I must detour into the land of technology today. After the afternoon I spent yesterday, which was chock-a-block full of resets, ipconfig tweaking, sharing fiascoes not involving any children and various episodes of looking cross-eyed at the several screens in the house, I think it’s time to confess to something that is often not spoken aloud, but is sometimes whispered in tech circles.
<shh…> <sometimes what makes computers work is magic juju that doesn’t make sense>
We have a bunch of computers. There are only four of us, but our devices have us way outnumbered. That seems to be the way of things nowadays. You wouldn’t think there was any problem with that, since most things need only to get out to the internet, and that seems to be fairly easily done.
In my pre-child life, I was an all-purpose computer professional. I am completely self-taught, having discovered that auto-didacticism is less frustrating than waiting for someone to come and save me. I learned operations, database management, PC hardware and software, mainframe administration, networking, UNIX system administration… The list is extensive. What I really learned is that if you have a decent memory for what you’ve done and where you started, and are willing to make mistakes, at the root, computers are just hammers with fancy press.
Unless, of course, the fairy dust wears off. That is what I have been coping with.
I will spare you an in-depth, blow by blow account of the mysterious issues that started plaguing our devices, including our gateway to the outside world. I will also spare you the hours of adjustments to settings on every machine in the whole damned house, over and over and over. (As soon as I got one going, another would fritz out, until finally nothing was talking to anything and I was looking for an actual hammer so I could bash my brains out, or smash all their screens.)
I finally called for help. I called my ISP, thinking that at least I could confirm the router settings I plugged in from memory, having first discovered that the router had apparently come down with DID, no longer acknowledging anything it had been told in the past several months since we purchased it.
After we resolved the router issue, heroically and at great personal cost bending that motherfucker to my will, the woman at my ISP and I chatted a few minutes about what had led me to check on the settings in the first place. She was very sympathetic as I outlined the travails to which I had been subject, tech-wise, and the complicating fact that, due to my recent indisposition, the repeated trips up and down the stairs were a bit of a pill.
Then we came to it: the secret. The truth that fears to speak its name.
Sometimes computers and other devices just decide not to work for their own reasons. The magic juju wears off.
She said it first, but we both knew the truth of it. It’s the dirty little secret of technology, and it’s a reality.
When I was done with all I could think to do on the downstairs machines, it was time to give up on the root problem, at least for the day. I had already ignored the kids, neglected to make dinner, and failed to get my poop in a group for book club. I arduously dragged myself and my gimpy leg up the stairs for the umpteenth time. At least, I reasoned, we have internet everywhere again, and that’s no worse of than we were before.
Except we didn’t.
Where’s that hammer again??
More tweaking, to fix something that mysteriously broke itself after other stuff was fixed. More silent swearing. Finally, I surrendered to the deity of computer juju. I started making an non-sensical, silly, ridiculous change, just to be doing something. Anything.
And damned if the whole system, upstairs, downstairs, and non-essential devices didn’t start working, sharing and generally functioning beautifully.
“And thus the goddess of the circuits smiled, and all was again full of light”
At least until next time, bitch…