Wednesday, January 29, 2014

2 things that I'm sure would make Shulamit Aloni mad

I was listening to a 2009 radio interview with Shulamìt Aloni yesterday. The host asked her to talk about the many articles she wrote. She chuckled and said, “I did write lots of articles, and the best ones are those I wrote when I was mad!” YES, I thought. That’s me! So, two things that’ve made me mad lately:

This article concerning the Eilat Orthodox school rejecting an Arabic language teacher due to her wearing of the hijab; and this followup on the Education Ministry’s commensurate policy. I’m so mad I can’t even see straight. Where do we get off? There’re so many things wrong here, I don’t know where to start. So I’ll just ask: What could be more appropriate in an Orthodox school than a woman covering her head? Ah, but it’s the wrong kind of head covering. Chelm, here we come!

My no. 2 thing that’s got me mad is admittedly a classic First World Problem: My new keyboard. The Ctrl key on my old one got a hole in it (I know - weird, huh? I don’t ordinarily use plastic-eating acid in my line of work), so off I went keyboard shopping. How ‘bout I just list my complaints chronologically:

  1. The store, Petcom, one of only a few (two?) in my locale, had a selection of exactly three keyboards; two were for gamers. That left me with the Microsoft 3000 wireless. Sold for 210.00.
  2. Took it home to my office, opened package, which contained the product plus a warranty and safety warnings. No user guide, no other literature.
  3. Hooked it up and began using it. Works fine except the function keys don’t work. Searched online and discovered that it has a Function Lock key. OK, now why do I need this key? Presumably, I want all the product’s features to function, do I not? OK, unlocked the functions. Yay. [eyeroll]
  4. I notice a row of keys above the function keys labeled 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and “star”. They do precisely nothing. I also notice to my chagrin that there is no Stop key, which on my previous keyboard would stop a webpage from loading. It was quite convenient. Now I am inconvenienced. Consulted a colleague.
  5. Colleague says those keys are wild card keys, i.e., you can program them to perform whatever task you want (walk the dog? Wash the dishes?), but he doesn’t know how.
  6. Back to the Internet. Can find nothing. Sigh. Write Daughter’s boyfriend, who sends me links to two clips about my product. I view clips.
  7. Clip 1 says the software comes with the keyboard, right there in the box [frown of consternation]. Clip 2 mentions downloadable software. I search.
  8. I find and download software. I program a key to do what I want it to do.

The above succession of events took place over the course of eight days from purchase. In between I went back to Petcom, where no one could help me. Neither they nor the manufacturers at any point indicated that software must be downloaded. The word “software” was neither uttered nor written anywhere. And not only am I an adept computer user, but I’m compulsive about reading and following instructions. No tearing open the box and plugging it in for me, not I: I actually RTFM. As none came with the product, I actually downloaded .pdf versions of the “product guide” and “quickstart guide”. The former doesn’t mention software except for something called a Healthy Computing Guide [condom use?]. The latter mentions it, but does not tell you where to get it. No link. No link! Isn’t that one of the features of online help??? As First World Problems go, this is outrageous. And the maddening part is that it would be so simple to fix. Just tell me I need software! Right there! Inside the package! Where it makes sense!

OK, done. I hereby declare this post written in memory of Shulamit Aloni, z”l, who tolerated neither intolerance nor stupidity. May she rest in peace.

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