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Beyond the Lone Islands

Monday, 18 January 2010

Conversing With Appliances

Over the weekend my printer started complaining that it was running out of red ink. "What do you need red for?!" I ask it. "The whole world out there is black-and-white right now anyway!" But for some reason the printer is like me: It wants to be prepared. It does not trust me when I say I'll accept grayscale for a while. Every time I turn it on, it reminds me: "Hey, I'm in need of a blood transfusion here! Please help!" So yesterday I sighed, put on my boots and went to the nearest technology outlet to buy a red ink cartridge. (While I was at it, I stocked up on blue, yellow and black too. As I said, I like to be prepared.)

The problem with these stores is that while they do sometimes actually supply what you went in there looking for, they also seem to generate new needs. It's a bit of a mystery, really, at which exact point something suddenly becomes a must-have, when until just recently you didn't even know it existed.

In this case - a portable DVD-player - I think it was the combination of my extreme tiredness lately, and the fact that I happened to find one with 9" screen (instead of just 7"), and TV included.

I have sometimes made use of the laptop to watch a DVD in bed; but the problem is that the computer tends to be more interested in wandering off out onto the internet to look for updates than to watch the film. Then either it suddenly turns itself off to restart without warning (leaving to me to remember where we were); or, if I have managed to turn that possibility off, it takes its revenge when I get tired and want to go to sleep, by then saying "no not yet, first I need to..." By the time it is ready to go to sleep, I'm usually wide awake again!

What I expect from my new bed companion is that it will be more responsive to my immediate needs. Moreover, I also expect it to sit and chat with me in the kitchen sometimes, while I do boring housework.

The ideal invention for the future would of course be a machine that actually does the boring housework while I do the sitting and chatting... (Maybe in the next decade...?)


rae said...

I LOVE THIS POST! It is so cute and funny. And true.

GB said...

What a great post. I laughed. You are so right about "needs" suddenly arising out of nowhere.

And I'm having exactly the same problem with my printer. But I forgot to get the cartridge this afternoon. Silly me.

Don said...

I ignored all the warnings, even for black ink. When the letters started fading at the bottom of a page, then I installed the replacement. (Actually, my wife did!) Go wife!

Sandra said...

I vote for the future one so i can sit and chat. enjoy your NEEDED DVD/TV. i agree with the walk in to buy what you need and come out with what you want. My frined just bought a new lens for his SLR camera, he has the same camera and 2 lens that I have, now i want one like what he got. do i NEED the lens? no, but I sure do WANT it. I talk to my computer all the time, but would not want to type on the intenet what i say to it.


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