Just sign me up for the next revolution
Mike Brown

Workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!

Okay, that’s Karl Marx, whom I don’t often quote. Well, whom I never quote but I think after this morning I’m ready to join a revolution, or maybe start one.

This revolution wouldn’t be over economic theory. In fact, I’m not even sure who we would fight. Just let me tell you about my Thursday morning.

That’s the “lets start creating the world all over again” interval at The Reporter, a time when I make up the news list for that week and get going on a variety of tasks which will hopefully end by the next Wednesday morning.

And I always begin by firing up my computer and getting online. Last Thursday I started by going to three of the same websites I’d been to just before 5 p.m. Wednesday. And at all of them, one or two pages in, I got a screen that said there was something wrong with our connection, that one of those little phone plug gadgets that look like a rat-tail was not plugged in, so the whole system was going to pout until it was.

Art by Jaycee Parsley, a sophomore at Rockdale High School. Art by Jaycee Parsley, a sophomore at Rockdale High School. (I’m paraphrasing.)

Well all our rat- tails were plugged in. But I figured I needed to get online quickly so I didn’t get behind. Besides, one of the pages it wouldn’t let me access was a link telling me I had a Facebook message. I never have Facebook messages, so I figured this one was important.

Reporter tech guru Shannon Whorton went to work on the pouting computer, so I decided to use my so-called smart phone to connect.

So I turned it on and went to the wi-fi connection. Which the phone found, but then asked me to enter the password.

I’d already done that, months ago, but somehow the phone had failed to remember.

So I had to interrupt Shannon from his anti-pouting task to ask for the password.

I duly entered it, connected to the wi-fi and got on line through my phone.

Which asked me for a web address. Now my phone was still turned vertically which meant each pad key contained three letters, making it awkward to use.

One of the f irst things I learned—well, maybe the only thing—about my smart phone was that when you turn it horizontally, you get a bigger keyboard with only one letter per key and it’s much easier to use.

So I turned it and waited for the auto-flip to kick in.

And waited. And waited.

Nothing happened.

I’m notable for my patience and gentle demeanor under such stressful situations but after 1-3/4 seconds I’d had enough.

I went to “settings” to find a way to turn my “auto rotate” back on. But “settings” doesn’t appear to have any, well, settings.

After several minutes of this I decided I’d call up the manual which was on my phone and see if it would help.

The manual was 141 pages, none of which said anything about turning auto-rotate on.

But since my phone had been auto-rotating its little tech-y heart out ever since I got it, I found another button to push that promised to “restore factory defaults.”

At this point a warning flashed into my head. The late, great Cactus P ryor, a fter w riting h is fi rst book on a word processor, listed a number of helpful hints for dealing with our high-tech age.

Number one was “under no circumstances ever click on anything that says ‘Help’.”

Ignoring that philosophy, I clicked on “ restore factory defaults.”

My phone promised to do just that but first I had to enter its security code.

Say what?

I didn’t have any security code so I went back (vertically) to do a search for what button to push to make auto-rotate work.

I found a lot of people wanted to turn it off, but nobody wanted to turn it on.

After about 30 minutes of this, I found nothing at all helpful on fixing the flippin’ problem but suddenly there was someone posting the security code!

Oh come on, Nokia, 12345? That’s a security code?

I entered it so I could get my factory settings back, my phone restarted and there was the screen I began with several months ago.

But that’s the only screen I could get. And it wouldn’t rotate worth a flip.

At this point I had two choices, see how far I could throw the phone or take it to someone much more intelligent than I.

My wife Sue and step-daughter, Kayla, a half-block away, looked at me.

Kayla: “I told you not to get a smart phone.”

Sue: “Give it to me and DON’T YOU TOUCH IT AGAIN.”

In a few seconds she had all my old icons and screens back.

Then Kayla added: “ You do know that some phones only flip the screen when you turn them to the left, don’t you?”

She did. And it did.

Now I don’t know if there was ever anything wrong with it.

I had now wasted two hours. I returned to The Reporter to find Shannon had fixed the original Internet problem.

My Facebook message was an invitation to play Candy Crush.

Workers of the World, Unite!!!!!

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2013-10-03 digital edition

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