Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – August 15, 2004
I’m A Genius
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – August 15, 2004 – Perhaps ‘genius’ is too strong a word, but I’m unbelievably pleased with myself today. In keeping with yesterday’s decision to try and deep six my anger and disappointment over my crashed computer, I decided to be proactive and get my third floor computer running to back-up documents and print out a hard copy of my August writing.
I’ve always been intimidated by technical things and I’m usually stumped by the operating manual before I ever get to the actual technical device. Setting the clock time on the most benign radio causes me to break out in cold sweat. My CD player has a dozen options – I only know and care about the on/off switch. I went to Business Depot with Dorothy the other day and she explained that the best printer option for me was a HP 5650 printer.
It’s a small, inexpensive colour printer that is a good choice as a secondary unit for my old computer. I’m only using that system for word processing and the occasional game of solitaire and free cell and as a back up to my office computer. If I’d had my office computer data backed up on my third floor system, I wouldn’t be in this predicament.
With these thoughts in mind, I drove down to the Business Depot on Front Street about two o’clock. I had a few other things to pick up as well as the printer and a parallel cable. I collected my wares in a shopping cart, paid my bill and drove home. Just the thought of trying to hook up the printer to my third floor computer filled me the technical heebie-jeebies.
I fed the Alphabet Boys and then had a bowl of pasta to fill my tummy and fortify my nerves. No more procrastinating – with printer box in one hand and the printer cable in the other I ascended the stairs. It’s now or never. I cut the clear plastic tape and opened the box. There it sat – encased in Styrofoam and wrapped in plastic. It wasn’t too late – I could still take it back. “No” I said out loud, “I can do this”.
Hewlett Packard supplies a convenient installation poster with its printers. Step 1 said Plug In Power Supply – wow that went well. Step 2 said Turn On Printer. Now for some reason I missed this simple direction, although I didn’t realize it and went right to Step 3 – Load Paper. Step 4 says Remove Pink Tape from the printer cartridges – easy to do. Step 5 is Verify Printer Is On. I couldn’t have been paying attention because I zoomed right past this to Step 6 – Open Top Cover. I still didn’t realize that the printer wasn’t turned on. Now to Step 7 – Insert Ink Cartridges.
“Right then”, I thought, “How hard can this be? Half an hour later, I had tried to insert those darned cartridges six ways to Sunday. Nothing. I took a deep breath and went back to step one. The printer was plugged into the wall outlet. Now on to step two. Turn on printer. Palm to forehead – I looked sheepishly at Ziggy and pushed the “on” button. The cartridge platform immediately lowered and the printer cartridges slipped in place like butter on hot noodles. Ah Ha. Step 8 – Close Top Cover.
Now it was on to the heavy duty technical stuff. Step 9 – Connect Printer To Computer. I took a deep breath and complied. All that remained was to install the computer software. I was convinced that this would be my downfall, but I loaded the CD Rom and hit enter. Lights flashed, the CD Rom whirred and the Printer Wizard appeared with an order to follow the onscreen instructions. Windows did its work and entered into a technical dance with HP and together they tripped the light fantastic.
When all was said and done a screen materialized saying “finish”. I pushed it triumphantly. I am a wizard – a technical magician without equal. I am a super star! Just to show off my expertise, I woke Ziggy up and carried him over to my computer desk. “Watch” I said as I pulled up a computer document and hit “print”. Nothing happened. Ziggy yawned and jumped down to the chair.
From the deep recesses of my mind came the thought “Re-boot the system”. I did – it did and I gave another command to the printer and as if by magic out came the document in living colour. Right now, I’m seriously thinking about sending my resume to NASA. I can do anything!