Saturday, December 31, 2016

Technorant

Ok, I know we are living in a technological world.  Those of us, of a certain age, who have embraced that technology, have done so with less than, shall we say, total enthusiasm.  My attitude toward all the newest and, mostly unnecessary electronic devices that inundate our lives, is the old adage "if you can't beat em, join em."

I have tried and tried and tried again with the best of intentions, to understand those devices that enter into our life here in Seniorland, but I just get a smirking, thumb-your-nose reaction from the gods of technology no matter what I do. I admit I've tested the patience of those gods on too many occasions for them to cut me any slack now when I need some TLC and an "atta boy" when I figure out how to turn the new device on.  Burt I have been deserted and left to fumble around on my own, trying to decipher the Japanese or Korean written, but still accented and mostly unintelligible, instructions on how to make it work the way they intended it to work,

My latest foray into the wild and scary techno jungle, where there is a new and complicated unhousebroken device hiding behind every tangled clump of cables, involved installing our new 48" smart TV.
"Of course I can install it myself," I confidently reassured Mary when she asked me if we should engage the Geek Squad to do the technical stuff.
"How difficult can it be?" I naively retorted, forgetting momentarily those tech gods who were not going to cut me any slack. "All you do is stick a couple of cables into its backside, plug it in, and you're done.  A ten year old could do it." I stated with false bravado. The more she asked me if I was sure I could handle the task, the less confident I got.

I should have realized that it wasn't going to be the easy straightforward job i was hoping for right at the start when I couldn't get the new TV out of the box.  They packed that TV so tight and secure that I could have used at least two more men and a boy to help coax it out of its hidyhole.  Trust me, I know constipation really well and that process of getting the TV out had an amazing similarity to what I'm familiar with.  What I needed was some industrial strength Myralax--probably several large doses-- to grease the passage out of the box and get some relief.  Finally, with a hearty burp, the box gave up the struggle and my new TV was free and ready to begin its new life as our central  entertainment option. At least that's what I envisioned.  But the fun was just  beginning.

I thought I was being exceedingly clever when I took several pictures of the back of the old TV to show how the various cables were connected.  I figured that with pictures and my memory and my innate abilities to fix stuff, I would be done before I knew I was doing it.  Oh, you silly twit.  I had naively assumed that the new TV would be just like the old one, and all those pretty red, yellow, white, blue, and green cables would plug themselves into the appropriate holes in the new TV.  But, no, those damn Koreans went and changed everything. There were no pretty red, yellow, white, blue, and green cables to make any connections.  All I found were two unremarkable plain black cables with some silly looking ends that were meant to connect something to somewhere. It wasn't just that the cables were missing.  There were no holes or jacks or any other orifices to stick anything into. After an inordinate amount of time scratching my head and wondering what life would be like if there were no orifices to stick anything into, I gave up and called for help.

I called the tech helpline of the manufacturer. The first tech "helper" I got on the phone introduced himself as "George," but if he was named "George" his nickname had to be Kanu or Mohatmas and English was certainly not his native language.  After 15-20 minutes of my trying to understand what he was saying and his inability to understand what help I needed, I abruptly hung up on him with more than a few uttered curses in my native language.

I then called the store where we purchased the TV to see if one of their knowledgeable people could, or even would, explain the absence of those colorful cables I had expected to find, and what I was supposed to do without them.  The guy I talked to was a bit circumspect about helping me over the phone.  Apparently the store has a policy of not giving away information when they can charge you a hundred bucks for an insurance warranty issued by the Geek Squad who would then answer all questions pertaining to whatever device you needed help with.  I was sufficiently indignant and then pathetic and helpless sounding that he, probably tired of my whining, whispered some of the forbidden information to me. I learned enough from his bootlegged info that I was able to stick those two plain black cables into the correct spots.  Now why couldn't the TV come with instructions to connect one hdmi cable into the cable box and the other end into one of hdmi slots on the TV? The other cable connected the TV to the DVD player. How incredibly simple it was. Simple if you happen to know what a hdmi cable is and where it goes.  With that information the installation of the TV was really simple.

So with all the connections made, I was ready to enjoy watching something, anything, just to show Mary how capable I was when it came to technology.  I called her into the room and made a big deal about turning it on.  I pointed the remote at the TV and got .......nothing.  I was totally confused.  It was supposed to work with all the correct cables in their correct places.  I was ready to get my hammer and put an end to my misery.  As I was headed out of the room on my way to fetch that hammer, Mary calmly suggested that I bring back some batteries with me for the remote.  Damn.  Now she's going to take all the credit for making the TV work.