Friday, May 28, 2010
Technology - Our Fickle Friend?
On Wednesday, my telephone began to act strangely. At first, I didn't realize anything was wrong with it. There was a brief half-ring and then nothing. When I picked up the phone, there was a dial tone. That happened three or four times. My Internet connection which uses the telephone line, worked so I thought there was no problem. But - I didn't hear from The Viking. He always checks in with me by phone at around 11 a.m. So, I called him.
"Your phone's not working," he said.
I called B*ll Canada , and after a horrendously long wait and repeated recorded assurances that "your call is important to us," my call was answered by a person.
"We can send a service tech between noon and 6 today. If the problem is in your equipment, there will be an $89.00 charge, plus tax" he said.
That long time-frame conflicted with my previously made plans. So, I agreed that the technician could come on Thursday between 8 a.m. and noon. (Why can't they have two-hour time windows?)
He arrived at 10:45 and set to work.
"Where's the main telephone jack?" He asked.
I wasn't sure. I know there are three jacks in my apartment. All of them are behind furniture. He checked the one behind my bed. That wasn't the main jack and since it was connected to the jack behind filing cabinet, both were ruled out of contention. There's also a jack behind the china cabinet.
"I never use that one," I pleaded.
"Well, " the tech said "it could be the main one."
The china cabinet is filled with china and crystal and couldn't be moved unless it was emptied.
Then - fortunately, I had an intuitive flash.
"There's a weird thingie in the front call closet. It doesn't look like the usual phone jack cover, but maybe the line comes in there."
Thank goodness I was right. Then I held my breath while the technician wriggled and jiggled - the lines inside the box. He explained that in an old building like this one (old? It was built about 25 years ago) sometimes lines inside the conduit touch other lines, or something.
I pictured the lines groping each other in the dark. Yes, sometimes my imagination gets me into trouble.
Then he tested the line by calling my number with his cell phone. It worked.
So, now I'm reconnected with the world. However, I worry about what those pesky lines are up to, down there, where no one can see them.
I also worry about what I'd do if the phone line died and couldn't be repaired. I could get a cell phone but I would lose my current Internet service provider. That would be a huge pain in the neck. I might have to consider Internet connection through the cable company. That would be more expensive.
Technology is a wonderful thing, when it works, and our dependence on it ever increaseth. But it can be fickle.
Do you have a technology story?
p.s. I had planned to write about the horrendous cost of the G-8 and G-20 meetings, and about Harper's continuing disregard for Parlimentary democracy but at the moment, I am too enraged to comment on those issues. So, you are safe from another rant, for now.