Sunday, July 5, 2009

Technologicus Deadicus

My love affair with technology is a love hate one. I love it, but it hates me. With a fury more ferocious than a bag full of bees being used as a football. Every single piece of gadgetry that I have owned has either gone wrong or been utterly destroyed within weeks of me getting my grubby little mitts on it.

Every mobile phone I have received has had to be returned within a week, each upgrade has gone back. Twice. My new laptop has had Vista reinstalled. Three times. My first ever iPod ended up 3mm thick and comprised of several little bits of shiny silveriness after just 2 weeks when a van hit it. Whilst attached to my waist (fortunately I didn't end up in little bits of pinkness, just 1 bit of blueblackgreenyellowredness). The only piece of technology that I'd managed to sustain a healthy working relationship with was my replacement iPod, a meaty 30gb video jobby. I even took extra methods to protect it with a full aluminium case which saved the day on numerous occasions.

I recently came to posses the current numero uno in iPod ownership, the 32gb iPod Touch. My hopes, unbelievably, were high when I held the sleek iconic body in my hands. The marvellous screen flickered into life like a billion Ants waving Zippo lighters at Caterpillar bongo gig. I spent ages getting all the artwork for every album just because I wanted to see the whizzy round covers thing in all its glory. Transferring all my music wasn't a chore, never has watching a little grey line move from left to right on my screen created such tension in me (I don't get out much). I whooped in glee like a Girl Guide baking her first batch of cookies to sell at the local Church Fete as music filtered into my ears. The smooth feel to the touch screen was incredible, as was the speed of everything happening, flipping between screens was a joy to behold. And then the music stopped. Just like that. The little arrow said it was playing, but the time said it wasn't. One of them was lying. And the time never lies. I had to give it a manual push to get it going again. Several songs later it stopped again. Typical.

Several calls to Apple later, including a call centre in Greece, some unknown country, somewhere in the UK and finally the US. It wasn't until I spoke to the woman in America that I finally got a solution. I explained what was happening and she immediately arranged for the iPod to be picked up and a replacement to be delivered. And it happened. Within 3 days. God bless America and her customer service.

With the new one in hand, everything was starting to look all sexy and bosh again. Then Apple in its divine wisdom *coughbollockscough* said that it was going to release a new iPhone and new software. This new software was supposed to be even faster, slicker, and have a whole bunch of new bits that I'll probably never use. And unlike iPhone users who got it for free, I would have to fork out £6 on it. Why? I've no idea. To scam us and make more money probably. My new iPod was working fairly ok, so I didn't need the new software. But that little sign saying "New Software Available" just screamed at me. But I'm like a 5 year old with Goldfish Memory Syndrome hooked up to an electric chair with a Big Red Button and a sign saying Do Not Push. I just can't resist buttons, and it seems I'll never learn that I always get some sort of shock.

£6 has got me a beautiful looking piece of equipment controlled by a million Gremlins all out on a day trip to Wet 'n' Wild, with Starbucks on tap. I love rating my songs, I like things to be organised, playlists fill my day with wondrous treats aplenty. It used to be a case of "Rate, Flip Screen, Swoosh the time slider wotsit, Flip Screen, Rate (repeat)". That fast to rate songs. Lovely nerdy bliss! Now is a different story. It's more like:

  • Rate
  • Push Screen & Pause For 3 seconds
  • Screen Flips & Music Plays
  • Wait 6 seconds & Play Music For 2 Seconds & Pause For 2 Seconds
  • Screen Now Active
  • Swoosh time slider wotsit
  • New Track Plays But Screen Stays On Previous Song
  • Wait 6 Seconds Before New Song Appears
  • Pause Whilst Time Stays Still For 3 Seconds
  • Push Button & Rate
  • Repeat If You've Got No Will To Live
This process is even more mind numbing to do than read or write. I promise you. The battery icon also seems to be having a personality crisis and can't make up its mind whether to be Mr Full Juice or Mr I'Mdoingbuggeralljustchargeme. Needless to say I'm not allowed to put the old software back on. there's no option for that. There's also no email feedback option on the Apple website that I can find. And none of this appears on their FAQ's either. I just want to be able to explain to someone what's happening, for them to give me and answer. Which preferably includes the words "I'm really sorry, here's the old software and your £6 back". I've also used up my only phone call to Apple. 1 phone help, unless you pay more. Tossers.

What's really disappointing is that it's made me realise that my iPod isn't what it seems. When I first opened the box I saw something incredible, something glorious that was conceived by Elves under the guidance of a Jedi Master using stardust from the distant galaxy of Alpha iPodi. Fused together and hammered into shape by bars of every song ever written. What I've actually got would test the patience of the God Walkman himself and feels like it's been made by dyslexic goats.


Song Of The Week is Fools Gold by The Stone Roses.


Anonymous said...

Don't you mean dyslexic ghosts... sorry.

Anyway, let this be a lesson for you. If you've got a wonderfully complicated piece of modern technology or machinery that's working fine, leave it alone. Even looking in it's vague direction will cause the thing to spit sparks at you.


The Author Of This said...

Ted - Dude, don't be silly. Ghosts can't pick up stuff. *sigh* And thanks for the advice, muppet. I'll see you Thursday. Bring your brain. We're going to need it.

Reeny's Ramblin' said...


I still like record players....

They don't give you so much guff, until the needle on your expensive old school deck conks out, then yer screwed.