 days.
What they didn’t tell me was the policy only guaranteed that they would acknowledge you had a problem in 48 hours, they didn’t say that they would fix that dang thing in that time. Great!
Resigned to waiting 5-7 business days for the hardware to be shipped to the service tech, who would then schlep it to our house to actually revive my computer, I started to work on my old laptop, Backup #1.
Backup #1 had gotten the memo, though, and ten minutes in, the fan started rumbling like it was going to implode. Or explode. The jury’s still out on which would be worse. Shaking my head, I pulled out an even older laptop and, transported back a decade to Win 95, tried to get some work done. Except its ability to keep more than two tabs open has been long-lost to the mists of time.
iPad? I could work on the iPad! Except all my passwords were locked up in Dead Computer. In 1-3 minute bursts, I coaxed Backup #1 to give up the passwords, one painful bout at a time. But of course, the iPad decided that it wanted charging and by the way, it also didn’t feel like letting me view attachments.
That was Backup #3 down. Doubtfully, I hauled out an old netbook that only ran Win 7 starter, and if you can imagine a tiny computer laughing in your face, that was Backup #4.
Driven into the arms of Apple
Desperate to get some work done, any work done, at this point, I commandeered PiC’s old MacBook.
Quick background: Once upon a time, I was the indifferent owner of an iPhone and a MacBook. They worked ok. Well, except the iPhone – both I and the Genius Bar are convinced that thing was possessed – but generally, the user interface was ok and they lasted a long while. After they died a relatively dignified death, though, going back to PC and Android was a breath of fresh air. I’m neither an Apple fanatic or a PC devotee, I just want a thing that works and lasts years.
The transition was simultaneously a huge relief and almost equal frustration. There are basic programs on PC that make my work flow more easily that just aren’t available to Apple users. My Apple-sworn friends helped me with substitutes but none were as useful as my originals. There are not so basic programs I’d have to buy again for the MacBook that I just didn’t want to spend the extra money for.
But the computer turned on and stayed on and, at this point, that was about as high as my blighted expectations could rise.
For a long horrible moment, I wondered if I’d have to spring for a new Mac ($$$$) and buy a whole new Apple set-up ($$$). We could pull the money out of savings but we’re just catching up after several huge expenses from the end of last year and the beginning of this. Then I told myself, Self, don’t get ahead of yourself. You’re just stressed and stresseder. Let’s see what happens with the repair and go from there.
Then my phone died.
My soul wept. Actual tears may have been shed. I can’t remember, I went into a sort of fugue state at that point.
I had to wait five weeks for that repair.
The Mac was available, and working for those five weeks, thank goodness. Y’all, if I had one more backup computer die on me I would have lost my mind, bought three brand new computers, and burned every one of the others in a massive sacrifice to Electronica, the god of broken technology.
I can sort of laugh about it now that the primary computer has been repaired. Sort of.
Backups #2 and #4 for sale are still being listed for sale as old scrap or whatever it takes, and putting that money aside for New Backup #2 because who here trusts my computers anymore?
:: Has Skynet ever taken over your day?
It feels like I keep overpaying for my gear, even though I do usually hunt down bargains, because I’m looking for quality too. Do you have any super reliable ultrabook (I need very lightweight gear) or phone recommendations? Is there a secret to gear that works?
*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich and, *