Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Simple Life

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where deities come to laugh at us moderns who think we know it all!

Here's a fascinating topic: Computer problems.

No, no, don't leave! I'll try to make it funny!

Mr. Johnson bought me a brand new printer last summer. It was always finicky. Right around the beginning of the school year, it broke for no apparent reason. It claims to have a paper jam. I examined its guts the way a buzzard would dissect a cow carcass. There's no paper jammed anywhere. Numerous attempts to get the thing up and running have failed, and I learned that bringing in an expert repairman will cost more than a whole new printer.

Of course all this gets me longing for the good ol' twentieth century.

Why? Because my daughter The Spare, never the most organized student, needs to print stuff out all the time for school.

Let's look at 20th Century v. 21st Century High School Homework.

High School Homework, 1976:

1. Read textbook, answer questions on mimeographed handout, using #2 pencil or ball point pen.
2. Make sure name is on paper.
3. Take to school.
4. Hand in.

High School Homework, 2008

1. Check eboard for assignment.
2. Download any worksheets needed for assignment.
3. Complete homework using Microsoft Office applications.
4. Make sure name is on homework.
5. Save homework to course name folder within personal name folder.
6. Print out copy.
7. Take to school.
8. Hand in.

If printer is malfunctioning:

9. Call up sister's email, attach homework to message to mother's email.
10. Send backup email to school teacher with homework as attachment.
11. Send second backup email to school teacher with homework copied and pasted into message section.
12. Sign off email account on home computer.
13. Go to local public library.
14. Scan library card to get next available computer.
15. Log onto library computer (six steps).
16. Open email account.
17. Open attachments, send them to library printer.
18. Scan library card into library printer.
19. Call up print jobs, pay fee of ten cents per page to activate printer.
20. Take to school.
21. Hand in.

Computers have made life so much easier! I can hardly stand how easy my life has become! What did I do in the twentieth century, without all this fabulous technology?

Used to be that your dog ate the homework. Now the computer eats the homework -- and the teacher believes it.


mrsb said...

Ugh! We had a similar problem last year with our oldest. The teacher wanted everything printed. Our printer broke, he emailed it to her. Of course, she didn't check her email, so she gave him a zero.

We had a nice chat about that one. Sheesh.

THE Michael said...

It's an integral part of our consumer-driven society. Planned obsolescence is a necessary part of manufacturing; if everybody bought a well-made printer which did it's job well for a good length of time, and had a reasonable repair cost if it DID break down, then the company could not crank out thousands of printers beyond any reasonable need by the population and expect a necessary number of these units to be sold. We do not feed the need, we create the feed, THEN provide the need.

Anne Johnson said...

And the junk printers go to the landfill. Which does not please the Sacred Thunderbirds.

Aquila ka Hecate said...

Are you running Vista?

That wonderful operating system has been known to crash peripherals, like printers, en masse.
Love,Terri in Joburg

democommie said...


I used to have paper jams on the bigass highspeed copiers I used at Verizon. Often times the "jam" would be a piece of paper the size of a hanging chad stuck under a roller. You might try a little jet of compressed air from one of those dustbuster cans.

yellowdog granny said...

my printer is doing the exact same thing..says there is a paper jam...there is no paper jammed in there..makes me crazy..better you than me that has kids in school these!

Jeff Lilly said...

At our kids' school, the high school students are expected to turn in work handwritten, with hand-drawn illustrations throughout (except of course in the typing and computer courses). Their homework is art, and a joy to see.

Yes, it's a private school, and oh yes, it's expensive -- the tuition for my four children comes to about a fifth of my income. (It would be twice as much without financial aid.) Anne, thanks for reminding me that it's cheap at the price.