Thinking about buying someone a Home Depot Gift Certificate?
June 12, 2005
Yes, I brought Mr. Laptop on my recent business trip, and yes, I am a Maroon. Indeed, I am not the Run-of-the-Mill Maroon: I am the Platonic form of a Maroon. Prior to my departure, I had continued to believe that, even with my snail-like pace of learning about computer things, I might, just might, be able to breathe life into Mr. Laptop this trip and hop on the net, just like all the cool guys do when they are away from home.
I arrived at my hotel room and immediately looked for some sort of an internet connection. I didn’t have to look long, because on the desk was an information sheet explaining that the hotel provided wireless access to the web for a modest daily fee. I know that Mr. Laptop is not set up for “wireless,” but the information sheet said that the hotel would provide a widget that would turn Mr. Laptop into a space-age wireless wonder. I pictured myself taking advantage of the few spare moments to dash off some “on the scene” reportage. I was just a phone call away from being one of the really cool “wireless” guys.
Because I had to get ready to attend a dinner, I decided to call the hotel later to arrange for the delivery of the Mystery Box.
During cocktails before dinner, I overheard a colleague bitching about not being able to “connect.” Stupidly feeling my “techno-oats,” I told the fellow about the magical widget that promised to turn his laptop (and mine) into internet speedsters.
Unfortunately, he was way ahead of me. He already had one of the Mystery Boxes delivered to his room, and he deftly did all the plugging in of stuff. However, once plugged in, his laptop had informed him that because of some “proxy-schmoxy” thing, he couldn’t be connected without changing a critical setting. He confirmed this by phone with our IT guys in Jersey and with the Mystery Box hotel people.
Turns out that neither he nor I have the “administrative rights” to flip the switch that would activate the Mystery Box. Even the IT guys in Jersey didn’t have the juice to flip the switch. Our laptops are so well locked down that my “administrative rights” pretty much begin and end with being able to type capital letters whenever I want.
So, for the duration of the trip, Mr. Laptop stayed in the black bag with all the wires and widgets, about as useless as a sack of bricks.
Henceforth, Mr. Laptop will remain securely “docked” in my office.
Does anyone know of a Jersey Chapter of “Maroons Anonymous?”
Here’s how I learned of this from “The Nicest Guy in the Blogosphere.”
I was having connectivity problems accessing the Movabletype page on which one runs da blog. I dropped Craig an e-mail asking if and only if he had a spare moment, he might take a look at the problem.
Three minutes later, my phone rang, and the conversation went something like this.
Craig: “Hi Jim, it’s Craig. I think I fixed that problem for you.”
Jimbo: “Craig! Jesus, that was fast. What was the problem?” (As if I would be able to understand the answer.)
Craig: “Well, the … ” [lots of technospeak followed].
Jimbo: “Hmmmm. I’ll pretend that I understood what you just said. Hey, when are you guys going to have that baby? I know that it’s any day now, right?”
Craig: “About four hours ago.”
Jimbo: “WHAT?? You had a baby four hours ago, and you’re on the farookin’ phone with ME about a blog problem?”
Craig: “Well, I just got in from the hospital and I planned on making a few phone calls and then taking a nap. I saw your e-mail, so I fixed the problem.”
After a bit of chatting about the happy event, I suggested that he probably had more important phone calls to make than this one and that he should make them and then take that nap.
I figure that Baby Kiran Lee hit the jackpot in the Parents Lottery.