Owen called. He asked me if I could print a return label for him as this is his official Amazon address.
“No problem,” I said. I forgot that last week I did a completely new installation of my computer, an upgrade to the latest weirdest version of Windows 10, and bought a new router. We installed the router and once I got it set up, everything has been working fine, except for the things I haven’t gotten around to rebooting, like my mini iPad which I haven’t used at all, much less rebooted.
iPads for me are things you own and never figure out why you own one. I have a friend who has three of them and he hasn’t figured out what to do with them either.
“So why,” I asked, “Do you have three?”
“I keep updating them,” he said.
Garry actually uses his. I figured he would. It’s a lot like the Blackberry he had, the only mobile phone he loved. Instead of opening up the Big Computer, if he just wants to check email, it works great. Mine, on the other hand, has no real purpose in my scheme of things. It’s just there. In case.
I had totally forgotten about the printer. I haven’t printed anything and I don’t print often. Mostly, I print directions on how to get somewhere because I do not trust the GPS — with good reason. And return labels.
I realized I didn’t see any sign of a printer on this computer. I went into the other room and turned it on. Always a good start. But it still wasn’t there. Ran lots of software that was supposed to find it, but it didn’t. I eventually realized my ethernet connection wasn’t working because the cable wasn’t connected. You don’t need to connect it to the computer, but it does need to be plugged into the wall and the router. Or so they kept telling me.
Having accomplished that, I still didn’t have a printer. So I did what those of us with real strength of character do. I located the original installation DVD, hooked it up in the DVD player, and undertook the reinstallation of the printer.
I hate hooking up printers. I’m very savvy about computers and software, but printers are largely a complete mystery to me. Also, copy machines. I think it’s personal. They don’t like me and I don’t like them back.
The printer is in my old office down the hall and I was not there. It became quickly obvious that I was going to have to take the computer to the printer because it wasn’t going to work the other way. Can’t haul the printer. Too big.
Garry graciously offered to open the door so I could drag me and the computer in there. Up came the instructions and I found the itty bitty tiny print that told me: “When nothing else works, do this.”
I had to press one button until it blinked twice, then pull my hands away and wait for it to start blinking furiously. Then I had to press another button and wait, followed by the third button and more waiting. Do something on the computer. Wait. A paper began printing and eventually, lo and behold, the printer appeared on the screen.
Fifteen minutes later, during which time I took a few pictures since there wasn’t much else to do, the printer was almost working. Just a few settings to change … and I printed Owen’s stupid return label. Since he had just bought the SAME router, he didn’t have printing either.
So much for plug-and-play.
It really was simple, if you could figure out what the instructions were trying to tell you. That was the hard part — along with hauling my computer around. It weighs like two cinder blocks.