Monday, November 01, 2010

Works straight from the box?

Having lost the instructions for the new Wi-Fi headphones and having also failed to make them work without the instructions last night, I approached this new piece of hardware with some misgivings and little faith this morning.

Extensive searches were futile. There is little point in hoping to find things after a general clear up in the wake of a visit from The Family. The two children manage to create an area of destruction which necessitates a generally mindless sweep to gather in their detritus. For reasons best known to their parents they were provided with Halloween streamers, together with masks, and other bits and pieces which they distributed liberally in their area of operations. Any distinction in the general waste collected is lost in the determination to get it all away. I fear that a small booklet must have been thrown with the bundles of rubbish.

As if to thwart my worst fears of having purchased another piece of underused gadgetry, when I picked the headphones off their charging stand they were working of their own accord!

In spite of my selfless love for gadgets they too often seem to throw that affection back in my face with a stony determination to humiliate and debase my attempts to get them to work for me.

Nevertheless I remain firmly in the camp of those drawn, unthinkingly and unerringly towards gleaming pieces of metal or plastic punctuated with flashing blue lights which do something or other in the realm of technology.

I remember reading one edition of the magazine “Stuff” – a magazine with lurid covers of scantily clad women with its inside pages packed with the latest developments in technology – and finding myself drawn to metallic boxes of sleek design and captions of incomprehensible techno-speak whose functions were difficult to determine but whose desirability was clear from every line, button, switch and light on the object itself!

Some compulsions never lessen and the way that technology is developing my habit is going to be fed with increasing doses of hi-tec playthings for the foreseeable future.

The headset seems to be working well, but it does have to cope with the inexplicable “network error” messages which mean that some of the stations which are entered into the memory of the internet radio simply refuse to work from time to time. There is no discernable logic to the working of the stations: while Radio 4 may be unobtainable the World Service or Radio 3 may be coming through well. However, one is prepared to put up with the vagaries of reception for the sheer joy of listening to decent radio!

The weather continues changeable (though not of course raining) but the visitors to our beach are resolutely marching up and down and looking (in a very British way) as though they ought to be enjoying it as this is, after all, a Bank Holiday.

I am conscious that I am frittering away my free time in aimless lolling and not even reading. Now that the headphones are working I will either have to learn to multi-task or resign myself to having heard all the items in “Pick of the Week” – just like old times!
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