Notes of the day — Impressions and Jottings #7

Saturday September 10, 2005

Morning: The house is clean, ridiculously tidy, and waiting, as am I, to be viewed.

Lunchtime: No viewers. Time for food.

Evening: No viewers. That’s it for the weekend, then.

Sadly, turning to my computer, I discover that the Internet connection is bust. After several long, frustrating telephone calls, which did little but expose the depths of my ignorance, it came down to the following deeply technical advice from Netgear: “Stick a paper clip in the little hole at the back of the router and reset it to the factory defaults.”

Against my better judgement, I was poised to do so, when the telephone connection was broken, so I heaved a great sigh, gave thanks to the gods who look out for the technically incompetent, put the paper clip down and wrote Graham a text message, asking him to call me when he can to tell me what to do.

He set up all the network parameters originally, has a note of them on his PDA, and will like enough be able to steer me to a happy conclusion. Failing that, heaven knows when I’ll be able to get back to the Internet.

Very, very late: Between us, Graham and I sorted out the problem with the Netgear router. Instead of a paper clip, I used a very sharp hard pointed pencil. Once reset, it was a trivial operation to enter the appropriate details and establish the connection once again.

I suspect that it was the download and installation of Apple iTunes/Quicktime that screwed the router settings. I have no direct evidence to support my theory but the installation delved deep into anti-spam and firewall settings generally, and made several hundred registry changes/insertions.

All had been well until immediately after installing and running this massive 38mb download. I don’t believe in coincidence in these matters so I shall steer clear of Quicktime in future. I suppose I could prove the issue by reinstalling but that’s a job for the technical experts.

My conclusion is that many software/web developers are getting to be too clever for us lay people to be able to handle their product. It’d be wise for them to remember from whence comes their revenue—there are an awful lot more of us dumbos than the clever ones. Certainly, if anyone ever comes out with a PC/Internet operating system that’s designed from the outset to be stable, secure, and easy to use for people like me who don’t want to spend time playing with the technicalities I shall switch to it faster than you can close a Window.

Please don’t tell me to switch to Apple. That might be a good solution in the States but it’s not an economical choice here, even discounting Apple’s hostile approach to European employment and manufacturing.

 

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