The joys of modern living

So I dropped my phone a couple of weeks ago, and broke the top half: it could still make and take calls, but I could neither hear the other party, nor see who they were, because the display was fried.  My own fault.

Since my two years were up in August, I looked into using my upgrade for a nicer phone.  It would cost about $50 or so, after the rebate.  But it turns out that I had “insurance” on the old phone.  Well, hey – I can get an even nicer phone for Christmas – nice².  Right?  Cool.  I fill out the forms and get the phone in the mail a couple of days later.

Heh – to get the EXACT SAME out-of-date phone as I had – it cost $50.  AND on top of that, Verizon charged me another ten-spot to transfer all my data from one phone to the other.  AND if I didn’t send back the old broken phone it was another surcharge.  AND², that comes on top of the six bucks a month I paid for said “insurance” on the old phone, for 26 months.

Total cost of replacement old-model phone: $215.74.  This is a phone that cost me only $75 when I bought it over two years ago.  I should have just bought the newer model and waited two more years for nice².  I got suckered.  What a scam this phone protection scheme was – I didn’t even get the fun of colorful ethnic stereotypes telling me how nice a phone it wuz, and how terribles it woulds be if sumtins would happen to it.

Technology has been like that to me lately.  My desktop, for example, is pushing six years old – pleostecene in PC standards.  It’s had iced tea accidentally dumped on it, it’s been tripped over, it’s been suddenly shut down in storms and power failures… and it keeps chugging.  Of course, it chugs slow, and exceedingly fine.

Recently I was in the middle of something when I was informed that the machine would restart in fifteen minutes because of some automatic update – unless I clicked “restart later,” in which case it would wait fifteen minutes and then annoy me with another interruption about the automatic restart.  I clicked, was duly annoyed in fifteen minutes, saved my work…  and then the fun began.

First it took about fifteen minutes to finally shut everything down, with my having to manually force closed a ton of background processes.  (I’ve tried and tried to rid myself of all this background bunkum, but it only makes the system unstable.  Apparently working quickly makes the poor old thing need a lie-down every five minutes.  Must be a union machine.)  Then it took about fifteen more to restart and get everything running again.  THEN, joy of joys, it took twenty minutes to look for more updates, even though it was a system update that caused the restart to begin with.

Imagine my delight when it actually found another update, which required a lengthy download and another restart.

Overall, from clicking “shut down” the first time to being able to resume work, it took over 75 minutes.  By that time, it was too late to keep working because it was nearly midnight.  So, you guessed it – I shut the computer back down.  Went out like a dream in under two minutes.

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2 thoughts on “The joys of modern living

  1. Laura October 27, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    I love my iPhone and it’s insured.

    • nightfly October 27, 2010 at 10:22 pm

      Absolutely! That’s a $500 phone, and on top of that, it runs apps and takes hi-def photos and is incredibly cool – thus, a target of theft and other mischief. My phone makes calls, sends texts, takes grainy low-res pictures, and occasionally beats me at chess. That’s it. The end.

      Insurance on your iPhone is a great idea. Insurance that cost me more than a newer, better phone is a chump’s bargain, one I don’t plan to make again. (Though if I got one of these smartphones I’d definitely insure it.)

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