Friday, April 03, 2009

Tricky Technology

Note: Sorry for the silence. I took my son on a wonderful school trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and between that and the school career fair, both last week, I didn't have time to come up with something for my blog. So you get a two for one this week, with a sneaky relationship between this and the links post :).

My friends generally think of me as a technology-enabled, computer literate person. What only a few realize is that my literacy is confined to databases and programming. Simple things just do not make sense to my brain. I need front-end program aspects explained to me...like a couple years back when tasked with integrating an affiliate program when I didn't even know what it was...and sometimes it takes me forever to figure out tools I use every day.


Well, when we decided to get each of the boys a cell phone (they had been sharing for emergencies only), I asked if I could give my oldest my cell and get a new one. The bizarre reason was that the Chocolate by LG is designed for front pockets. It's slim and without anything to snag (though I've noticed the new design isn't so much). When I tucked it into the cell pocket on the side of my purse, it delighted in slipping out at inopportune moments, and was even dropkicked once...and kept on ticking.


So anyway, I wanted a phone that would stay put, and found one in an upgraded LG after testing quite a few at the store :D. The salesman did mention that this was the strangest request for a phone feature he'd ever had.

It wasn't until I got home that I realized the one feature I used on my Chocolate all the time, a one-button access to the music, had been replaced by one-button access to picture taking. Sigh.
I even went back to the manual and tried to figure out how to reprogram the button but to no avail.


The consequences were simple. I often went out on my walk with my cell in my pocket, but no music going at all because it was just too much of a pain. (Yes, I am inherently lazy. My first programming was batch files to avoid repetitive tasks.)

Then one day, I'm walking through the dead silent house, and I can hear music. I search everywhere for a radio left on, a TV, a computer...nothing. And the music isn't any louder or softer at any point.


Just when I was about to curse some person parked outside with the radio blasting, I hear something rare that is on my cell play list. Sure enough, when I pull it out, the speakerphone is blasting out a part of the Buffy Musical.

On the front of my LG are three buttons: Rewind, Play/Pause, and Fast Forward. I'm not stupid. I pressed Play before, but it just turns on the phone. It took my genius pocket to figure out that you have to press and hold the Play button as a shortcut to turning on the music.
So there you have it. I can create applications from whole cloth based on requests, but I cannot program the video recorder, I can't remember how to set the sounds on my phone (I have to re-figure it out each time), and I can't handle a button that you have to hold down :).

3 comments:

Holly said...

LOL! You have my wincing empathy.

This is the world of the things you know so well you breathe them, versus the things that are just beyond your concept threshold---though in the same family of knowledge---for which you have yet to explore the baseline concepts.

We all live there, simply because there's just too much to know everything. We just don't realize we live there until we stray across our mental invisible electric fence and our shock collar goes off.

Jean said...

I don't think it's you. It is taking me forever to learn some of the myriad of features in my cell phone I got last Oct. Sometimes hubby and I work them out together (we get the same model for interchangeability benefits), and sometimes I just know it has to be there, but I haven't found it yet.

Still miss being able to program alarms by day of the week, but it's not so critical now that I'm not working outside the home. It will, at least, save different alarms, and on the rare days I need one, I activate the one for the time I need.

Hubby hates that the missed call notice doesn't tell him when the person called. I think I figured out how he can tell, but it's more convoluted than either of us would like.

I simply couldn't figure out how to just dial a number. It always wanted me to save the contact. Finally, hubby says, type in the number and press the button with the green icon. Duh! At least we teach each other.

Margaret said...

I'm fully aware of my limitations in these areas :), but I love the shock collar analogy, Holly. And Jean, I discovered you can "quick call" people you talk to frequently by just pressing the call button when I did it by accident once. Two presses, rather than turning off that list, calls the person at the top of it :).

Odd about the missed calls though. My missed call list has a time.

Oh, and you want something crazy? We just upgraded our mishmash of home phones (some leftover from college so many years ago) with an integrated phone system. We love it, but I still have trouble sometimes with the concept of dialing first (no, it's not a dial :p) and then clicking "go" rather than getting the dial tone first.