If I remember it right, it was Eric Clapton, who made the world aware of the fact that there will be no tears in heaven – this, of course, was not exactly the first time this knowledge was shared, it is found in the book of Revelations, but I suppose there were a great many who listened to Clapton, but had never read Revelations.
There is another thing, too, that I sincerely hope will not be found in heaven, and that is computers.
My feelings towards that hellish invention can be described in one short sentence: I hate computers! And they seem to feel the same towards me.
My sentiments were refreshed once again this week, when I decided it was time to buy a new ADSL-modem/router, the old one was showing symptoms of getting old and tired, just as it´s owner.
So, with hesitant steps I went to the store, out of mercy I shall mention no names, and explained to a polite young man what I needed.
Which was given to me, while he assured me that everything I needed for the installation was to be found in the package. I had a few suspicions at that stage, but since I was in a hurry I decided to trust him, paid, went home and readied myself for battle.
”Three simple steps to configurate, and no experience needed”. So it was said.
I wouldn´t have got past even the first step without any earlier experience from the war against the army of Silicon Valley. It was, however, the second one that defeated me. Which means to say the installation guide.
With the help of the all-knowing Google I learned that VPI means virtual path identifier, and that VCI means virtual channel identifier, but it gave me no clue as to which digits I was supposed to enter in the empty fields.
So I tried to call the store where I bought the lump of electronic idiocy I was fighting.
”If you want this, press one, if you want that, press two, if you want the third or the fourth, press five and six”.
And I obediently pressed the buttons I was required to press, but did it get me anywhere? A bit closer to a nervous breakdown, perhaps, but nothing else.
After a few more attempts I changed tactics, and went searching for the manufacturer´s homepage.
Where I found the device I had bought, yes, and where the tree simple steps, that required no previous knowledge or experience with computers, changed into sixtyfour pages of unintelligible technical specifications and advices.
As much I learned, however, that the VPI and VCI specifications were to be found at my internet provider, and that they also would supply me with the information whether they automatically gave me an IP-adress or not, which I needed to know, since the configuration wizard demanded me to choose between four alternatives, depending on what kind of internet I had. There were dynamics and bridges and who knows what.
But, since I still had some hope, I tried to call the phone company´s helpdesk. With exactly the same amount of success as I had had with the store. Is there anybody out there who has ever got through to a real, living, human being, when calling a supportnumber??
So. I tried their homepage. Where I learned that they gave technical support only for devices that they had sold themselves. Which meant to say I could not get the digits I was supposed to feed to the digital demon in front of me.
I began to realize that I, once again, was a defeated man. There ain´t no cure to the computer blues.
Then I called the store again, only this time I chose the button that put me through to the department of selling new products, not to the helpdesk. And, of course, and just as I expected, I got through immediately. I explained my case, and was at once, with no problems and no delays whatsoever, put through to the helpdesk.
Sometimes one little event speaks more than a thousand words.
I told the lady in the other end that I had only one question: Could I get my money back? She told me I had the right to return the device within thirty days if I didn`t like it, which was the first good news of that day.
An hour later I got a mail from the store, where some bright young fellow offered to guide me through the installation on the phone, because, as he put it, ”It is really very simple”.
He could as well have come right out, and told me in plain words that he considered me to be a hopeless moron.
I thanked him for his concern, but since I have had some experience with computer expert´s abilities to share their knowledge with the outer world, I chose not to take up his offer. I felt I had already taken all that I could take from this particular store and it´s items.
I do hope, from the depts of my heart and soul, that there will be nothing that even remotely reminds of a computer in heaven, or anything that is in any way kin to them.
And yes, I returned the modem to the store, and got me another from the phone company, one that was configurated and ready for my use. Which, of course, was what I should have done in the first place.
And, as the ultimate scorn from my victorious enemy, this new modem, which flawlessly started to feed the wonders of internet into my monitor as soon as it was connected, was twenty euros cheaper than the one that had ruined a whole day and almost one nights sleep!
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Lord, that there will be no computers needed in heaven!