Author Topic: Ah modern technology, how wunnerful...  (Read 2053 times)

Offline McHeath

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Ah modern technology, how wunnerful...
« on: July 31, 2009, 11:59:00 PM »
So my son uses a _(company who shall remain nameless)__ for his cell service, cheap at 10 bucks a month, he calls hardly anyone and texts rarely, so it works fine for him.

But it would not add his minutes this past week, and after spending about half an hour on their web site, then I tried their phone tech support with the computer that keeps saying, "I didn't quite understand that, did you say 'phu-un-ullf'?"  "NO!!  I SAID ONE!!"

After another half hour of that, I found, buried alive I might add, a number for a real human.

Talked to him for about half an hour as well.  We went into "code entry mode".  We punched little numbers in, and out, and pressed OK a lot.  Waited a lot for his computer to magically "reset" things, and he apologized a lot and thanked me for holding a lot.

In the end he could not fix the problem, seems that only accounts can do that and they are closed, of course, but I can call them tomorrow and use my handy little "Reference Number" to solve this problem.

Of course I made the call from my trusty Western Electric 1500 landline, I've learned the hard way never to use a cell for tech support as when you lose the call it's back to the waiting line for you. 

And not once have I ever had to enter code entry mode with my WE 1500, or any of my old phones come to think of it.  Nor have I ever needed to "update my roaming capabilities" or "preform a hard reset" or remove the battery to make the magic fairies that live in the secret place deep in my phone happy enough to stop blocking my calls to aunt Fanny so I can find out if she needs me to bring fruit salad or cupcakes to the shin dig next Saturday.

And then last week one of the computers decided to commit suicide for no apparent reason, it did not leave a note, and that took most of one day and part of another to repair. 

And yesterday I had to have Honda "reset" my car key so that it would start talking happy talk with the car again and open the darn doors when I press the darn button.

This evening the TV locked up again, it does that sometimes when you turn it on, it's 2 years old, and then you have to turn it off and pull the plug to make it decide to like you again and work.

The CD player in the home stereo system also had problems at lunch time, you have to unplug it as well sometimes to convince it that the disc you just inserted you really really really do want to listen to. 

Yes, ain't it all wunnerful wunnerful. 


Offline Dan

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Re: Ah modern technology, how wunnerful...
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2009, 12:07:22 AM »
Just got MY own 1500 today. It's my first 10 button WE, and I probably overpaid  for it @ $40, but it's white and pretty and all matching from 1/67. It will now be my wife's daily driver, since she has the "QVC" disease and needs a touchtone to type in her customer #. By the way, QVC stands for "Quickly Vanishing Cash" @ my house!
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright

Offline bingster

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Re: Ah modern technology, how wunnerful...
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2009, 12:09:30 AM »
I don't know a great deal about TT phones, but given what I've seen the ten button models go for on ebay, I think $40 isn't at all bad.  Good job!
= DARRIN =



Offline Dennis Markham

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Re: Ah modern technology, how wunnerful...
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2009, 12:10:57 AM »
I was thinking in line with Bingster when I read that you paid $40 for a 10-button 1500.  Generally those go quite high.  Not bad for starters.  That was all part of the design though...to get you hooked so you'll start paying big bucks for additional phones.

Offline Dan

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Re: Ah modern technology, how wunnerful...
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2009, 01:04:18 AM »
Thanks. There is a gray  1500 on ebay that will probably fetch big bucks. I like the 1500. I noticed the  0 button says "operator" on it, while the 2500 button only says "oper". I guess they didn't know  how to abbreviate in 1963-1967.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2009, 01:17:56 AM by Dan »
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright

Offline bingster

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Re: Ah modern technology, how wunnerful...
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2009, 01:16:51 AM »
McHeath, I was watching something about sunspots and the big magnetic storm thingies on TV a couple weeks ago, and I think there may be something coming that will alleviate all your trouble.  The experts (the ones on the show, anyway) believe that in a couple years, there will be a major, super-duper explosion on the sun that will disable the satellites orbiting the earth.  All cell phone transmission will then come to a screeching halt.  Cross your fingers!
= DARRIN =



Offline HobieSport

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Re: Ah modern technology, how wunnerful...
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2009, 01:45:23 AM »
Loved your story, Heath.  Oh the conveniences of modern technology...

