Sunday, March 30, 2014


March 30, 2014
Before I left work that evening, I noticed a noise in my computer like a plane going off.  I knew that a fan was going off.  Instead of leaving it on, I shut off the machine before I went home.
Upon arriving the next morning and turning it back on, it sounded as if their were birds in the box.  I quickly called my friend, Vito, and asked him what I should do.  Vito came over and looked at the electronic device that I have come to rely on so much and determined that the problem was the fan on the power module.  It would need to be replaced.
So, Friday morning, Vito was in early with the new part and it was quickly replaced.  But after the install, we realized that we no longer had sound.  Vito worked his magic but to no avail.  Finally, he got out his tools and opened the small machine back up.  We found that it had yet another fan that was not working properly.  I was surprised that their were so many in there.  This time, the fan was on the video and sound card which in the case of my compact computer was the same card.  The fan had gotten sticky and was not spinning properly.  Vito tried taking it off to see if he could get it spinning better when one of the springs sprung dropping behind my desk.
We decided to see what it would do without the fan and he installed the card back in place.  We turned on the machine and it quickly came to life, sound and all.  But just before he left the room, the video went out.  Vito opened the machine back up, took the card out, and reinstalled.  This time he left the outside off the box open hoping that the air would help cool the card.  Seconds after starting up, the video crashed again.  So....Vito left...with my much needed machine.
I don't know how many times that day, I sat down at my desk and grabbed my keyboard only to stare at a blank screen realizing that I would need to change over to the accounting machine to accomplish my task.
When Kim came in to do the books, I decided to go home and rest a bit.  I got home to find that the package from Bose had arrived.  Judy had purchased one of those fancy Bose systems for me for Christmas.  It had worked....for a little more than 2 months.  Bose had sent me a replacement machine.  I quickly plugged the small player in that would be giving me the true sounds of the surf each night helping me get my much needed rest.  The machine had one flaw....the manual turn on and off switch did not work.  I called the Bose corp and maneuvered through the phone system.
After being shocked that it did not work, the man on the other end of the line told me that he had never heard anything like it.  He said their machines were so well made that it was quite a thing to have two of them not work to the same customer.  He said that he would send me yet another and said that if that one did not work, I should buy a lottery ticket because those were the odds.  I thought that was a bit of a oxymoron but said nothing.  I merely boxed the machine back up and sent it back.
I arrived back at the diner for supper and Chris asked me if I would check the camera at the cash register.  He said that a customer had told him that they had left him a five at the register but nothing was there.
I went back to the office and fired up the DVR for the security cameras.  When I went for the search, the machine froze.  I had to hard boot and once I got it back up and running, I found that I could not find any history in back up.  I played around with the settings on the machine and rebooted again.  This time, an admin log in came up.  I had not remembered a password so I tried a couple to no avail.  I went to their password problems page and was told that I would have to contact them.
I found their contact page and noted that they had a chat box.  I signed in and was told that I was next in line.  They said the normal wait was 1.5 minutes but they expected me to be hooked up in 20 seconds.  After the count down, nothing happened except the screen telling me that I was next and to have patience.  The same 1.5 minute note came up...but nothing else.
After 10 minutes, I decided to try and find a phone number.  I still had 1 more hour before they stopped their assistance for the night and so I worked my way through the usual phone direction and redirection.  I was put on hold and told that I was the next in line.  They said the normal wait was 1.5 minutes.  I thought, ok, lets see who answers first.  I put the phone on speaker, laid it on my desk, and put my feet up and waited and waited and waited.  Finally, the phone help opened first.
A man who claimed his name was Sean but had a heavy Indian accent told me that he was there to assist me.  We both struggled with the language barrier, me having to ask him over and over to restate what he was saying, him having me spell out my email since he could not understand me....j a k e s d i n e r @ b e n d b r o a d b a n d . c o m.  Somewhere along the line, I had asked the cook to put my normal on and a knock on my door told me that my food was getting cold.
We had already been working on the problem for well over a half hour and Sean had just told me that he had sent me an email with a program that he wanted me to reinstall in the DVR to get it up and running right again.  A form of reset to it's original settings.  I assured Sean that I could figure it out and went off to have supper and help out up front a bit.
Around 7 or so, I returned to the office.  The email told me what I was to do.  I had to install some programs through a thumb drive, reboot and install some more.  My first problem was that I could not find a thumb drive that did not have anything on it.  Frustrated, I took the one with the least on it, copied it to my other computer, and took another 10 minutes doing that and clearing it off for their programs.  I went through their instructions over and over.  But each time that I tried, something was obviously wrong and nothing happened.
Frustrated....I just locked up and went home.  I kind of felt like a man standing in a room being beat up on all sides by electronic machines.  I was either going to go home....or that latest machine would find itself in the dumpster.  I knew that I needed a break and some rest to reenter the fight in the morning.
Sure enough, with a fresh mind in the morning, I had the DVR figured out and up and running again.  But all of the past was gone so I could still not help out Chris.
Sometimes I truly miss those days when we weren't controlled by these boxes filled with electrical sparks that sometimes seem to lead us more than we lead them.  And to the day when you made a call and it was answered off of the ring by a friendly voice that you could understand and that seemed to genuinely care.
Ah....those were the days, my friends.

No comments: