I’m happy today. I really am, because after two years of waiting, I finally have a new phone.
I can see some people at the back there, scratching their heads. Yes, I know a lot of real people get a new phone every other month. It’s not something that happens to me. Let me tell you about the Friday Curse.
I have to start with my Dad. He’s a lovely bloke, worked hard for years and years as a vicar in rural England, both North and South. Like many people in the late eighties, he embraced the PC revolution and bought a new desktop to speed up his admin. It was probably something really whizzy, like a 386 processor. It may have had almost half a Gigabyte of memory. Now that we’re all done giggling about that, can I go on? Thank you.
Dad sent a lot of letters. He also typed up the service sheets for each service, and with two churches to look after, that’s a lot of services each week (not just Sundays, folks, believe me…). And of course, there was the Parish magazine too. But the problem is, my Dad is not good with technology. He loves it, he works hard at it, but… Well, here’s an example. His first letter, the very first thing he typed into the new computer got saved in the wrong place. We found this out when the computer didn’t start the next day. He’d managed to save the letter file in the startup file. How? No one knew. Shouldn’t have been possible. He did it anyway. A year or so later, he bought a special printer, large enough to print double sheets of paper (A3 for you English types) to fold into booklets. The printer suddenly stopped working. Dad called out a technician, who found a dead mouse inside.
A dead mouse. Inside the printer.
Thus it was that Dad announcing he’d bought a new laptop with Facial Recognition Software made me pause. True to form, it didn’t recognise him for the first two months, and he removed the software, tired of having to get formal introductions each day.
What does this have to do with my phone? Well, I too have the curse of the Friday Machine.* It happens with lots of things, but the most cursed is my quest for a phone.
It’s simple really. I’m simple. I need stuff told to me over and over, so Mrs Dim keeps the computer Outlook calendar up to date. I check that, I know what’s happening. But when I’m out and about, people ask if I’m able to go to the meeting on Tuesday. “I don’t know,” I mutter, “I’ll get back to you.” Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could have my calendar right there on my phone?
I like listening to audio books too, and when I need some exercise (or the dog does) it’s nice to take a book along without crashing into trees or people (or, out here, bears.)
Also, I need to talk to other phones, and send Mrs Dim the occasional message.
Surely that’s not a lot to ask? I used to have a cracking device called an iPaq. It did all those things, linking up to my computer and downloading all sorts of things. It even had a GPS built in so I knew which bit of the wood I was lost in. But oh, woe! Windows upgraded to XP, and my iPaq didn’t. Wouldn’t work. Wasn’t there, according to the computer. I struggled on for as long as I could, but in the end I cracked and bought a new phone that LOOKED like it would do all those great things.
It did take nice photos, but the calendar, the contacts list, the entertainment system….They were all so hard to use, so arcane in their construction and so restrictive in their formats that it was no good at all.
This week I tried again, finally persuading my supplier that I was a named user on the account and qualified for an upgrade. As far as I can tell, this means I am allowed to give them more money, sign up for another three years, and they will let me have a choice of three or four phones. I went to a person I could actually speak to face to face, and I really tried. I outlined my needs, I asked all the right questions, and I picked a phone. It’s a…I dunno, a shiny one. With no buttons.
Anyway, I brought it home, plugged it into the computer aaaaaand….Nothing. Well, the computer AND the phone both went “Beep!” but there was no connection. No way of moving data onto the phone. Or off the phone. I tried restarting the computer, then the phone. Then the car (just in case). I saw a link that said “Use wireless sync”, so I clicked that.
It said :”To initiate wireless sync, connect your phone to the pc with the cable provided.” Uh? To get a wireless sync, I have to use the cable? BUT THE CABLE DOESN’T WORK!
Eventually I tried connecting to my Netbook. That worked fine and I have music and movies on my phone, which is nice.
The calendar. The real reason for the phone. The Important Thing.
That’s on the PC. Still. Duh.
Sometimes, I hate Fridays.
Something I don’t hate is Community Theatre. In fact, I don’t hate it so much that I spend a lot of my time writing plays for Community Theatre. They can be found at http://www.lazybeescripts.co.uk and you can buy and download my e-book “writing a play for Community Theatre” at http://www.tlc-creative.co.uk Or you can go out and buy a new phone. In fact, if you get a smart enough phone, you can probably use it to read my plays and download my e-book!
*A term to denote something made in a factory on Friday afternoon, when the workers are so keen to leave that they don’t do a thorough job, and the device is prone to frequent breakdowns