5.11.2009

Arboretum

Taking a deep breath,
Breathing in the still night air
Cool and wet, damp on my arms,
Hanging a misty gray halo around the moon.

Feeling the cool concrete roughness
Under my feet, under my legs
Clicks, whirs, night sounds poke the silence
Clean breezes brush across my face.

As I walk the slippery rock path down between the trees
Further towards the water,
Dim branches scrape my legs
Small eyes see me
Small bodies run from my steps.

Crunching tires
Passing headlights up the nearby hillside road
Frog plops and flapping wings warn me
Water murky green.

Technology bites!

Today I learned a somewhat hard lesson about being possibly too reliant upon technology.

My Blackberry didn't wake me up this morning (Monday of course) like it usually does with a gentle playing of the NFL on Fox sports theme. No, it was busy displaying a spinning beachball some various errant characters at random positions on the screen. I soft restarted the device and took a shower. When I returned it was displaying "APP ERROR 523 RESET" on a white screen. Not good. Really not good because anything that has to do with operating system problems on Blackberry devices cannot be resolved unless you are a PC user, or have a Mac with an Intel processor, of which group I am neither.

I winced and thought, "Great, what a way to start a day let alone a Monday."

I went into work with my lifeless Curve in tow, and proceeded to research the error via the all-knowing internet. "Reinstall the system software," is what I read time after time, so I emailed my wife and told her I was going to seek out a T-Mobile retail store--NOT a glorified kiosk in the middle of a nearly-deceased mothball-smelling mall somewhere on the other side of the metro area--to possibly remedy the situation. She called my work phone and told me I was better off calling T-Mobile customer service, since the retail stores do not have PCs in their locations. Why they do not I do not know, other than it's just a bold decision to prove to the rest of the world they are clueless.

I agreed and called customer service, and after going round and round for a few tense moments with a very nice representative named Will, he finally huddled with his manager and offered to send a replacement. "7-10 days UPS Ground or within 3 days UPS Extra-speedy," he offered. Of course I CAN'T be without my Blackberry lifeline for more than a day or two at the most so I decided to fork over $19.95 + tax to get a new Curve a little more quickly. I thanked him for helping me (even though he really didn't do anything but provide a nice alternative to the brick-heads that usually provide customer service help) and then resolved myself to waiting and dreading the arrival of my new device.

Dreading is an understatement because I will have the sheer pleasure of reinstalling all of the 3rd party software (that I trust, since one of those apps probably CAUSED this error in the first place), and trying to remember all the excruciatingly minute settings that made my Blackberry the close personal tech-buddy that it was. Luckily I am quite the anal type and do have a list of the software that I have purchased so it's a matter of contacting and re-downloading for the new PIN. It's just time-consuming, and that in itself is a pain.

In conclusion, I think it may be time to step up and upgrade my home computer to an Intel Mac that can run Windows software, so I can actually do some troubleshooting myself, which I am fairly good at if I have the right tools. It's sad that RIM has tied Mac users' hands as far as not providing any desktop software to back up their systems or install software updates. I'm sure as soon as I have a new Mac I will look back on this issue in the same way I look back on my Earthlink dial-up connection years ago now that I use high-speed DSL. Irrelevant.

Makes me ponder considering an iPhone but I am not sold on the limitations of that device either. The fact that you cannot run multiple applications at the same time is a real stumbling block, but the killer it the AT&T pricing structure. Way too expensive--prohibitive even, imo. I love Apple devices, but I thoroughly enjoy my Blackberry. Present issues excluded.