Sunday, July 22, 2007

Technology & Tears

I am the the tech girl of my house. I mean, that's not saying much since I'm barely competant, but my husband, who willingly tackles many household projects shrugs in confusion when it comes to the technology stuff. Earlier this year we decided to get a digital cable box (because they offered about five extra channels for the kids that they would like.) Well, even though the basic process was understandable to me, hooking it up with our stereo system, VCR and TiVo box is not what I would call a fun experience. Actually, it was traumatic in the extreme. Tears were shed and instructions were crumpled and long hours were spent on tech support - mostly on hold. Within a few weeks, we didn't even want the digital cable box but undoing what I had done was a more daunting task than living with all the new problems.

Even with that trauma fairly fresh in my mind, I tackeld yet another tech project this weekend. It's all the fault of Webkinz. (And I guess I am partially to blame since I told them about Webkinz in the first place) My computer was being commandered by my children far too often and my oldest child hovered nearby anytime I did get to sit in front of it asking me when I'd be done. The easiest solution was putting our old computer back online so they could play in their little virtual world. Of course, that little task would require a router and new virus software. And if I was going to have to get a router, might as well set up the wireless network while I was at it. Sounded pretty basic.

Oh how naive I can be.

I bought the software and router quick and easy and brought the new toys home. I followed the really easy instructions and even though it was behaving as though it was all working, the wizard program never let me officially finish the set-up process. I kept getting errors. And this freaked me out because I couldn't tell for sure if I had done everything I needed to do, and if the network was secure enough. There were tears shed yet again over the frustration of not being able to get answers to my questions. And over the inane process of giving the same thing different names just to confuse me. I mean seriously. How was I supposed to know that a "WPA Shared key" means the same thing as "password"? Yeah. Took me hours to figure that one out.

Today it is done but I'm not eager to have to fix or do anything technology related for quite some time. In fact, I'd rather make an appointment at the dentist.