Monday, February 19, 2007

The Perils of Techno Idiocy in the 21st Century

My husband and I are finally re-entering the cyberworld after a lengthy absence - about ten years would cover it. We had Internet service during my final year at university, but none after that, as student loan payments began. Add several other exciting financial disruptions, and not only did we not have Internet access, but at one point we didn't have phone service for a whole year.

Luckily, here in Canada there are several locations even in rural communities where public Internet access is available, and that's how we stayed sane. Once I began my climb out of customer service positions and into office work, the fabulous perk of Internet access meant I had email and surfing on my lunch hours. This worked fine, even for sending chapters of my work-in-progress to my critique partners, because I brought it on a floppy and attached it to my email. That is, until the Great Virus of 07 hit my work PCs.

Once that got cleared away, bringing data from home was no longer allowed. Our first critique meeting post-virus was no problem, as I was tightening up a submission anyway and had no new material to send. Last week was another story entirely.

I'm supposed to send my material to my partners by the Friday afternoon before our next meeting. I couldn't even do it at the library, because for some reason the libraries here think no one would want to go there on a Friday evening and they close at 5:00. Of course, I could have done that on the Thursday, perhaps, but I was hit by a migraine and couldn't see or think straight. My sister graciously agreed to let me come over to her place and use her computer on Saturday. Friday was used up anyway by falling on the ice and subsequent resting my leg once I hobbled home. So I headed over on Saturday morning to forward my scene to my critique partners.

My sister had given me the instructions on how to use her dial-up service, because she was over at her boyfriend's. I followed them but the dial-up wasn't working. I called her boyfriend who talked me through it - I hadn't been plugging the jack into the wall. I'd been putting it into the base of her wireless phone. Yes, there's a reason I almost didn't pass Film Technology, but that's another story.

So I get through to the Internet, but have to leave by then because my uncle was arriving to take my husband and me to buy a used couch. My step mom saw an ad for it in the Bargain Hunter. That worked out splendidly but took the entire afternoon. After supper I had to go get copies made of some Christmas pictures that I borrowed from my dad, because he was coming to the big family dinner on Sunday and that had to get done. So finally on Sunday morning I go back to my sister's and get the dial-up working, I email the scene and get back home before all the hordes start arriving for the dinner.

The timing couldn't be better for my husband's phone call to me at work this afternoon. He'd just made an appointment for next Monday for the technician to hook us up to the net. We are finally in a position to afford the exquisite luxury of surfing anytime we want, with no hour-long limit, no waiting on a free PC at the library, no travelling to a sister's or cousin's or friend's house to do something online. Sigh.

I'm sure I'll acquire loads of new techno skills in the very near future. I can't wait. I may do my best writing longhand, but ultimately it all has to become bits and bytes.


Kelly said...

Yay! Home access to the internet!

annette said...

Yay Julia! You know, some things are just worth the cost, aren't they? Especially if it means you don't have to go through all that again!

Hope the leg is feeling better. :-)

Annie Mac said...

Yeah Julia. You can join the rest of us as we waste out time playing on the net instead of writing.

Alan said...

And 10 years ago you were leading the way... the first time I played "You Don't Know Jack" was on your computer...