Back away from the netbook

Seriously technology in our house at the moment needs to carry a health warning – from the hardware to the software (the software probably being me).

The netbook or notebook, depending on which one of us you ask, the manual says notebook but accordingly to B the sign in the shop said netbooks, ended up getting a second return visit to said shop. Boxing Day B took me for dialysis because hospital transport wasn’t available and I’d downloaded a film to watch. I had however noticed previously that there was a ‘problem’ with the sound coming out of the speakers so after a bit of ineffective twiddling with settings we ended up with an ear-phone each and a slight list towards each other so that they didn’t fall out.

Off we traipsed the following day to complain about the level, or rather lack of it, of sound coming out of the speakers with me all prepared to request, if not demand, a different make while staying as far away as possible from strangers and their strange bacteria.  Now to give the IT guy in the shop his due he didn’t at any point give either of us a look which said ‘Oh for goodness sake – what a pair of numpties!’ as he said ‘Speakers aren’t very good on netbooks. They are really designed as a quick and easy way of accessing the internet but I’ve have a listen to it and see.’ ‘Yes’ I said ‘but you can barely hear it.’ And apparently ‘barely hear it’ was the correct sound setting as the netbook only has one  low quality speaker. He did go on to say that some laptops don’t produce much by way of sound but since ours is as good as watching something on the TV we weren’t aware of such problems.  On his recommendation we paid less than £10 for a USB speaker which turned out to be LOUD – so we didn’t have to sit as close together on the Wednesday.

Having mentioned the laptop there’s another technology issue. As you may recall B took the laptop in for some treatment of it’s own while I was in hospital. Said treatment by the way had nothing to do with me and the orange pop (soda), the graphics card had bust. The laptop was also due home on Christmas Eve per a conversation B had in the shop and two texts I received – well okay the first text said 25 December but the second one said 24. B called for the laptop before he called for me but unlike me it wasn’t there to be collected. The shop said they mustn’t have had the delivery yet. Later in the afternoon I got a further text saying it would be in on the 29th. B called on the 30th and guess what – no laptop and so far no text. Oh, but we have had two stories about items left for repair with this shop that got lost.

And then last week I couldn’t remember my email password – I mean it’s not like I don’t use it much. Okay it hadn’t been getting as much use as usual by any stretch of the imagination but really. Mind you this would also tie in with forgetting my blog password while in the Royal. I think this added to the confusion as I was sure I’d changed it to something similar to the email. After numerous attempts B suggested that I should check the notebook with passwords. I however was insistent that it wouldn’t be in there because I’d changed it while away from home. Fortunately I ignored my own insistence and lo and behold it was in the book because I’d changed it a few months ago when yahoo told me my account had nearly been spammed or something. As it turned out I was just one capital letter shy of getting it right first time round but then I had started to think about it which let’s face it sometimes with passwords, and card pin numbers, is never a good thing.

And I still haven’t got round to adding the netbook to our home broadband so I keep needing to top up the mobile broadband – how lazy can some people be?

Oh, and then there’s been the fun and games with my new mobile phone. I didn’t really want a new phone, I liked my old one. ‘Then why get one?’ I hear you ask. Well, because during my stay at the Royal I spent on my pay as you go tariff more than I usually spend in two years so I thought it might be a good idea to get something cheaper. Since I couldn’t just move over to pay monthly with my own service provider without getting a new phone I did a little shopping around and found a deal with Tesco for £7.50 a month, 230 minutes, 5000 texts and some internet use which included the following phone…

and although it arrived probably more than a week before Christmas I only got round to finally transferring my number on 29 December but was refusing to spend any more with Virgin so I was receiving with one and sending with the other – which was fun. And I spent at least an hour and a half transferring contact details from my old phone to my new one one day on dialysis last week so at least I knew who was sending me stuff again. I must admit me and mobiles are limited to minimal usage, texting, calling, as an alarm, taking the odd picture, listening to music very occasionally so I don’t want anything fancy from a phone however when I first switched this one on I thought it was defective as I couldn’t get any menu options up – turned out it wasn’t the phone that was the defective one!  I was pushing the wrong button. After persevering and ‘finding’ the right button I decided to give the new phone a go because I hate texting with all the pressing of keys to get a letter and this new phone has a tiny QWERTY keyboard on it so I can just switch off and let my thumb find the letters – it’s so quick.

And the big plus with Tesco is that I can actually use this mobile in the house. Oh, I could receive texts but to send a response I had to stand near the porch window and on occassion actually wave the phone out of the front door to even get a signal and the phone would ring for a call but then cut out unless I pressed myself against a window. Now you wouldn’t think that Tesco would provide better coverage than Virgin.  And its just as well I’m not easily embarrassed as it rang for the first time in the lift with two ambulance men.  One of them checked their phone, then when it was still ringing the other tapped his pocket and then they both looked at me and asked if it was mine.  ’Oh, it could be I haven’t heard it ring yet.’

And I haven’t even mentioned how we seem to have lost the ability to get Sky TV on the telly in our bedroom. I thought it might have something to do with upgrading to a high definition box but we can still get it in the back bedroom and B’s is showing some reluctance to checking the cable – I mean it only involves getting up on next door’s garage roof.

Fortunately the one thing that does seem to be working fine is the Xbox 360 I got B for Christmas. I hadn’t got him anything and accidently clicked on an advert which showed them. So on 22 December I ordered one from Amazon and they delivered it, along with a game from Auntie Ann, on the 23rd – can’t knock that for service. However the game that he considered I’d got for myself (and he wasn’t completely wrong) is the one that he keeps playing and he’s way better at it than me – it would appear I just don’t have the patience. It all goes a bit pear shaped and I just want to go back to knitting – and this hasn’t been without boo boos recently either, but more on that again.  Although if B says ‘D’ya know what I mean?’ one more time while informing me of something in relation to the game he could be getting a boo boo of his own.