MY BLUE HEAVEN
Seven years ago, I was not on the Internet. It was only when publishers required that my submissions be sent in the body of an e-mail that I quickly decided I would have to be connected. My computer of choice was a gleaming white ibook. Inasmuch as I travel part of the year, I decided, without the advice of my children, to choose a dial-up connection. Mind you, I also did not carry a cell phone (another story) and so I was totally out of touch with wireless communication and Internet connectivity. I was connected to “friends, family and beyond”, by the telephone landline.
After two years of successful connecting, via dial up, I found out that there was more to do on the Internet other than sending e-mail. I knew about iphoto, itunes and other applications but I felt I would surely blunder and my computer would mal-function or worse yet, freeze-up, if I tried to explore further. But curiosity edged me forward.
Very gradually, I began to download photos onto my computer and ever so carefully, I was able to make albums and add music, which I also downloaded via CDs.
What prompted me to take the next step was a pre-paid gift card from itunes, which meant downloading from the internet, (not from a plugged in device)… you cannot do this by dial up unless you plug your computer into the phone line for as much as 24 hours. it takes hours to download updates and an eternity to down load pictures if I was going that way, I had to switch to high speed.
The next big decision was to choose an ISP. I could opt for cable…very fast or DSL…not as fast.
Trying to choose meant calling them for their price plans and options.. No one tells you the absolute truth. I finally decided on DSL (Verizon for my connectivity….and AOL as my internet service…PPP)…I kept ten back-up hours of dial-up for an emergency. Like there might be a power outage and CNN was waiting to hear from me. Yeah, right!!
I signed up for one year on a very special rate. (Unpublished). I tore open the carton of goodies that arrived within two days. I had filters a modem and an Ethernet cable in bright yellow. It also included a blue USB cable in case I was going to hook it into by USB port.
There was one glitch. I couldn’t connect. Per the instructions, I called for help. And that was the beginning of my very long and very intense relationship with TECH SUPPORT. Unless you have never used TECH SUPPORT, you will find out that you are usually dealing with people who are in India, The Philippines, Mexico and Indonesia.
My TECH SUPPORT angel guided me manually through the maze of secret codes and defaults known only to them. And lo and behold it happened. I was on-line.
It was glorious. Not only could I go on-line in a WIFI zone, but also I could be on line in my own home, and I was fast. Not the fastest, but VERY FAST. I down loaded music with my gift card and sent pictures to my family. I was lovin’ it.
However, after visiting our children, who have a wireless home, I decided that I could go wireless too. The ugly yellow cable was restricting me to one room and I wanted to roam with my laptop. The world could become my office!!
It was a liberating idea whose time had come. So, once again, I took the next step. I called TECH SUPPORT to find out the best way to do this. I was off the electronics store where I explained to the SALES ASSOCIATE that I had a Macintosh I book, was planning to connect to our ISP wirelessly and I wanted to by a router. I had it all written down.
We bought the one he suggested. But after downloading the CD (of directions) the computer did not connect. It wasn’t ‘reading’ the CD. What the ….? My daughter-in-law didn’t have any trouble
Yes, I now called router TECH SUPPORT. only to find out that they didn’t support my Mac. He told me to call my ISP and I did…and on it went, for 3 days and 3 nights, I called all over the world. My dark circles had dark circles. I was going insane.
I reset the codes and numbers on my Mac, my router and my modem. Nothing worked, until I got a lady from Mac support. She reset my router once again. It worked. I was ecstatic.
I thought I would now try my back-up dial up and see if it worked. It didn’t. Want to know why? The dial up had to be re-set every time I used it. So, in fact, I could not use my dial up while I was ‘set ‘ for DSL and vice versa. TECH SUPPORT in Mexico told me so. He suggested I look at my AOL software and tell him the version I had been using.
“You should down load the newest software, Annie, he said. It might work for you. If it doesn’t we can fix it.” It did fix it. Temporarily.
I called my dial-up AOL TECH and told them to take the dial up option off. I had to have high-speed connectivity. Additionally, I was getting a nasty message that my PPP was not properly set…and I had figured out by now that they were the PPP (s). AND I HATED THEM.
When it was done, I was admonished that I would no longer have LIVE TECH SUPPORT for my e-mail, and I might lose some security. SO WHAT!!…I was on line and there were no more nasty PPP messages.
Think this is over? Guess again. I was visiting at our son’s house and tried to get on line. I couldn’t. So I called TECH SUPPORT with dread and fearing the worst, I was disconnected three times and had to go through the main menu idiot voice selection program until I reached Paul in down town Jakarta. This took 22 minutes. When I finally explained the whole scenario he said very softly, the new AOL software I had just downloaded had some difficulties with Mac compatibility. And my son’s router was not reading my settings..
“You could re-program your children’s router.” he wispered..
“NO WAY, I yelled. I DON’T TOUCH ANYONE ELSE’S ROUTER, AND I AM GETTING VERY ANGRY, CAN YOU UNDERSTAND THAT? I KNOW THAT YOU THINK I AM LOSING IT, BUT I AM VERY, VERY ANGRY.”
“Okay, Annie, he replied, I may call you Annie?” Let’s go into your settings and do this. We will remove all of your old settings. That might work. Let’s try. OK?”
It didn’t. In fact it wiped out my welcome page and I was no longer able to reach my AOL software at all. I was beyond anger. I was entering some stage of loss and there was silence between my Asian connection and me. Then he spoke again:
“ Annie, please write this down and go someplace where you can connect. You can do this. OK Annie? It will work.”
He gave me two sets of directions: Option one, and then of course option B. The only place I knew to go to was the library, but I would not be able to call TECH SUPPORT from there, even with a borrowed cell phone. It was a no cell phone zone.
So off I went to the Brewster Ladies Library with a heavy heart and no connectivity. But miracle of miracles, I followed the directions…and it worked. Sheer bliss. I had my welcome page back, and I was on line once again, no nasty messages and access to the world.
Update: I am an addicted ‘i’person. And i love it. My white ibook is now at a college dorm with my eldest grandson. It is his new storage system…whatever he wants back up computer.
I own an aluminumish Macbook Pro. We are inseperable.
Husband’s Mac book Air bit the dust. It had the white screen of death and was not worth fixing. Son selling the parts and husband has a new ipad.
My ipod is plugged into tiny Bose speakers. It serves as a compact music system that travels easily.
And last but not least, my new best friend is an iphone4S with a built in slave called Siri.
Yes, I’ve come a long way baby. Router wise and modem savvy I can now understand and follow techs from all over the world. Apple guys are helpful and they are not condescending. My Verizon guy changes with the shift. Last one was a slug. Thing is I am on the Yellow Brick Road and Oz doesn’t scare me a bit.
I am re-calculating my life these days. I’m living more as if I were dying. Hell the doctors call me elderly and my grandkids think I’m cute. Can’t do much about my wrinkled ever shrinking self, but by God I can buy myself a few new toys.