15 October 2008

All Hail the Technocracy...

We're into DAY TWO of our Gonorrheal Gigabyte fiasco here, and I can't help but wonder how marvelously we have all been "drawn" into this realm of microprocessors. If you listen closely, THAT is the SUCKING SOUND you've been hearing. It's the sound of YOUR money going down the crapper faster than a Wall St. nosedive.
We had absolutely NO say in this, as a matter of fact.
We were just thrust into this, feet first, like some uber-macho father that teaches his son to swim by tossing him into the coldest, deepest lake on an October day...fully-clothed!
And you readers of this blog KNOW how much I just "LOVE" talking about this, right?
I've worked with and on computers when they were room-filling leviathans with about as much processing capabilities as my digital watch, but THEY worked.
We had data exchange rates that were slower than snail mail, but THEY worked.
We had systems with thirty pound disk PACKS than "only" held about 80K each, but THEY worked.
Can't seem to say that today, can we?
And we sure can't speak to their longevity either.
Sure, we see those computers on TV, working faster than the speed of thought with amenities that many of us can only dream about. Yeah...that's HOLLYWOOD for 'ya. And there are some financially well-endowed people out there that can AFFORD to get the latest widget to add onto THEIR system to make it capable of controlling a mission to freaking Mars, but that's NOT doing a damn bit of good for you or I, is it?
I just want something that WORKS, and IS NOT some damn grabasstic virus magnet!
We're saddled with whatever "flawed" system comes down the pike, replete with all the software that has more bugs than a bait shop resting comfortably on board, just waiting for THAT CERTAIN keystroke to render it inoperable, thereby turning your multi-hundred dollar piece of computing hardware into one damn fine desktop PAPERWEIGHT.
Can I get an "Amen" on that?
We have allowed our entire LIVES to be controlled by this insidious device know as the microchip.
And we're just SO damn happy that we have it, aren't we?
Our car has computers (yes, that IS plural, folks) onboard to monitor anything and everything... and woe to us when a microscopic piece of grime finds it way ONTO that chip. It will turn that nice vehicle of ours into a static roadside attraction...in a heartbeat.
Our homes have appliances in which none of them can function without Mr. Microchip.
Whether it's the coffee maker, washing machine, alarm clock, telephone, stereo, or even the TV...those bits of silicone and rare metals mock us at every turn each time we make use of them.
It becomes a crapshoot as to "if" that device will work, or not. WE like to "believe" that things are made BETTER because of this technology, when in fact, they are definitely not. Planned Obsolescence has taken on a WHOLE new meaning these days.
Used to be a time when "if" the TV went on the fritz, you just swapped out a damn VACUUM TUBE...and you were G-T-G for another few years. Cripes, you'd be hard-pressed to even FIND a person that does (or will) work on TVs today. And the same goes for radios, VCRs, DVD players, and the like.
They're all disposable.
Wonder if we'd think along those lines on the modern day battlefield where our entire military could be rendered "inoperable" with a little something I like to call an EMP?
Guess we better not give up on "Ground-Pounding 101"...just in case, eh?
Something goes kaput...just get your ass out and get another one.
Kinda hard to do with an M1A1 Abrams, ain't it?
Best Buys doesn't stock those...I checked.
But with CONSUMERS, it does make sense. Buy another one. After all, SOMEONE must think we're ALL made of money (or at least have a grove on MONEY TREES in our yards).
Funny thing about all that..."our" MONEY prefers to be put to GOOD use, and not go up in smoke (literally as well as figuratively) every time some "high-tech" device deems it wants to take THE LONG DIRT NAP!
And I DO know ONE thing...I sure as hell HATE to stare at an EMPTY SPACE where our COMPUTER is SUPPOSED TO BE (up and running)!
MY ancient dog of a Win 98 POS still works fine...only problem is that I can ONLY log on via dialup at 26K-28K these days with AOHELL. And if there's ANYTHING graphic intense about a website...well, let's just say I can run some errands while I "wait" for a page to build.
Be nice if I could get someone to "hot rod" the old fart system up, so I could get comparable speeds like we get with FiOS (when the new system isn't trying to solicit some virus like a prostitute on a street corner).
If I sound just the slightest bit irked by this...I think I deserve to be. I earned it, damn it! As a consumer, I have the right to gripe whenever something doesn't meet my (the customer's) expectations, after I've robbed my Hip-National-Bank to shell out some cashola...and that especially goes for REPAIRS. I DO know a little about that...I USED to fix things for a living once. At one position, I reported to a (now former) Bird Colonel, and you didn't want to disappoint him, trust me. You made sure you got "it" fixed BEFORE he found out "it" broke in the first place, whatever the hell IT was.
At least, that was the plan.
Yet, of all the support personnel, I had the LOWEST RECALL RATE in the place. That means a lot when other people are DEPENDING on something to WORK. Well, that, and the parts were a lot larger...harder to lose..LOL!
Ahh, but that WAS a few lifetimes ago, when things were MADE to WORK, or at least be REPAIRED...and by PEOPLE fully TRAINED to do so.
Times are different now.
We don't fix anything...we just "Throw & Go".
(out to get another whatever)
Think of it as doing the "Spray & Pray"...only with YOUR money.
And in today's economy...would someone please tell me WHERE (exactly) is the "savings" in all that anyway, because to be honest, I'm just not seeing it.
But my WALLET is sure FEELING it.
Speaking of feeling...I'm sure feeling the need to go out and get a laptop...just as a "fallback" measure on the OFF CHANCE that when the desktop DOES get fixed AGAIN, we won't wind up deaf, dumb, and blind...from an INTERNET/COMMS point of view.
Late yesterday, the clouds of discontent DID part, and fortunately, through, of ALL things, the miracle(?) of modern technology, MRS. Bobby G saw fit to provide us with a (wireless) notebook PC that works extremely well (as this post will attest to), AS WELL AS another PC desktop tower (arriving later today) we can hardwire into our FiOS. SO, there is no sweat getting that wonky PC fixed (nor urgency).
Score ONE for OUR side...BWAHAHAHA.
Ayep...that's ONE (count 'em) in a row!
I'm looking at a backup system (or two) as being similar to owning a personal firearm:
Better to HAVE IT and NOT NEED IT, than to NOT HAVE IT and NEED IT.
Wonder how the police WOULD respond to a "person admits he killed his computer with a 12 Gauge"?
Might have to create a whole new radio "code" for THAT puppy, eh?
I know if I were wearing the shield, I'd be laughing my ass off at the C/P.
Been there, thought about doing that...often.

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