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Image from Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons License.


Magic: the operative word for anything relating to computers. I have seen IT personnel, in unguarded moments; wave their hands over the offending machine, and restart it. Sometimes, it works. Other times, they shoot a few hoops, and try again.

When everything works, I take my computer buddies for granted.  But when they complain, I obsess like nobody’s business. Which is why I was not pleased when my reliable Multi-Functional Center (MFC) began talking to me.

MFC: “Drum End Soon.”

I, baffled: “What drum?”

Soon after, the machine mentioned, “Replace ink cartridge.”

“Yippee!  I know how to do that.”

I trotted down to my local office supply store, plunked down a large chunk of change on four ink cartridges.  Installed them.  Congratulated myself.  This proved to be a premature response.

MFC: “Drum end soon.”

 “I just fed you.”

 “Drum end soon.”

I pulled out the manual and discovered

1.  A drum is not an ink cartridge.  (Duh!)

2.  Price check: A drum costs half as much as a new machine, or, a machine cost twice as much as a drum.  I am a good consumer.  I bought a new MFC.

Life Lesson 1 – Why I bought new machine:

My current machine is really old – 5 years at least — in technology terms, practically a dinosaur

I want to ‘air print’ from my iPad

I have a credit card

Life Lesson 2 — Having a new machine is not the same thing as installing it.

Life Lesson 3 — How many over-educated people does it take to change a wireless MFC and connect it to the wireless access point?  I have no idea.

We read the manual, memorized the Quick Set-Up Guide, and downloaded every updated driver on the website.  No luck.  I waved my hands.  Nothing. Nada. Zippity do dah.

We shot metaphoric hoops.

We called Tech Support.  They only work Monday-Friday.  Really?  Seriously?  Tech Support doesn’t work on the weekends?

Drank beer. Shot more hoops.

Monday, worst day to call anywhere.  I’m up at 5:00 a.m. There are many wonderful things about living in Hawai`i, but getting up at Zero Dark Thirty to call the East Coast is not one of them. (grumble, grumble)  I was not alone.  I know this, because I was on hold half an hour. It was worth it.  Once again, I am wirelessly wired.


Author Sandra Wagner Wright

Sandra’s latest book, Saxon Heroines: A Northumbrian Novel, is available in eBook and print editions at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Google Play and Kobo. Her previous books Two Coins: A Biographical Novel and Rama’s Labyrinth: A Biographical Novel are available in print and eBook editions at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Google Play and Kobo, and in audiobook editions at Amazon, Nook, Audible, Apple Books, and Kobo. Two Coins is narrated by Deepti Gupta and Noah Michael Levine. Rama’s Labyrinth is narrated by Deepti Gupta.

Sandra blogs weekly about topics related to her travels, writing life, and the incongruities of life in general.