Monday, August 27, 2007

In which I explain why I HATE technology

I was just going to post a quick update to say that all the slide shows seem to be malfunctioning suddenly when they were working just fine a few minutes ago. It's not just my site either so I assume that waiting will fix this problem. In the meantime, you should all know the way to the Flickr page by now.

And while I'm at it, I suppose I'll go ahead and get in a good gripe session about the rest of my technological woes.

Let's start with my phone. I came up for my 'new every two' upgrade this month, so just before we left for vacation, I went in and got my new phone. Based on a good review from a family member, I tried the enV, which flips open to a nice big screen, has a qwerty keyboard and takes great pictures. I was back at the store in less than two hours. The phone was way too big to fit in my pocket and it turns out, I don't want text messaging to be a two-handed endeavor. You can text with the phone closed, but the buttons and the screen are tiny.

On to the Chocolate. At first glance, it seemed perfect. It was about half the size of the enV, sounded good and had a cool slider thing going on to expose the keyboard. I could deal with the funny Ipod ripoff control wheel slider and the funny touch sensitive buttons. But alas, within a day I ran into another problem that i couldn't overlook--the Chocolate was half the size of the enV. My thumb was starting to cramp from trying to text on the tiny keypad at the bottom of the phone and I was going blind trying to read return messages on the tiny screen. I concluded that the Chocolate is a phone made for kids.

Next up: The LG9400. It slices! It dices! It's (drum roll please...) A TV! That's right, the ultra cool, ultra large (for a phone) side-swiveling screen will play your favorite shows for just $15/month. Yeah whatever. I already have a TV that I barely watch. I really liked the style though, the size was right and the keys were in the middle of the phone and a decent size. I loved the large, easy to read screen.

You can see where I'm going with this. There was just one problem with the 9400. They forgot to make it a good phone. That's right, it sounds like utter crap. I finally figured out how to describe it while I was pretending to understand what Jess was saying yesterday. It sounds like someone talking into a megaphone that's pressed up against a mattress. Fuzzy, unintelligible, much like the parents in the Charlie Brown cartoons.

I really tried to make this one work, as it was the last of the 'hot new phones' in the LG line up. Well, I text a lot more than I talk anyway, I rationalized. But I just can't do it. Between the crappy sound and the swiveling screen which, while cool on the surface, really means that the speaker flips to the side and you have a square millimeter of ear space in which you can actually hear the person on the other end, I've gotta ditch it and go for something a little less cool, and a little more phone-like. The sound is a little better with the screen swiveled vertically, but then the buttons are covered up, which is useless if you're trying to check voicemail, call any kind of customer service or anything else that requires key entry while on the phone.

The result of all this that the people at the Verizon stores (I've been to two now) pretty much hate me, but so far they've made all my exchanges. Usually with the warning that, "we're really only supposed to do one exchange." So then I call Verizon customer service and without fail, they tell me that nope, I'm still in my 30 days and they won't rest until I'm completely satisfied. "Of course you have to get the right phone--it's like dating!" was one reps analysis.

In order to ward off the shards of hate that surely await me on this, my fourth exchange, I called Verizon again last night. I was on for over an hour with a few different issues (one of them being my stupid Internet phone which cut off in the middle of the call and I had to call back and go through the whole stupid menu thing again). They were helpful as ever and in fact, Albert was so helpful and so sympathetic that I asked to speak to his supervisor at the end of our call so I could tell them how great he was. He put a note in my file so that hopefully I can avoid any hassles when I go back in.

As for what phone to get, I'm still up in the air. I have a feeling I'll end up with the same phone as Jess, digging yet another notch in our hopeless twinning belt. But she's had it for a while, it works well and best of all, you can hear what the person on the other end is saying. Yup, I think I'm going to have to let go of my trendy ways and go practical this time.

Now if only---if only that were the end of my technology woes. But wait, there's more! My laptop which went through several bouts of cold and flu this spring is making that dreaded sniffle again that indicates I'll probably be going another week with no computer or letting even more money slip through my fingers to rent a laptop so I don't go insane. I know there's never a good time for someone like me to give up the computer but I really feel the need to put special emphasis on what a really horrible no-good time it is for the baby to break down on me like this. I have two major Photoshop projects due by the end of this week and life continues to move much faster than I can write about it. I haven't even gotten to our vacation or our STP ride, for crying out loud.

I think I'm just going to try to limp along and see if I can get my projects done without blowing it up, and then I'll take it in before we leave for our Idaho bike trip on Friday, where nothing will get done to it because it's Labor Day weekend and I'll be without it all next week anyway.

And that my friends, is why I hate technology.

(Posted from Jess's computer)


ldfarah said...

ahem - it's time for an iPhone my friend...

Kronda Adair said...

Yeah yeah...but I really rebel against integrated technology. Trying to make the phone into a TV obviously didn't work out. Also, when I lose/break it, I'm three times as screwed. I just want to make calls with my phone, take pictures with my camera and send email on my computer. Why is that so hard?