Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Closing Thoughts On Past Posts

I'll take a post to wrap-up a couple of recent posts, namely No Brother of Mine and A Home For Willie. As you recall, I had some issues with my wife's laptop not being able to print to our brand new Brother printer. I tried a half dozen software uninstalls/reinstalls to no avail. Desperate, I notified support by email. They were prompt in getting back to me, but their response was kind of a joke. It consisted of a web link to a list of an 8 "part" series of solutions, with each "part" having multiple steps. This list would seem daunting to a technically adept person, of whom I consider myself. I cannot imagine how someone technophobic or techno-illiterate would feel. I'm sure most would take the printer back immediately upon opening the email.

I worked my way through all of the steps to no avail. Then, what occurred to me was how can someone put a product out that is so tough to setup that it requires 8 steps of troubleshooting after the consumer has already complete 6 steps of his/her own trying to figure out what's not working? That would almost seem difficult to do. You'd almost have to intentionally design it that bad.

Frustrated, I contacted "Chat Support" and after a friendly greeting I was told that my problem lay with my firewall software and that Brother Support could be of no help. Really? My purchase hasn't hit my credit card yet and I get nothing? If it wasn't all set up and out of the box, I would have taken it back.

Now I understand that with all that makes up a computer network and all of the peripherals like printers, routers, firewalls etc., that things get dicey very quickly. My point is that as consumers, we shouldn't be left to find the answer to the problem by googling some obscure forum (as I did) only because we were driven to desperation by inept technical writing/support. We deserve better, Brother.

The other thing I wanted to touch on again was my uncle's book Willie. I am almost done reading it now. It has some extremely close tie-ins to events in my dad's family with both the characters and the stories. While it is no Steinbeck or Hemingway (neither am I) it does have moments of tenderness and innocence. If you want to know more about the book, ask me in person.

I do have to say that I have a great respect for what my uncle was trying to do. It is almost memoir-like in the way it is written, though I know much of it is fiction. I picture him at his desk writing it, editing it, and mulling it over in his head. I wonder at times if he had a writing group like I do where he passed ideas over for feedback? Or was it all his own?

The fact that he was my dad's brother, but had characteristics more like me, perhaps than my own father, is intriguing. I wonder if he was a people person or more of an introvert? Did he love the great outdoors? (It would appear from the book that he did.) Did he aspire to make the book just for his family, or  was the intent all along to make it something bigger? (A question I struggle with.) It would be so interesting to sit down with him and talk writing and family for a while. I wished I knew him better when he was here. I guess I should be happy to have had the chance to read his work and get to know him just a bit more.

Blogging off...

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