What not to do!Apr 27, 2000 (Updated May 9, 2000) Write an essay on this topic.
Written in story format you will find a few key things you
should not do when buying a new computer.Mainly that Lucent Modems do not go with AOL. I could just say that and leave, but what fun would that be if I didn't elaborate a bit on the frantic happenings of adnetjm.
When buying a computer from a relative. Make sure you will lay down your life for this person before doing so.
I have been looking for a new computer to replace my 486 for a long agonizing year. I’ve looked in various magazines and read everything I could stand until I could stand no more.
It just so happened that my son started an Internet business and he was selling computers. After much anguish I decide to buy it from him. I figured let me support my son in his efforts.
So I want everything to be perfect for the new baby, I mean...I am so looking forward to getting my new computer, I spend days nesting.
Next day my son calls to let me know that it will be here on Wednesday. Wednesday comes.
I look out the window. I see the UPS truck. It stops and the driver steps out with a big box in his arms. He then turns and brings it over to my neighbor’s house. He knocks on their door.
My neighbor’s daughter opens the door and signs the little tablet and takes the box. "Hum?" The driver gets back in his truck and goes to the back. This must be it!
I stand; chest out shoulders back, like a soldier getting ready to receive the Purple Heart. He emerges from the back of his murky truck empty handed and sits back in his seat.
I yell and wave my saluting hand to him, "hello nothing for me adnetjm?" "No, not today!" He drives off.
A week later I get it. I set it all up, I turn it on. Something’s wrong, what’s this prompt? For hours I try to fix it. I end up reprogramming it somehow and the tech. people had to come over.
It was crying time. A phone call to America Online sheds a ray of light into the abyss.
I call my son. "AOL says it’s the modem. I need a US Robotics modem."
A new modem arrives two days later. I ring up my in the know brother Joe to come over to install it. He looks at it. "Where’s the disks?" "What disks?" "Whenever you get anything from a company like this, there are usually CD’s and disks to go with it." "Well, it didn’t come with any." He grumbles.
"That's funny," he says. "This is exactly like the other one. It’s a Lucent modem, the same as the other one!" "What?" Now I’m feeling like one of Cinderella’s wicked stepsisters. "Can’t you make it fit?" He looks at me, and like the loyal soldier he is installs it spending three hours trying to get it to work to no avail. "Sorry adnetjm, it’s the wrong modem, tell Vin, and make sure it comes with the CD’s and disk next time."
Seven days later and all the good intentions are turning into a nightmare! I call my son, pathetically I say, "Vin, it's not working, I'm sending it back." "No really... wait ma, now I'm angry, I'll call you back." Another day passes.
The phone rings. "Ma, you can't give it back, they said you need a US Robotics Modem." "I know I do, I told you that in the very beginning!" I huff, "so when can I expect this one to get here?" "I have to order it." "Oh god." I look up. "Wait ma, this guy I know works for a big computer place he’s coming later to the office. Let me see if I can catch him before he leaves. I’ll call you right back." Hours later, he calls. "Ma, he brought it, I got it, a US Robotics but, I can’t bring it today?" "Oh."
"Wait! There's a guy who works here he lives by you. I'll see if he can drop it off."
Hours later, phone rings. My husband answers. "Dad, the guy that was supposed to bring the new modem can't make it, tell mom I'll try to bring it after work tonight." So my lovely husband says. "No, that's okay Vin, I know your busy, I'll get it tomorrow."
"No, no," I pant. My throat tightens. I’m reduced to whining. "Nooo’wah, I’m not waiting for you to get it, I neeeed it noww’wah!"
Childhood rage drums its way into my conscious reality. I feel betrayed.
Five PM, phone rings: "Ma, Lenny's going to drop it off. "Okay great!"
Six o'clock turns into seven then to eight. I can’t even look at my naked computer sitting there like an expectant bride. I call my son. His phone rings, no answer.
By now I am sure I'm feeling something that I have never felt before, yes, this is a brand spanking new feeling.
Twelve thirty a.m. there's a knock at the door. I run downstairs. (A don’t do.)
It's Lenny clutching the box in sweaty hands. I open the door.
I take the box as if it were an ancient relic from a far off land. "Thanks, Len." I decide to try to put it in myself. I compare it to the old one, it's different, "where are the wires that go in that little thing there?" I decide it might be better to install it in the morning.
Eight AM: I rush downstairs like a child on Christmas morning. I get my coffee, sit at my desk and screw out the old Modem, then I unplug it from the electrical socket, smart. (A don’t do.) I decide that maybe I should read the manual. (A do umm do.)
I install the new modem leaving some loose wires just shoved in there. I start the computer and try to go online. There's no dial tone. I try a different wire, it works! I go online. "It works!"
This is a slightly edited version of the original which was published in the SI Advance April 13,2000. By adnetjm.
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