Monday, December 24, 2012

12/24/12 Technology Troubles

I got Julian -- who will turn 9 in two days -- what I thought was a pretty cool birthday gift, a coveted electronic device, and planned to have it all set up and ready to use before giving it to thim.

Instead, I spent far too many hours today trying to figure out why I couldn't get this device to do the most basic operations, like download its content. One of the worst problems, I traced to a very unexpected bug -- yes bug, and I don't use that term lightly -- in the wireless equipment I'm using at home, which isn't anything you'd ever pick up at Fry's. One perk of my job is being handed all sorts of free demo enterprise-grade stuff, but it doesn't work the same way as it does "home" stuff. That means it sometimes also has "enterprise-grade" problems too.

It took all day, but once I pinned down the problem in my home network, I spent about an hour panicking about a customer in Texas using the same stuff, and I'm bracing myself for a crisis when their business re-opens after the holidays.

So what to do? I just want to connect to the Internet to download stuff. It's one thing to disappoint your CEO by picking inadequate network gear, but another thing entirely to disappoint your son on his birthday.

So I worked on workarounds on and off all day, taking extended breaks for silly chit-chats, foosball games, and woodworking demonstrations with kids. I was so happy to have them home, if even for two days. But how frustrating that even 2 milliseconds should be spent not connected to the Internet.

The truly final straw was when my beloved Roku stopped working. Incredibly, despite all my machinations, I'm pretty sure it's just a "Roku" problem, since I could take the same wire that plugs into the thing and plug it into something else, and it works. That's how Katrina watched her dear "Dora" tonight, on a teeny little laptop. Meantime, my technical troubles relegated my sons to an old-fashioned DVD. Oh, the indignities!!

I sure had a nice day with my kids today though, basically doing....well, really, very little, if woodworking guidance and foosball competition count for anything.

I even made a steak for dinner, for the first time in many months. I relished in its sizzly sounds and pervasive smells, and the intracacies of making a perfect pepper crust... it made me feel so at home. Even though only one kid will deign to touch my carefully crafted pan sauce, it still makes me smile to imagine future days when all my grown children will look forward to coming home for the same intangible joys, the sounds and the smells... and perhaps sometimes the delectables, while chuckling good-naturedly about their childhood rejections.

Meantime, I must just get some silly apps downloaded!!


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