June 12, 2005

The Maroon and the Mystery Box.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 1:05 pm

Laptop.jpgYes, 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?”


  1. If it’s a company laptop, you’re pretty much screwed. Either it works (1 in 1000 chance) or there’s nothing anybody can do, no matter what they say. I’m waiting for implants with dataports behind my ear. And jet packs.

    Comment by Sluggo — June 12, 2005 @ 3:55 pm

  2. Does anyone know of a Jersey Chapter of “Maroons Anonymous?”

    I thought you said that was in Corzine’s office?

    Comment by Randy — June 12, 2005 @ 3:58 pm

  3. You need a new IT guy…That’s so fixable…

    Comment by Yabu — June 12, 2005 @ 10:17 pm

  4. Pretty expensive paperweight, dude.

    Comment by zonker — June 12, 2005 @ 11:46 pm

  5. Jimbo: your IT folks at the office should be able to fix you up with the wireless accessory and *still* keep your laptop secure with a personal firewall. It’s only _slightly_ advanced Computer Magic.

    Comment by DMerriman — June 13, 2005 @ 2:48 am

  6. … being an administrator is way overrated.. I used to be one, and I’m a gardener now…

    Comment by Eric — June 13, 2005 @ 7:56 am

  7. Sounds like there was a security issue with the way the hotel’s wireless was set up. We’ve run into that a couple of times, a hotel’s network which insisted that we run our laptop basically defenseless against all the nasties out there in internet land. Which we declined, of course.

    Hotel’s fault, not yours.

    Comment by rita — June 13, 2005 @ 8:34 am

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