My computer caught some malware last week and I had to do a clean install. It took about seven calls to my son who fortunately is a computer techie. I still haven't got the WiFi card software to work, so I'm running on good ol' copper lines again for now.

I wonder what would happen if all the satellites went belly up...

Bwanna; keep those land lines hummin'!
-Matt

Offline McHeath

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Re: Ah modern technology, how wunnerful...
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2009, 12:13:11 PM »
Dan if you paid only $40 for a 1500 you got a great deal.  I've seen total clunkers go for more than that, and nice ones can easily go for well over a hundred. 

I recall my first experience with a phone menu system, 1984, calling a university I was thinking of attending.  It was the coolest thing I'd ever seen on a phone, all these fab menu choices that you reached by pressing 1 or 3 or whatever.  Now I'd gladly never hear another one.

Once we decided to put computers in everything from our car keys to our TVs the die was cast, and now we get lots of fun moments of unplugging to restart or "Code entry mode" etc.  The stories are endless, I shared a few and I'm sure you all have them as well, of how the gizmos need some tender love at moments to make them work. 

At least our old phones almost always work as intended, and far past their expected life span. 

Offline HobieSport

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Re: Ah modern technology, how wunnerful...
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2009, 01:26:02 PM »
Just in terms of automobiles, I'm not even comfortable with power windows, automatic door locks, full power steering and brakes, etc.. I love things like anti-lock brakes, good airbags, power assist steering and brakes and such, but I still want to "feel the road". And I feel safer with regular roll down windows, and am certainly capable of manually locking the car doors in about five seconds.

It just seems like some "conveniences" have gone so far over the top as to become inconveniences. Ya know?

I've never even used a cell phone (though can of course see their conveniences for most people) and my only touch tone phone is a cheap Cortelco. (I thought I was getting a WE 2500 on Ebay but that's another story.)

I have nothing against any new technology, IF it's really an improvement to our daily lives.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2009, 01:27:33 PM by HobieSport »
-Matt

Offline jsowers

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Re: Ah modern technology, how wunnerful...
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2009, 11:57:01 AM »
I've been a computer tech in a school system for about 25 years, since the darn things used single-sided floppy drives and 64K RAM. At the office I'm known as Mr. Old Technology since I've seen a lot and keep a lot in my head from those years. It's amazing how it's changed in those 25 years. I still prefer to use older computers to the latest things, and older cars and appliances. The vintage IBM Win98 laptop I'm typing this on is ten years old and still works like new. Yes, it's slow. Yes, it's on dialup. Slow means I have an opportunity to play another game of Freecell. :)

I feel lucky not to have had the computer-related car problems. I drive a 96 Buick Roadmaster Estate Wagon and its antilock brakes saved my life once sliding downhill toward a highway intersection in a snowstorm. The problems that car has have all been heating and cooling related, as a result of age. The remote locks and anti-theft keys still work as new. The worst problem with the car is keeping the large bodyside molding stuck on! :)

I just last month got Touch-Tone phone service, by default, as mentioned in another thread, for $7 more a month. :'( I did get a wider toll-free calling radius too, that I won't ever use. I've changed my laptop modem to tone, and I did plug in a 2702 to navigate the menu on my credit card authentication, but that's all so far.

I do agree that the latest is not always the greatest. I can't see any benefits in texting and chat. Our cell phones still don't work well inside our schools, but my pager does.

And one note about the word "Operator" on the touchpads. It disappeared about 1973, so you can find it on early 2500s, 2554s and 2702s as well as all the 15xx series.
Jonathan

Offline Dan

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Re: Ah modern technology, how wunnerful...
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2009, 03:57:12 PM »
Thanks about the "operator" trivia. As Carson once said, "I did not KNOW that."
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright