Monday, October 24, 2005

Cant Get No Connection

Monday 24 October 2005

So 3 Fridays ago I did it.Finally gave in and bought a shiny happy Apple notebook.I'd been wrestling with the idea of getting an internet connection and updating my computer.I have an old computer I bought off a roommate some four years ago.It chugs along with a good video game card.Unfortunately its prone to crash and frequently requires rebooting.
I wanted something more stable,reliable,modern.Having seen the versatility and user-friendliness of Macs firsthand in Prague last year while getting my TEFL certificate I set my heart on one.A couple of other factors swayed my decision.First an Apple store recently opened in Nagoya.Secondly since my building has been painted Ive been beseiged by door to door salesmen selling cheap internet deals.So I finally caved in and signed up

The actual ISP deal is quite sweet the first 2 months service are free.Its easy enough even for an illiterate non Japanese speaker like me.The ISP company offers a free English support phone line.Which is good as their equipment only comes with Japanese manuals.Likewise the Mac which has an internal English manual only.The whole process takes a month or so from sign up,delivery of modem and installation by their staff.Or Not.The staff at my work handled the phone calls and arranged for the installation date.
So last Friday a company rep duly arrived.he entered my humble apartment and bowed duly while removing his shoes.So far so good.

There followed a sharp intake of breath and much wailing and gnashing of teeth as he cast his eyes on my new computer.
"Muzukashii"....difficult he uttered as his eyes rolled toward the back of his head.Evidently he wasnt conversant with the Apple O/S or Macs.
He arrived at 12:30 pm.Left at 3:00pm.In between there was a lot of fiddling.Much hand wringing.Head shaking.Muttering Repeated calls to his companys support line.As suddenly as he appeared he choked out a dispirited "Chotto Matte"....please wait a moment ....and departed.Defeated.
I continued to dust and clean my apartment.Resigned to the fact that things are never as simple as they seem.
At 4pm another rep turned up.Again the bow followed by the anguished pained look.I was beginning to feel guilty for having purchased such an inconvenient machine in the Land of Windows.

However by 5pm he'd managed to get me connected to the Net.His cellphone battery died as a result of prolonged calls to the support line for instructions and inspiration.I gave him mine.Round 5:15 he handed me back my phone.A friendly American woman on the other end explained that my password had an error in it.As a result there was a problem connecting me to the company email and other services.They would send me another in 6 days.I thanked her and praised the persistence and patience of her co-workers.The now beaming Japanese man left.Happy that I understood the situation and happier still that he didnt have to explain it to me in English.
I resumed washing the mugs I used to make my visitors tea.Having nothing to do all afternoon and standing round like an expectant father I find in such trying circumstances a cup of tea has certain curative soothing powers.
End result....a fibre optic "hikari" connection fully operational.Which Im happy with...till a student told me that its probably only fibre to the building and once there cable is used from the apartment buildings server to the individual apartment computers resulting in significant reduction in speed...whatever...

Been putting the final touches on my paper mache pieces ahead of this weekends Foreign Artists Exhibition.I have to take my works down to the Nagoya International Centre Sunday morning to set up for next weeks display.Between the computer saga and paper mache I havent had much time to read or watch anything of note though am currently enjoying a collection of O Henry short stories.He has a wry turn of expression and a freshness that makes it easy to see why he continues to be popular....


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