I think it’s official. I may have succeeded in dragging the ‘Rents, kicking and screaming though they were, into the Twenty-first century. Anyone who has been in their house should be convulsing on the floor from some kind of seizure if they even remotely believe me, which they shouldn’t. These are the folks who still have a rotary phone (which makes me feel like less of an ass when I hang up on auto-dialers that tell me to “press 1 for English”) and a black and white telescoping antenna TV in their bedroom. But the transformation has begun…I swear…and in the process I may or may not have totally geeked out all over the Staples.
I suppose I have the evil that is Cablevision to thank for part of it. A few weeks ago, in their attempts to make people upgrade their packages by making it necessary to get an IO box to view certain basic cable channels, they seriously angered the retail gods that reside deep with in my mother. They took away her QVC.
This was neither acceptable nor smart and resulted in several very angry, very loud conversations between Dahling and both Cablevision & QVC. Several steps later she got them to agree that we should have been offered said IO box for a year and that all Dad needs to do is go pick it up. Progress is set in motion.
I took this glimmer of hope as an opportunity to remind Dad that our current computer setup was…less than optimal… and that for the cost of an ink cartridge, I could bring efficiency and harmony to our office spaces, as well as end world hunger and shoot rainbows out of my nose. I’m not sure how, but somehow he bought it.
So on Saturday, the ‘Rents got an upgrade to IO cable and I discovered that while I am the one with the know-how to hook up a cable box I am completely incapable of connecting Co-Ax cable so I do still need Dad’s help. We also got rid of the crap computer Dahling was using that was partitioned so she could only use about a quarter of the hard drive, moved the computer I had in High School that was sitting abandoned in my room down to the office for her (thusly giving me back my desk, hooray!), disconnected 2 broken printers and a broken scanner, and breached the defenses of the Alpha computer.
The Alpha computer is what I have decided to call the mutant, mind boggling computer Dad was using before I forced him to try using the laptop. It was the first real usable computer to enter our house…back in ’95. It got some new guts in ’98, but it still had the original 1 GB of memory. My Ipod makes this thing look like an Alzheimer’s patient. Problem is, even after he started using the laptop, there were still a decades worth of work trapped in Alpha, and getting it out is tricky. AOL (Did I mention we are still a dial-up family until August) doesn’t support a version simple enough to fit on it so e-mailing, or uploading is out. It doesn’t have a CD writing program (or space for one) so CDs are out. USB ports were not around when it was made so flash drives are out. Alpha sure seemed smug holding all that work as a safety net. But Saturday we began it; we dusted off some old floppys, switched the disk drive into the laptop and marked the beginning of the end for Alpha.
There were almost tears of joy.