Monday, August 22, 2016

"it'll be easy," they said

I'm in the middle of a major technology overhaul. It started last winter when my husband advised that his company was going to boot non-employees off their email. This coincided with more problems getting my emails, which created situations like showing up at cancelled events (didn't get the email) or bringing the kids late to last-minute rescheduled practices (didn't get the email). Heck, I'd go days unable to receive emails while people kept blithely sending them to me, unaware that I was inextricably out of the loop. If I wanted to resolve this issue, first I had to get a new email, because if I'm going to change things, by golly, it starts with a new address. Otherwise I'd have to go back and change everything again, right?

In the midst of all of this we had to convert to some kind of device to get cable TV (that we pay for and fortheloveofallthingsholywhywhywhy). I had to unplug cables and install new connections and fiddle around with remote controls. One behemoth TV set (in our living room--the one hooked into the Wii, stereo and speakers, Blu Ray and CD player--SO MANY CORDS!) gave me fits and I could not figure out which wiring led to what device. That TV set weighs more than your average sumo wrestler, so getting behind it to clearly discern what went where was physically impossible. I did the unthinkable: I told Mr. D just to buy a new TV and hire somebody to reconnect the works.

Seriously, the one person who hates TV and watches less than anyone in the household said, "Let's buy a new one."  Watching last night's closing ceremonies in Rio on that brand new flat screen TV set was awfully nice.

Meanwhile, it took Mr. D about 4 months to assign me a new email address, then another month to schedule a meeting with a tech at his office who would move my old emails and assorted information to the new account. It turns out that I've got to remember all the fifty-bazillion passwords and user names associated with every online account I like to use. Or not, as seems to be the case. As I move deeper into the technology upgrade, a tedious process of re-entering information for every single account, I get crabbier and crabbier. I sort of don't care if I don't get updates from eleventy-thousand accounts. Purging myself of all of these connections feels liberating.

Plus, I have to wait a week before my contacts get brought over, those got lost in the transition (saved in some mysterious file called 'back up' but lost to me until I can get an audience with the tech again).

The next step involved getting the email on my phone. Alas! My trusty old Samsung lacked capacity (and other qualities), so I had to get an iPhone. Two kinds of people inhabit the world of technology, I live in the non-Apple camp. Everyone kept encouraging me for years to come into the light, get the iPhone, get the iPhone and resistance now seemed futile. I used up one of my remaining open afternoons of summer (I picked a rainy one to lessen my resentment) and headed for the Verizon store, my old phone and contract in hand.

To her credit, the saleswoman didn't laugh at me (might have been because she recognized me as one of her old teachers). She told me how much I'd love my new phone and showed me the pretty colors, made me handle the floor model and demonstrated some of the nifty features. Thus began the upgrade.
I got the gold one.
I almost always lose something when I upgrade--there's a feature or function on the old model that makes the new model somehow less desirable. My old house was within walking or biking distance of everything I needed, my new house requires me to drive almost everywhere. Changing radio stations was easier in the old Momvan. The back pockets on my old jeans sat lower and made my butt look smaller. You know how it goes. I sat in the Verizon store anxious, ready to walk out the minute the saleswoman said something like, "Oops! Looks like your photos won't transfer over!"  It turned out to be my text messages that didn't transfer over. Text messages are meant to be temporary, so if a person texts me a great photo of my kids, shame on me for not saving it to an album file, right? I blame myself, kids, for losing your last baseball season.

I'll admit it, the new phone is nice. Soon it will have email, which will make my life faster, more efficient, etc. I'm still getting used to finding things and pressing the right parts of the screen to do what used to be intuitive and easy on my old phone.  This week I should get my contacts transferred into my new email account, then I can spend another afternoon informing people that my old email will soon be no good.

One final thing on the technology overhaul: get a new printer installed before school begins ... The old one requires me to carry my laptop to the kitchen, hook it up and hold the top down so that it will churn out a page properly. Plus, the darn thing needs ink ... At this point the upgrade seems worth the hassle, doesn't it?

And that, friends, is how I've spent most of the last month of my summer vacation.


  1. UGH. You have my sympathies. But ... the iPhone will be good in the long run, I promise. :)

  2. We did a tech rescramble last summer, although we did not get rid of the old printer. That is a current conversation though that makes me giddy (I hate the current one).
    All three of us have iphones - my better half pretty much works from his most of the time, so he's a huge fan. I mostly use mine as a camera and ipod, although sometimes I actually text. But only sometimes.

  3. is supposed to make our lives easier but you've gotta wonder. If they didn't already do it at the store, be sure you're set up to back up your phone to iCloud. It will keep all of your info safe and if you even have a problem with your phone, drop it, lose it, etc. all of your info is in the cloud and can be downloaded to the new or fixed phone. That has saved my sorry butt several times. Also, the find my iPhone feature is really good to have.

  4. I'm still a non-i kind of woman with my third Motorola Droid. Daughter, son, and husband all have iPhones. Why? Well, I'll switch if I have to, but I like my Android.

  5. Wow! The email thing sounds like the biggest nightmare! Email is so funny --I have three different email accounts, used for different things. One is through work, one is gmail for shopping, signing petitions, charity, etc., and the last one is my private email: a free iCloud account that comes with an email address. That's my favorite, so I keep it more private, but it's also where all the important stuff is, and I can't imagine having to change it!

    I make Rob handle all the tv/blue-ray/speakers cords. Because he's so into music, he's a pro at hooking all that stuff up, thank goodness.

  6. I loved this post and could totally relate! I'm so oppressed by all the passwords. I try to keep my passwords organized--one super difficult one for financial stuff, another one for all the online retailers I shop from, still others for email, passwords for my health insurance and other health-related stuff, plus my password at work, which must be changed every 60 days and random one-off passwords like twitter, facebook, and go-to meeting. I truly don't know how I keep track of it all. Then I got an email from google that someone in Brazil had actually figured out my gmail password, so I had to quickly create ANOTHER super-secure password on the spot. Oy.

  7. Upgrading technology is always troublesome. I just got a new work laptop and I can't stand it.

    I didn't want to get e-mail on my phone, but when I went to Canada and it was the only way to communicate with my loved ones back home, it was pretty handy. But wait! Twenty years ago I would have gone to Canada and then told them about it when I got back, instead of during the trip!

  8. I am on my 3rd iPhone - had one or another for 5 years now. I luff them. And because of some contests I've won, I now also own an iPad Mini and an Apple Watch, all of which integrate with my phone. I am a happy camper.

    Of course, I am an IT professional. Not one of those who does networks and computer inards tho, a programmer person who deals with accounting software. But I do have a leg up...

    You'll be fine.

  9. I do not have a cell phone, iPhone or any such item…I am so backwards!

  10. I'm almost as backwards as Gary, since I still have a flip phone. It's trying to die on me but I won't let it. I hate changing technology, I've been trying to switch everything over from my old 1998 e-mail account for the past year. And losing pictures? That is the worst! You have my sympathy.

  11. I am with you in the non-Apple camp and my dh and I are holding firm with our Windows 7, til we buy our next computer. Do you subscribe to Kim Komando's enewsletter about 'puters and such? I think you would like it. She has a great idea for passwords, type a long sentence you will remember and for each place add gmail, facebook, etc.


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