For the past few days, my Internet connection had been failing me. A satanic message continued to appear on my screen as I attempted to connect to Google, or Gmail, or Facebook, or - whatever. Take your friggin pick. Error blah, blah, blah, DNS server blah, blah, blah. This morning, after rebooting and unplugging our modem a billion times, after rebooting my computer a billion times, I finally broke down and called our service carrier. Dude on the phone had me go through the same steps I'd just taken and still the issue had not been resolved. Dude on the phone then connected me to a "special" department - the super-galactic-troubleshooters, and new dude took my info and let me know there would be a small fee for their expert services, but don't worry m'am we'll make sure everything gets resolved.
Long story short: reboot effing router. Super-galactic-troubleshooting dude connected to my laptop remotely, checked a few things and said I was good to go - no reconfigure needed. So pretty much I just paid to do something I could have (should have, damnit!) been able to do for free? Fantastic.
Everything appeared to be working just dandy.
Skip to the living room a half an hour later, sipping some coffee and talking to Big Red about replacing the batteries in three dead watches. Tangent: I love watches and I've got a few totally groovy ones but I haven't been able to use them because they died about a year ago. I've slacked in taking them somewhere partly because, well - I slacked, and partly because I didn't want to pay to have it done because I knew I'd be overcharged for a simple procedure. Big Red confirmed he could remove the backs of the watches and we could do a simple battery swap in house. He went downstairs, grabbed an itty-bitty screw driver, quickly removed the backs, we identified the batteries and then I went and grabbed my laptop out of the office. I figure I could find the batteries on Amazon. Sat back down on the couch, flipped up my screen, tried to load the Internet and BOOM - same asshole issue!!
My blood pressure went from totally livable to near death in seconds. We clicked on seven thousand boxes, ran scans, unplugged, replugged - you name it, it was done. Nada. Nothing, Still wonky. Finally I came up with System Restore. I chose January 12 since that seemed safe. The issues started a few days ago so I figured if I chose that date, I'd go back to whatever setting this damn gadget had before it was exhibiting problems. Started the restore, went to brush my teeth and floss. Yes, I floss every morning. I have excellent dental hygiene and my dentist loves me for it. I make his job super easy.
Checked back on the bastard laptop, and sure enough - it was working like a charm. Laptop was upgraded from temporary bastard to best friend.
I am infuriated at the technology for which I'm so dependent upon and I'm furious with myself that I am in fact so dependent upon such technology. When did we become such slaves to our gadgets? Remember when the biggest problem you had was replacing batteries in your Speak & Spell? Go back even further and consider the human powered Sit 'n Spin. No batteries required, just the ability to sit crossed leg and turn a wheel. Even the Sit 'n Spin has sold out to a "Music & Lights" version. Big Red weighed in on the issue as it pertains to technology and gadgets as found in cars. All those luxuries that can be found in vehicles like power windows, cd changers, heated seats, even key fobs - just add those to the possibilities of what can go wrong and what might need fixing.
I am completely aware that not only do I use gadgets on a daily basis, I actually need them. Communication at work comes almost exclusively through our Outlook email. Most of our classrooms function via an online website where students get and upload assignments. I use my laptop at home for communication, and post processing my pictures. Hell, my camera is basically a mini computer.
Is an Eastern philosophy necessary to maintain sanity with all these gadgets? Pain and suffering [when working with gadgets] are a part of life, so we must accept them in order to continue moving forward and reach enlightenment. I'm almost certain something of this nature has recently been added to the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism. I jest.
I'm down with enlightenment so long as my Internet connection doesn't drop anymore.