Tag Archives: Technology

This Night…


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I was up this morning and ready to write.

My computer was not cooperating.

I’m having technology issues.

Last week, my good computer – the newer one, that had been my sister Nita’s, and that has the design software loaded onto it – started beeping at me whenever I turned it on. It beeped rather than turn on. It continued to do it no matter how many times I turned it off and on.

“Count the beeps,” a friend told me, “That is part of Dell’s self-diagnostics. Then google it to find out what that number of beeps means. Could be something simple.”

Well! My emotions were all over the place, at hearing that! I was upset, of course, that something was wrong; I was hopeful that it would be something simple. I was relieved at having a second computer – the old one that had been my sister Amy’s – with which to google anything. Finally, I was pretty proud of having a computer that could diagnose its own problems!

I turned the computer on again, counted the beeps (7), and googled it. Yikes! Probably a motherboard issue…possibly could be repaired by carefully removing the back panel of the computer…I was getting woozy. Changing the batteries in my camera makes me nervous. Anything to do with a computer is a thousand times worse. I’m going to the mainland next week, with my aunt. It can wait until then. I’ll let a trained professional deal with the problem.

So, life went on. My old computer is not the best for watching Netflix: the screen seizes up every now and then, leaving all of the actors frozen in place for several minutes at a time. Even when the action is moving along, the movement of the mouths, the expressions and body language are several paces behind the sound. It’s okay, though. I’m not profoundly attached to Netflix. The old computer keeps me up to date with my writing and my Scrabble playing, so I’m good.

Or I was…until this morning.

When my wireless modem quit working.

I didn’t panic. This has happened before. I, in fact, have a spare modem that was sent to me the last time it happened. The original – after being unhooked from all of its connection and then hooked up again, miraculously started working again, so I just saved the new one. The question was, WHERE? No time to try to find it before work. It would have to wait.

I was thinking, on the way home, that I’d change clothes and spend some time in the studio…maybe bring a sandwich upstairs, put a movie in the old VHS player and work on some small things.

My blog! I’d forgotten all about it!

And, in order to post a blog, I had to fix the computer modem.

First, try everything one more time, just to make sure it hasn’t fixed itself while I was at work.

No luck there so, second, I had to find that modem. What followed was a search of one file drawer, two wicker totes, a cubby over the washing machine, the entry closet, one set of shelves and the old army trunk. Then it dawned on me – with a clarity that I wish had happened sooner – that of course it was on the cabinet that sits behind a sheer curtain in the hollow under the stairs.

And there it was.

Third, I had to hook it up. I was tempted to call my daughter, Jen. I called her yesterday, to help me do some terrifying copy and paste work with files that had to be forwarded. She laughs at me and says, “I love you, Mom,” and shows extreme patience at my ignorance, but…she is trying to move, and is sick with bronchitis, and I just took two hours of her time yesterday over that stupid file…I would manage alone.

I pulled out the desk and the the bookcase, so that I’d have access to all the wires and plugs. I laid out the old modem to use as an example. The yellow telephone line plugs in to this receptacle…now follow that line from the old modem…unplug the old one, plug in the new. Repeat that process with the line that plugs into the wall outlet. Now…turn it on.

A flash of lights, then nothing. Try again. And again. And again.

After several (maybe twenty-five) attempts at turning the modem on, I turned to the instruction pamphlet:

“While it’s updating, your modem may appear to be unresponsive for a few minutes. Do not turn it off or unplug it.”


Okay, so I’ll just turn it on and leave it alone.

Which I did and which – another miracle! – worked.

I fixed the problem! I tell you, I feel like Benjamin Franklin, out in the storm with his kite…like Thomas Edison when his light bulb lit…like Jewell Gillespie, bringing electrical service house by house to Beaver Island!

I did it!