Sam’s Photos

by JL Beeken on 5-25-2008

I don’t know whether to cry, scream or kill myself so I’ll write about it instead.

Cousin Sam took some photos, about 80 that she wants to send over to me.

But first.¬† We made a deal awhile back that Sam is not allowed to ask me questions about computers. Nothing, nada. She asks the same questions over and over and never listens to the answers because she’s not really interested anyway I figure. Sam is probably going senile. Me, I’m just old and tired. There’s no question Sam is digitally-challenged but she does know how to press the button on her camera and she really wants me to have these pictures.

So, forgetting about our no-speaking-of-computers policy, I said, “Well, you’ve got 3 easy choices: you can put them on a CD and mail them to me, you can put them on a flash-drive and mail them to me or you can sign up for an account at Hightail and mail them to me.”

I know Sam well enough to know that no matter what I say this is going to turn into a drama to rival Madame Butterfly in pathos. But I can hope.

First thing, she tried the CD. Sorry, just can’t. The CD-drive doesn’t work. Of course it doesn’t. The last time we went through this it was the CD-burning software that didn’t work.

Second, she tried to sign up to Hightail but couldn’t get past a pop-up. Interesting. It’s just an ad. It’s not cemented to the monitor.

That leaves the flash-drive. She knows she has one but she can’t remember where she put it. Ah-huh. But she’ll buy another one tomorrow. By the way, as I’ve heard a million times, her computer only has 2 USB ports. She tried a hub but it didn’t work. Of course it didn’t.

Here, I repeat the instructions 5 times. Using the Safely Remove Hardware option, unplug your external hard-drive. Plug in the USB key and send the pictures over there. That’s Select All, right-click and Send to. Then, using the Safely Remove Hardware option again, you know what that is? … Yes … unplug the key and plug your hard-drive back in. Got it? OK, good.

An hour later I got this picture of the back of Sam’s tower, with a note saying, “Sorry, no can use the port.”

I sent a note back saying, “See that green extender thing? It’s a USB port.”

An hour later I got another email back saying, “I know, but the other thing has to be unplugged before something else can be plugged in.”

Ah-huh.

I wrote back, “Either your external drive or your printer. Find one of those, turn the computer off and unplug it! Think of it like being short of circuits in the kitchen. You have to unplug the toaster to use the blender for 5 minutes, then you can plug the toaster back in. Is this a joke?”

“But you see how jammed up it is with wires back there? What if something breaks when I unplug it or I can’t get it plugged back in properly?”

Sam, it’s a plug. Never mind … just stop talking to me. Pretend I’m dead. Just stop talking to me.

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