Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Thanks For the Update!

I do not care what the weather is in Cupertino!

I really don't.

A beautiful day in Cupertino. (It's snowing here.)

It's amazing how much we "depend" on our smart phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. (Yes, some of us still actually have and use desktop computers.) Most of us are on these devices dozens if not hundreds of times a day.

And, of course, the various companies that provide the devices, the wireless services, the programs, and the "apps" have become pretty big businesses, worth hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. (Maybe even more.)

If you have one of these devices, you have no doubt been bombarded with requests to "update" the programs or operating systems your device uses. Occasionally you'll go to do something you've always done with your device, such as watch guinea pig videos, and your device will say something like, "unable to comply because you need to upgrade to a newer operating system."

It can be very vexing. (Yes, I said "vexing." I could have said "annoying," but it's a little bit beyond annoying. It's vexing.)

And then, periodically, your device will stop what it is doing in order to bring you a message with an offer to "update" or "upgrade" your operating system or some other important sounding program that your device no doubt needs to function. Often it will say these "updates" or "upgrades" are "very important" or possibly even "vital."

And, time and time again, you ignore those pleas to "update" or "upgrade." You'll justify your decision by saying things like, "I'll update it the next time I see that message," or "As soon as I finish this purchase of Season 7 of Quincy, I'll go back and do the update." But we don't.

Well, the other day I thought, "Oh, what the heck, I'll actually do the update. Maybe my phone will run a little quicker and smoother with an updated operating system."

No. No it didn't.

First of all, it took forever to download the "update." Okay, that's an exaggeration. It didn't actually take "forever," just several hours. Not one hour. Not two hours. Several hours. I'm not exactly sure how many hours because I fell asleep while the "update" was trying to download.

And then, at the end of the "update," it asked me a bunch of questions that I found pretty much incomprehensible. Questions like: "Will you enable multi-fractual configurations?" Or, "Shall we navigate your flux capacitor through the carbine annex?" Or, "Will you allow The Cloud to control all of your programs and future purchases, up to and including groceries and personal toiletries?"

Finally the "update" was complete and I had my phone back. Except, I didn't. It is completely different than it was before. I lost all of the texts I had previously sent and received. I lost the ability to send texts.  If I attempt to send a text it will almost send; the "Sending" bar will go 90% to the right edge of the screen, and then stop and blink, but never actually send.

I can't get the local weather, but I am well informed on what the weather is in the mystical land of Cupertino.

The bottom line? As messed up as my "smart" phone is now, I might as well go back to using my flip phone.

So, the next time your device asks you to "update," don't be in any big hurry. Go ahead and finish that purchase of Quincy: The Final Season. And then watch all eight seasons before you even think about "updating."

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