Thursday, July 24, 2008

Breaking my silence!

A soothing picture that has nothing to do with the blog other than the
euphoric state I'm in (having solved all our computer networking woes)!
Picture by Mrs. Dada

I've been fighting to save my online neck for the past five or six days. At Dada's we have three computers networked: our old PC (my fave); a cheap laptop used to blog when last we drove to Oregon the summer of '06; and the "new" iMac we bought last summer which we thought would replace the PC. (It hasn't yet!)

Keeping the PC made me decide to install the network almost a year ago. But inevitably, one computer fails on the network with almost predictable regularity. With each successive failure, I begin to sense a growing instability of the program resulting in more and increasingly blatant corruptions of the software and incompatibilities with the system as it was intended to work. One could compare it to, say, oh, our current government which is a clusterfuck of multiplying disasters.

So it was earlier this week my computer network became so erratic and messed up as to be frustratingly inoperable. I was left with one logical alternative. I would uninstall the corrupted software and begin all over again with a reinstallation, a fresh start. Maybe it would once more work as originally intended.

That's a place most Americans haven't yet reached with their government; when they get to the point where there is only one viable solution remaining to them, to save the system from more frequent crashes and, ultimately, total collapse -- a point of total uninstall of the old and fresh start with the new.

While no longer a whiz at things electronic as I may have been back in the early 90's, I am usually able to fix the problem or work around it.

At one time I enjoyed solving a bewitching computer quirk or glitch, but now I just expect stuff to work without having to participate, to "marry into the family" of tech manuals, online help and the patriarchal godfather of 'em all, the three hour tech support phone call with someone in northeast India who concludes it all with, "So sorry I was unable to solve your problem. Is there anything else I can help you with today?"

One could probably extend the analogy of Americans and their government this far as well, i.e., rather than be bothered with fixing it, most just expect - or hope - it will work the way it was intended. But government doesn't fix itself. In fact, untended and unleashed, it eventually fuckin' runs away. In the face of such apathy, the system only corrupts faster and faster, making ever more frequent crashes all the more dramatic. But I've digressed, sorry.


What we've just come through is the result of an iTunes gift card given as a high school graduation gift to a nice neighbor kid during a party for him on June 11th.

Several weeks later, he showed up with a thank you card and his new iMac laptop graduation computer. I tried very hard not to short circuit it by drooling on its keyboard as he demonstrated its amazing prowess. It made me realize I need to spend more time with our own iMac desktop.

But that's not what really blew me away and ultimately caused my network to crash leaving every computer we own offline, as well as our internet based phone. No, the culprit was what "Tom" brought along with his laptop to demonstrate. It was his new pocket sized iPod Touch. Basically an iPhone without the phone part.

Mrs. Dada, Sam and I decided we just had to have one. The selling point was its ability to surf the Web using a network. This stroked Mrs. Dada's interest in that sitting before a desktop computer is very uncomfortable for her. With the iPod Touch she could surf from the comfort of her favorite recliner if she wanted.

So last Friday, Mrs. Dada returned from Costco with our new "Touch" and hooking it up with the others is what ultimately dove our whole computer network into a total electronic "coma." For in trying to save it all, it died.

To spare all the details of a very frustrating last few days, we are now totally back online better than ever with the final member to rejoin, the iMac desktop, coming back online this morning. And we can now sit out on the patio in the late afternoons with the new iPod Touch and catch up on all the latest blogging. And believe me, having been distracted for a number of days now, that's going to take some time.

But it's so good to be back! And when tired of surfing, we can just stick our internet 'surf board' in a pocket, to access again next time, anywhere there's a wireless 'hot spot' or network somewhere that works like it's supposed to. Like the governments we have that we wish would too.


D.K. Raed said...

So glad things are back up & running somewhat smoothly for you. Must be hell to be on that govt computer watch list (grin)! But yes, if only the same could be said for our country.

I know I'm a dinosaur because I don't understand most of the problems you are having with your current set up, nor what is involved in solving them, much less the lust over an iPod Touch. But hey, this way things will go much better for me when the whole grid just shuts down, right? Shouldn't miss what I've never had.

I do like the phrase
"uninstalling corrupted software" which seems like a euphemism for death that Geo Carlin would've enjoyed.

dada said...

d.k. - I think you're absolutely right about the less entwined with electronic gadgetry, the easier your transition into a post-electric world.

But I suspect your modesty at flying below the gov't's watch list radar is so way, way over estimated.

I have every confidence you enjoy a spot on the very same gov't homeland security list being maintained by those insecure homeland security bastards as I and tens of thousands of other radical "left wing" extremist bloggers (to include Obama supporters?).

But I take heart in knowing that after being thrown into one of those great new prisons our tax $$'s are building to house us, I will meet many new like minded friends there and, who knows (?), maybe even run into an old electronic one or two from the 'pre-power-grid-collapse' days of bloggerville. (I wonder if, as inmates, free healthcare is provided?)

"uninstalling corrupted software" was my not so subtle euphemism to fly with you, i.e., *beneath the radar.*

Utah Savage said...

I loves me my big honking now Imac. I was prodded into the huge investment by my Administrator in San Francisco. He was trying to help me struggle through the problems and bugginess of my old PC. Finally he said, an Imac will change your life. He was right.

I think Barack is the new Imac the country needs to get it working again. Or at least halt the rush to disaster we are now facing.

Tony Andrews said...

Sounds painful. Maybe you should get a mac.

