Just when I was reveling in my new found connectivity disaster struck. Sympatico, “X”s and all, was still functioning fine. I’d moved on to bigger and better problems. My Internet Explorer no longer worked. $%@#$#$%#!!!!! The Exorcist seemed to be alive and well and living in my computer. I tried everything I could to resolve the problem before calling the dreaded Sympatico helpline 310-Surf. And if I dread calling 310-Surf I can only imagine the horror on the other end when they see my number come up, yet again. I’m sure my call is left on hold while the technicians pick straws to determine who the unlucky one is that will have to deal with me. You see I already know most of the technicians by name and they certainly know me; we’ve spent hours together on the phone. All, alas, in this latest chapter to no avail. Final verdict: not our problem go bug Microsoft. This had become so outrageous that the only thing one could do is laugh and laugh I would have if I wasn’t so frustrated and deflated and behind. But I suspected there was a lesson in this somewhere and it took me a little while to find the "silver lining". I certainly didn't relish reclaiming my chair in Weldon library, especially given the drop in temperature.
I found inspiration in one of the digital history readings--an interview with Lawrence Lessing--in which he reflects on the work being done in Brazil to build technology self-sufficieny. Musing on my sad, stuck, dependent state I wondered could I possibly be further removed from technology self-sufficiency? Realising I had "nothing to lose but my chains" I experienced a surge of revolutionary consciousness. I was determined to take control rather than be controlled. I would perform an exorcism on my computer. With my new-found revolutionary zeal I was not deterred by the fact that I only dimly knew what I was doing. Six long hours and four dogged "full restore" tries later unbelievably (at least to me!) some measure of sucess. The problem it appears was incompatibility between Internet Explorer, the pre-installed McAfee and my anti-virus program PC-cilin. Humming Tom Petty's "Don't come around here no more" I immediately replaced Internet Explorer with Firefox and cobbled together parts of the intransigent McAfee and tenacious PC-cillin. I am now reconnected but have no idea what level of virus protection I currently have (or don't). The silver lining? From frustration and dependency a new sense of empowerment. It's not impossible to teach an old dog (and may I be clear that I mean that about myself in the figurative and not literal sense) a new trick afterall. And this is only the beginning.