Buffalo Trace

Buffalo Trace
From a few years ago, me mugging with the bronze buffalo sculpture at Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Technology: Garbage In, Garbage Out

The grand experiment is over. I have met the enemy and been kicked in the keister. Technology 117; Russ 0.

I have resisted upgrading to a Smartphone of some kind because I don't feel the need to "stay dialed in" with e-mails and such. I don't recreate on my PC or netbook; I'm sure not going to do it on my phone. I don't play games or goof-off on my computers. If I'm online, I'm researching a story or answering e-mails. I am content to have a phone that makes and receives calls without dropping them, and that has a full keyboard for texting. I rarely use the camera function. So when one of my nieces surprised me on Christmas with an Android-based media tablet, I was excited, seeing it as an opportunity to leap ahead into the world of apps. I was going to join the "dialed in."

My leap turned into a faltering stumble.

One thing I was eager to do was download the Nook app from Barnes and Noble. After logging a number of longer trips last year -- several to California, one to Hawaii, and another to Barbados -- I realized I can lighten my load by carrying along a reader of some type rather than two or three books to get me through these mini Odysseys. But no soap. The Nook app wouldn't load.

In fact, after several hours of trying on a variety of app sites, I was unable to download a single app of any sort. My blood pressure elevated to stroke-inducing numbers, and my frustration level growing to the point that I was ready to kick the crutch out from under Tiny Tim, I toiled away red faced.

Of course the instruction manual was no help. Simply listing the steps required to download an app, it didn't bother to provide any clue about what to do if an app won't download. The manufacturer's Web site is equally vague, lacking any troubleshooting hints, or even a serious customer service contact.

Like so many manufacturers of today's high-tech gadgets, this one takes the attitude that if a consumer buys its product, he certainly should already know how to operate it. My intuition fails somewhere between flipping a light switch and setting the clock on a VCR.

Surfing the Internet looking for anyone with the same tablet, experiencing the same issues also failed to throw any light on the subject. At this point I have no idea if the problem is operator error -- not out of the question -- or a malfunction of the tablet.

Unwilling to invest any additional time or energy into this endeavor, I am returning the tablet from whence it came. I really prefer turning pages anyway.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this item much more by imagining an Andy Rooney voice speaking it.

    ReplyDelete