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Wed, Aug 20, 2014

BRAGG: Technology is frustrating

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Anytime I tell daughter Beth I’m having a computer issue she rolls her eyes as if to say: “What’s new, Mom?”

 It seems we’re always having technology problems at this house.

I think I wrote about six months ago I bought a new Macintosh computer to replace my four-and-a-half-year-old one (the Mac store said four to five years was an average life expectancy).

Since I use my computer so much, I bit the bullet and bought it instead of waiting for it to completely crash. Few things give me the joy like this Mac does.

Along with that Mac came a “free” printer.

I wasn’t thrilled with my old printer but had learned its’ quirks and faults, figured out how to feed the paper (backwards and upside down), learned how to adjust the feed tray and learned the nuances and tricks that accompanied it.

The main reason I didn’t replace it, however, was because it had about $50 worth of replacement cartridges left in it and I was too cheap to trash them since it was still churning copies out.

It stopped churning them this week.

Although the low-ink message blinked for the past two months I ignored the warning and got lots of copies printed.

Often you can double click the printer icon on your screen to check the ink levels and I did that and knew it they had some “life” in them. But the ink cartridges finally gave up the ghost and I decided it was time to trade it out.

Upon dismantling the old one and trying to install the new one, many problems ensued (surprise, surprise).

The new printer (that came “free” with my Mac) was not compatible with the latest version of my Mac operating system. Go figure. So I went online to download the drivers.

Easy-peasy.

Done.

Or so I thought.

At the conclusion of the download the prompts on the website basically said: “Will you please answer a survey saying how easy this was?”

That read to me like a big red flag and somehow I knew the “finishing up” meant trouble. And an hour or more later – after trying to make even a basic copy – I just gave up.

It would not print even routine jobs until the wireless capability was established.

My wireless router is two stories away and I sensed that if I unplugged or messed with that I would upset the apple cart for every other wireless device in the house (and there are many).

So after researching the issue online another hour or so and wanting to take a hammer to it, I just walked away.

My brother (who recently aced three computer courses in Knoxville) agreed to help me over the phone, but before I called him I realized something I should be embarrassed to tell: I had not plugged the USB cord from the printer to the computer yet.

Oops.

Once I did that copies, which were backed up for days, started churning out in assembly line fashion. I had finally broken the code.

When I told brother Mike how dumb I felt he was encouraging.

He said a wireless printer should be wireless and I should not have needed the USB cord.

It made me feel a little less than stupid.

But man, technology is frustrating.

I am so glad I live in today’s day and time and so feel blessed to have so many luxuries that make my life easier (or not).

If I can get this printer to scan (my previous one stopped after a year) the answer will probably be yes.

I’ll keep you posted.

‘Til next week.
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Mrs. Murfreesboro
Tags: 
Jeanne Bragg, Technology, Voices
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