D.K. Raed said...

au contraire, Dada ... not having flown anywhere in years, I cannot be sure, but after reading somewhere that the HS wants to restrain airlines from telling passengers WHY they've had to refuse to let them fly ... so they cannot reveal if the passenger is on the watch list ... that the next time I DO fly, I can fully expect the following:

Suckair: we cannot allow you to fly today
DK: why, are you overbooked?
Suckair: Beep
DK: did I give you a bad credit card?
Suckair: Bleep
DK: is the plane having mechanical problems?
Suckair: Buh-Beep
DK: did I have too much carry-on?
Suckair: Bah-Beep
DK: is there bad weather at my destination?
Suckair: Baaah-Beep
DK: Well, WHAT then? Is my software corrupted?
Suckair: Beeeeeeepppppppp .......

(followed by PA announcement calling for BWater Security to come pick up another inbound customer) ... besides the consolation of finally being housed with many fellow travelers, I won't have to worry about my laptop or Itouch (not having such).

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. and Mrs. Dada!!! (this is Wendy!)

Mr. Dada! I read your e-mail, thank you for writing back! I will be very happy to see you at the reception!!

Anyways! I just passed by your Dada's Dally, and found my self reading about your new iTouch! Well, what can I say! Their the best thing out there right now...and I'm so glad you're making good use of it!!! I used to have an iPhone (after selling portraits like crazy to teachers at my school...I finally raised enough money!) Anyways, it got stolen about a month ago =(( And I really miss it!!! Specially the wifi!! It was the best thing ever! was all my fault, gotta admit! I left it in the car outside a church at Juarez...and I even remembered! I went back to the car...looked through the back window...saw it...was relieved...and LEFT! Ugh! Bad move! I guess someone saw me and went and opened the car and stole the iPhone =((

...and that's my sad story Mr. Dada! So I can just suggest to be very careful and take good care of's incredible how things can develop little feet =((

...but material things...are material things....those are the two lessons I learned!

Have a good day!!! =))

enigma4ever said...

welcome back....ahhhh the woes of computing and feeling ever so boggled by it all...good for you that you navigated the geek labrynth and are still living to tell the tale...

( Deb is got just enuf Technology to confuse the hell out of them at the NSA Cheetos HQ and the illusitrious Homeland Insecurity HQ....)

And thanks the to the NO FLY list , you can see I created my own European Cafe.....I can't go damnit- I will just bring it here...

and as loyal MAC person of ions...go MAC won't ever go back ;-)

Fran said...

I always feel so proud when I can do a simple install & get things to work as they should, affirming I am not a complete idiot that can not follow basic instructions. But when it starts to come to more advanced stuff like incompatibility issues, I am one lost sheep.
Some tech wizard will ask did you upgrade your browser, and this & that, Oh! & did you get the higher version upgrade software? Doh! We have 2 digital cameras.... one is a charm & behaves properly, the other used to work but when we did the operating system upgrade, it no longer worked for computer uploading. Why was this, and more importantly, how do I make it behave?? I'm not totally lame- I can get one of the 2 to function... turns out we needed the CD disk with the system compatability upgrade.
Of course we did! I am trying to find the patience & nerve to begin to wrangle with that to see if I can coerce it to function.
But if/ when I do... it will be a triumph of epic proportions!

Welcome back aboard the cyber spaceship!

Technology-- when it;s good it's very good.

dada said...

utah: I do like the Mac. I just haven't spent much time with it. That's because all my 'E-life' from '89 forward has been on a PC. We purchased our very first with (get this!) 60 "MEGs" (!!!) of memory and a close friend asked, "Why do you need SO MUCH?" (how laughable that is now in today's computers with memories in many multiples of 60 GIGs!

But I sense my tech savvy slipping away and transiting to the Mac will only expedite the process. Yet, it seems to have so many nice features.

As for Barack as the new iMac "halting the rush to disaster we are now facing,"... I would love it if you were right, however, I'm a bit skeptical but hoping he might slow it at least.

dada said...

d.k. - Thanks for sharing your glimpse into the future. Very funny!

dada said...

Hi Wendy: Thanks for visiting Dada's again. Your story was so very sad. I'm so sorry you lost your iPhone this way. (Did you try calling it to wish whoever took it a "nice day"?)

Yeh, I know, it's just a material thing, but you worked very hard to get it. I guess you got some great drawing experience doing all those portraits, huh? (small consolation, I know.)

Anyway, I'm excited to see your work in the upcoming Art Association exhibit, as well as the mural over at the Outlet Shoppes. How exciting!

dada said...

e4e: Thanks for the Mac encouragement. The old PC here is getting a little more erratic all the time. The transition is ultimately inevitable.

Fran: Yes, when the technology works, it's very good. When it doesn't, it's very, very bad. (which can be extremely upsetting)

NOTE -- Re Wendy (see her comment above): She is one of the talented artists whose work was some of my very favorite, as featured on Dada's here some weeks ago.

WEndy said...

Hi Mr. Dada!!!!!

Sorry! I just saw that you answered my post back!

Yes! You are totally right! It helped, indeed, as a great drawing experience! =))

Now, I will try and save the money on future comissions! I just opened my very own first bank account! =) So this time I will have the money on a save place instead of a jar!!

I guess some artists are good at manipulating colors except the color green!! haha! But I guess that's not the case with you!! =))

Have a nice day Mr. Dada!!!

p.s. Thanks for the last comment up there! I'm really looking foward on meeting you this friday! Its gonna be a great show! Yesterday, when I went to drop off my two paintings, I saw AMAZING wonderful works!!!!!

WEndy said...

Whoa!!! I have an account!!! Thanks Mr. Dada!!!!!!! =))