08.21.08

A Streetcar Named ‘Peripheral’

Posted in Life in general, On writing, Writers at 8:45 am by Marion

Though I’m pretty good with computers, at some point I am helpless. In those times, I become a character from a Tennessee Williams play … Blanche DuBois, in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” whose famous line goes, “I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Luddite and even embrace technology used morally and humanely. It has made my work larger in scope and purpose, allowed me to fight the good fight in a larger arena and construct articles and stories that have more facts, and more confirmation of them.

Back in the day, I worked with DOS functions … yes, the old IBM model operating system … I could sort by date or name, find hidden files and create trees. Not too shabby for a writer.

Now, however, then when I see a DOS prompt I panic like everyone else. But I can ping if requested to test my Internet service.

I recently purchased a new computer and transferred all files, even redid my iPod, restocking the iTunes library one recording at a time. Earlier this week, I had to trade in my old 2gen iPod for a 3rd gen … the wireless router’s going bad … yes, it’s been a tech-heavy few weeks, with all that entails.

Which brings me to the point of today’s post. While I can find and connect to wireless connections, figure out POP and IP addresses, there’s always a dead end … when I’m backed in a corner with a tech problem I can’t get out of.

That’s when I become all Blanche Du Bois in “Streetcar Named Desire.” I can’t breathe, I’m fainting in that classic Southern way. Then, defeated, I ring some nice gentleman in tech support, and he will talk me through a solution. Sometimes they are in foreign countries, other times here at home.

Believe me, these guys are platinum. They are patient, respectful and concerned about rescuing this distressed damsel.

Yesterday, I realized my car radio transmitter wasn’t going to work with my new iPod. I called the tech support department at Griffin Technology and the young man offered … without my asking … to trade in my old transmitter for a new one.

“We want you to be happy,” he said. I wanted hug him through the phone, but that would have embarrassed both of us. Instead, I pledged to sing their praises.

Other tech support heroes include Best Buy, who helped me buy this computer, as well as a front-loading washer; Earthlink, Embarq and Hewlett-Packard (I know, hard to believe, but true for a price).

Runner up to Griffin, however, probably goes to the tech team at Yahoo, which hosts my Web site. They are gems, who’ve talked me through starting this WordPress blog, assured me Vista 64-bit would work with my Web site, and helped when my very crucial statistics function wasn’t working.

To all these people I say, as Blanche DuBois might, thank you. Sometimes I’m just a lost Southern Belle in New Orleans.

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