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Abort, Retry, Fail?

I’m still possessed by the subject of anger this week.

OK, anger is a bit too strong and it the feeling is not aimed at anyone in particular. It is just aimed at things. Computer like things… Yes, it is time for my compulsory blog computer rant. But I have been observed recently to be showing the set jaw and unblinking ferocious stare that means I am suffering from G.M.T.I.S… Graham Mild Transient Irritation Syndrome.

Those people who know me better (poor things) probably would put this down to a ban on alcohol for Lent this year as an attempt to save the recycle men from back strain as they empty the bottles into the lorry (or some other such reason) but honestly I do not think this is the problem.

In fact while the Lovely Wife might say that I have not been excessively grumpy for me most of the last couple of weeks, I have been relatively relaxed about the whole thing. In fact I have taken it up as an opportunity to sample the delights of non alcohol beer (the old less than 0.5% alcohol category) in the attempt to find one that is not completely disgusting. I may have found one, but more of that next week.

No, the subject of my wrath has been that old classic – Information Technology. More precisely, why the damn things never work in a straightforward manner and seem mostly set up to be user unfriendly, and to obstruct any kind of simple action. It does not seem to matter either while it is ignoramus here (that I freely admit to be) trying to do something at home on my own pathetic variety of out of date appliances, or the massive corporation I work for, the least effective part of the system seems to be, well, the system.

Oh, how my heart sinks when we have some new improved system rolled out at work. After twenty years of this I know what is coming. It is not going to work properly for at least three to six months at which point it just about reaches the level of functionality the previous system had achieved. I wonder whether I should just book the time with Support in advance just to save time in sorting out the numerous bugs. The latest innovation to make our lives easier is an improvement to our expense reporting system – it doesn’t work of course. It is inflexible, irrational (it does not seem to understand that currencies are different) and only runs on an obsolete software platform.

Wonderful, the future is here and it looks like everything else did five years ago.

Although when it comes to obsolete platforms, I seem to have been competing here at home and definitely have the edge I feel. The death of my home PC last November has had me scrabbling around with what I had available or could upgrade to avoid a major new expenditure. Surface my ancient Apple iBook from the IT graveyard under the wardrobe. Surely a ten year old machine could not be my saviour? After all, the only thing I want from it is to run iTunes to manage my various branded mp3 devices…

Well, it started off well enough. I managed to fit extra memory (thanks to very helpful YouTube videos) and an airport card; and it worked. I was very happy. Then the problems began as I realised my foolish naivety. Of course I couldn’t run a very advanced version of OS X; and therefore I cannot use higher than version 9 of ITunes; which means the effort was pointless as all of my devices need version 10 or higher. There’s no way out; upgrade or die.

Yes, I know I would have researched it better, so the waste of time (and minimal expense) was entirely my fault but I was just swept up in the euphoria of getting something to work, albeit pointlessly as it turned out. It is even more pointless now, as the charger has decided to fail – incidentally my main problem with anything Apple, the charging leads, powers supplies and batteries are just rubbish – so the whole point is a moot one, and I am not sure whether that makes me feel better or worse.

But honestly, I think that is the last time I start playing with technology in a foolish belief I can achieve anything. So from now on I will just have to cope and save up for the inevitable new device.

Unfortunately I cannot do anything about the work systems other than try not to be abrupt with my support people and realise that they hate the ‘upgrades’ even more than I do.


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