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The Siren Song of Technology

Posted Tuesday, November 17, 2009, at 8:25 PM

Yes, indeed, Madeline has entered the 21st Century, kicking and screaming. My only consolation in giving up my old system is that I now have this beautiful screensaver. Is that an Alaskan slough with the Brooks Range in the background?
When I got my second computer seven years ago, I was perfectly happy to vegetate out here in the Tillman Outback, pecking away at my e-computer with Windows 98, typing English tests and e-mailing my sister and my friends with Dial-up.

I would have been content to keep that system until I was too old to see the screen....but, no -- the world around me had to change.

You know how it is. Phonograph records weren't good enough -- They had to switch to 8-track players, which gave way to cassettes, which gave way to CD's --- which are giving way to.....???

It's just whirl....whirl....whirl...never satisfied!

While I'm sitting here, paying bills online and ordering online and all that stuff -- I start getting messages from business contacts like ATT - and my bank - telling me that they can't contact me and I need to "update" my e-mail address. Whoa! I'm not the one who's changed. guys! You "updated" and left ME behind!

While I'm just sitting here, minding my own business, the whole world around me does a drastic shift to the right, and I'm out in left field, wondering where everyone went!

Now look at me - getting a new computer and starting the rat race all over again, trying to learn --- of all things -- Windows 7. Good grief, I should have my head examined!

All the things I'm familiar with --- Whoosh! Down the tubes! My sweet little Printmaster Program -- Whoosh! Gone! My nice, comfy Outlook Express -- Glug glug glug -- Down the drain!

Nothing looks familiar except the keyboard.

And now I'm trying to take an even greater leap into the future -- getting Verizon 3G Wireless! Oh, dear, oh, dear - I fear that I have gone too far and dared too much. I may be angering the spirits of the Tillman wilderness.

My computer guru (Blue Chalk Software) has come out to my remote wilderness home and conferenced with the mighty Verizon technicians, who have informed us that I may actually be "too close" to a cell phone tower: I may be experiencing an "umbrella effect." Sounds a little fishy, if you ask me...

One way or another, my brain is in for a thorough vacuuming of all dust and cobwebs of the past. I have gone too far to turn back now.

I am hoping that THIS "big switch" is more successful than the last one.

Okay, KFVS -- who needs you? I'll just watch my screen saver and listen to my dogs howl at the coyotes.

From the not-quite-so-remote hills of Tillman, Mo., this is your technologically-challenged reporter, Madeline, signing off on a cold, wet November evening.

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Thanks MD, I've been out of town and have checked the ATT wireless and many complaints have been registered with their service. Isn't progress wonderful???????????? I was going to give Verizon a try but not sure now. Even though I do live in town, may just keep the DSL ATT, even though I'm not 100% happy. And cable internet and phone service together leaves much to be desired with the local cable provider. Hope Windows 7 isn't going to be the culprit. Thanks for your helpful answers.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Sat, Nov 21, 2009, at 10:47 PM

I agreee gl, was tired of being called names, hope that is past forever.

MD, I'd be curious to know which wireless modem card you are using. There are 5-6 different USB wireless cards on the Verizon website. Thanks for your response. Different prices and different reviews.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Tue, Nov 17, 2009, at 9:59 PM
Madeline DeJournett's response:
I'm not using anything right now, Dexterite. The little device is sitting here on the desk beside the computer, because we can't get my new computer to consistently get a signal. I'm using dial-up right now; I'm paid up through December. I have 30 days from last Thursday to see if this problem with Verizon can be resolved. If it can't be, then I'll return all the paraphenalia and get my money back.

The Blue Chalk technician was out here yesterday and called Verizon. They saw that I'm within 1/2 mile of a tower - so they don't know what the problem is -- possibly Windows 7. My Dell mini gets a signal just fine. (XP)

I'll try to keep you updated. I haven't seen the reviews.

Haha! You and I are in the minority, I think, Dexter. But that's okay. At least no one's calling us "bed-wetters" these days! I've said more than enough about Palin in the past. Not goin' there anymore!

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Nov 17, 2009, at 9:45 PM

gl, I just responded to your Palin post.....have a great day.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Tue, Nov 17, 2009, at 9:06 PM

Thirty-five years is about right, Dexter! You feel as if you're signing your life away!

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Nov 17, 2009, at 9:05 PM

Congratulations to a new era my friend,, too close to the tower, then you gotta move 1/2 mile!!!!!!! I don't think that's going to happen though.

Windows 7, keep us informed and I was thinking about the Verizon wireless as I travel and keep my laptop handy. I was going to sign with ATT at the mall Saturday but the kiosk had no wireless cards, so glad I didn't go ahead and sign the 35 year contract.......

My best to you now, enjoy. (I hope).

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Tue, Nov 17, 2009, at 9:02 PM
Madeline DeJournett's response:
Well, our efforts have gone bust, Dexterite. My Verizon contact informed me today that the data card is not getting a signal out here in the Tillman Boondocks. Though I pass two towers on my way home from Highway 25, neither must be Verizon towers - as he said they didn't show up on his map.

Rather than try to contact with ATT (with whom I have constant issues), I've decided to invest my hard-earned cash in satellite, so I can get more than one channel!

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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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