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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Distraction and Frustration

I have not been up to posting any blogs lately. I have been tired out a lot from watching the Olympics in the middle of the night, mostly. I have also had a frustrating week of trying to set up my new toy, a Blackberry Playbook. This took up a lot of my days for a week.

I found the Olympics increasingly frustrating watching how the Olympic Committee denies people's human rights and no country protests. I think it is a scandal. Some brief example. A Greek girl was sent home because she posted on a social media source, some what mildly offensive, possibly racist remarks. Then there is the Caribbean athlete who was sent home because he spent the night in a hotel with his wife. (I can't explain that) There was also a German woman who was barred from the Olympics for associating with a neo-nazi leader of a legal German party. There was also the South Korean athlete barred from the medal presentation because they made some public political statement. There were others that don't come to mind at the moment. Most western countries recognize the rights to freedom of speech, protest, association etc. What gives the Olympic committee the right to deny these fundamental rights we hold so dear. Worse still, why is there no protests from the countries that claim to defend these rights.

We are still waiting for the Canadian soccer athletes to be punished for having an opinion over their loss to the US team. I thought their comments we restrained. There was no shouting or profanity. The have a right to their opinions and a right to express them.

All of this pettiness by the Olympic Committee spoils the show for me.

Fortunately, I had the distraction of my new toy.

I have wanted to have a Blackberry product for some time. I was tempted to get a phone but I really have no use for a phone. I do not like getting calls on a phone and I certainly do not want to be reached when I am not home or at some crazy hour. I feel no need to be always connected with others. I have thought a Playbook would be interesting. I think it is a useful size, unlike the over sized iPad. Apple seems so too, as they are now about to bring out a mini-ipad the size of the Playbook. They seem to see a market for this size of tablet. I also think RIM makes good products. The Playbook was reduced in price and upgraded so that it is the very best buy for the money for a tablet.

I have been trying to set aside the funds for some time. A few times I had them but some more important expense came up. Finally, I decided I could afford this device.

Long ago, I opened a Paypal account and only used it once. I got Lynne to purchase something for me on it using her charge card. When I paid for my Playbook it was charged against her charge card!!! Apparently, they listed her card with my Paypal account when she paid for the small item I wanted some time ago. This surprised me. Thanks Lynne! Apparently, when I opened this account I did not properly set it up so that funds would be drawn from my bank account, as I do not have a charge card. I have since corrected this and will remove Lynne's card information.

I guess I should say upfront. I am not as technologically savvy as I need to be. This becomes more evident shortly.

Finally, my new toy showed up. While it was in new condition the former owner had loaded his information. After a day of fiddling with it I managed to do the security wipe to clear off his information.

It won't be long now I thought. I started the start-up program, only to move three panels and it would not work. I spend five days at least two hours a day talking to RIM's technical persons. Not only did I talk to the front line people, I was passed through to a more technical person. At one point I thought they were going to reprogram the start-up program through my computer which I could connect the playbook to by a cord.

We finally suspected my router was not working right. I had bought it from the Hock and Shop store as used. In fact it is the second one I purchased as the first one I burnt up when I plug the cord from my modem into it by mistake, when setting it up. Back to the store and bought anther used one. This is the one I had when I got the Playbook. I was not totally a novice with the router as it was the same kind I installed a few years ago when I had friends and tenants who had wireless devices.

The RIM tech person asked me to contact the Dlink tech person to get some information on the router. It turned out the router I bought was too old and was no longer technically supported by Dlink. They put me in contact with a company who would help me for a fee. As I said, I have no charge card.

Finally, after going back and forth, I decided to go and purchase a new updated router also a Dlink. The box said it could be installed in about 10 minutes. Three hours later I was still on the phone with the Dlink tech person, after he had twice asked my to get in touch with my server AOL for information. AOL never wants anything to do with routers. They apparently have to wireless technical service. I knew this having been a frequent user of the technical help from AOL over the nine years I have been a client. I often lose the signal here particularly it there is a rain or electrical storm. After the AOL tech person, in Roumania, has me do many things to my computer, he reports the issue to the Bell company,( as my DSL signal comes over the telephone line.)
Eventually, the connection is restored and I get a friendly call from the Bell tech person; so you see I have experience with AOL. I could not tell the Dlink tech person this. Not so he would listen! AOL did finally give me a little information that I thought would satisfy the Dlink tech person. I called. I got a new guy who started to asked me my name and how I spelled it. "Wait I said, we do not have to start at the beginning. I have information to give to the guy I was previously speaking to. Here is the account number he gave me." Mercifully, the tech person went off script and took my information and said he could help me. A hour later, after setting up the settings for the router, it work! Lord be praised! This was 8 days after I first got my playbook. I could feel myself becoming unravelled and about to lose my cool. What a relief the new router was working.

I started the start-up program of the Playbook and had no problem setting it up. I had a sense of relief and joy. I have been playing with it ever since, installing and uninstalling apps to try them out. Some I kept. I would have liked to install the app for the Toronto Blue Jays but they want $9.50 for that so I can do without it. I listen to the games on the radio and follow along on the free animated Gameday program on the teams website . This is good enough for me.

Oh, did I mention last week I lost my analogue signal for the CBC, TVO and TFO. I do still have CTV and a very snowy Global channel. This is good enough for now. It seems progress is passing me by. Have you ever tried to get tech help with a rotary phone., which I have, of course. That is another frustrating story.

I am glad I have a Playbook. Perhaps it will work when I travel south on the bus. (They claim to have wifi). I do realize I have little use for many of its features. I do not belong to any social network so I only have use for the email function. I may use the video chat but of all my friends only one has a blackberry I could connect with. I also do not collect music or videos, but I might some day. So email writing, visiting news sites, researching items, and viewing the occasional free movie will be how I use my Playbook, much as I do with my desktop computer. Perhaps, I really do not need a Playbook after all!


At 10:45 p.m., Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I don't use my Playbook very much, but it does come in handy frm time to time. Sue's iPad has many more apps as the developers know wher ethe market is. OTOH I was able to upload two files -- a pdf and a word pro files -- to my Playbook in minutes, but what a rigamarole with the iPad.

At 11:57 p.m., Blogger KGMom said... am exhausted just from reading your account. I think I would have lost patience after the first one or two failures and have chucked the whole thing out the window.
I may be a bit more technologically adept than you, but you sound far more patient than I.

At 8:13 a.m., Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Hi Philip, first off I agree with KGMom about your patience in dealing with all the tech issues. I have had to also spend time with support folks for various Pc/other issues and it's indeed gratifying when things Finally work as they should have from the start. Incredible that the Playbooks's former owner did not reset it. I have had an iPad for well over a year and find it useful for many of the items you mentioned: emails, news reading, a few word games (always free ones). I have the kindle boom reading app, but still prefer to go to the library and get a real book(also free). Yes, I am also a cost-conscious person, like yourself. BTW, I stopped in from our friend Possum's blog.

At 12:20 a.m., Blogger John and Carol said...

I'm sorry about all the problems you had setting up your Blackberry. But I loved the post. You do a great job of explaining the frustrations of dealing with telephone tech help.

At 11:40 a.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

You are way ahead of me with the tech stuff, Philip...but I agree thoroughly with your take on the Olympics. No wonder our kids grow up to be cut-throat competitors.

At 5:33 p.m., Blogger Peggy said...

You have more patience than I. The Playbook would have went sailing out the door for the chickens to play with! LOL I am wanting a kindle to read books but am afraid I wouldn't be able to download the books right so resist getting one.

At 1:48 p.m., Blogger Snowbrush said...

I rather like it that the Olympic Committee tries to keep politics out of the event because it would otherwise turn into one big scandal filled shouting match. As for sleeping with his wife, my understanding is that all the athletes are required to stay in the Olympic Village where non-competitors aren't allowed, so if he violated that, he did so knowingly and should pay the consequences.

At 7:33 a.m., Blogger possum said...

Wow... I have no idea what this post was about once you left the stuff about the Olympics which I did not get to watch since the lightning zapped my antenna a couple months ago. I do not miss TV, I still got 4 channels, 2 of them PBS - I still got BBC news! Yea! And Brit Wit sometimes.
I still have dial-up and don't even know what a router is.
I have heard more negative stuff about mac that positive, and I have a kindle that I hate. GIVE ME PAPER IN MY HANDS!And real pages I can flip thru. I buried the kindle somewhere. My ipod has never even been out of the box. I did not want one... it sits on the Bose that goes with it to broadcast music, etc... also in the box.
I guess I am happy with the old stuff that I know how to work with. As long as I can still read your blog (when I have time) I am happy.


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