Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Magic or Misery?


Oh the trials when it comes to our tech lives.

Last week after no one could hear me when they called me on my cell phone, I took the plunge and got a “smart” phone.

Now the phone itself may be smart, but it’s current owner and user seems to be anything but. I couldn’t have the store turn it on as for the first time in my life I had purchased my day bus pass with the old one and didn’t want to risk a fine. As it turns out, in terms of time and nerves, that might have been the lesser risk!

That evening I called the local provider and turned it on, then had to wade through dozens of instructions and pages of possibilities in German before I could actually change the language to one that I use daily. So far, so good. Also changed the PIN so that I could have a fighting chance of remembering it.

The next day – Thurs. – was able in the morning to open it without any problems with the new PIN. Then I made the mistake of leaving. By mid-afternoon I had managed to block the SIM card and of course hadn’t taken the PUK with me so was essentially without a phone.
Never mind – Friday was able to send both sons an e-mail saying that I was out-of-range and I didn’t worry about the rest of the world.

I never did find any more wifi either so actually did end up being totally off the grid, so to speak, from Fri. morning until I returned Sun. evening. Perhaps not a choice, but once I accepted the facts I didn’t worry about it any more – just enjoyed and hoped that there would be no emergencies.

Then of course Sunday night did manage to unlock the phone, only to discover that I had left the battery charger in the mountain flat. Ah ha, but luck was on my side as still the same brand of telephone and the old charger actually worked. One hurdle down.  Second hurdle appeared right behind it though when my “new” computer wouldn’t turn on. Argh…

Monday thus became a day dedicated to getting all these techie things up and running again. First however, I had to learn why I wasn’t able to answer my phone. Son two – whom I was helping with his sublet – finally discovered that all sounds had been blocked. OK I now had a supposedly working telephone, but when I tried to answer a call by pushing on the green telephone nothing happened. Several very frustrating calls later we discovered that I had to swipe the green telephone, not push, tap or otherwise jiggle it. Progress being made.

After a delicious lunch at Little India – an Indian restaurant in the Pâquis area of Geneva that I can highly recommend – I headed to the Mac store to figure out my computer problems. Waiting time approx. 1 hour and a half, so headed to the phone shop to figure out why, oh why, I was getting a beeping every 10 minutes or so and why I couldn’t get my working e-mail entered.  Had just managed that wait and got some answers when my number was called at the Mac store.  That two turned out to be very minor – and fortunately my current working Mac is in good shape (o.k. so I left the battery charger for the mini Mac also in the mountains …).

Hurdle number three: buy another battery for my favorite camera as I kept running it dry (also figured out the why of that – was sometimes pushing the video button instead of the take-one-picture button – yikes where was my mind?).  In that store the salesman had a lot of trouble trying to locate in the computer a replacement, then couldn’t order it either so I was slightly relieved that I am not the only one having tech problems.

By the end of the day though – all was again well in my connected world – my computer opened on the first try this morning; my cell phone collects all my e-mails, doesn’t beep too often and I can even remember how to answer it; and I have a back-up (and charged) battery for my favorite camera.

Now just don’t let the electricity go down and deprive me of these marvels!