Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ready for the big one

Oh, the wires and the software and the network connections and all that snaky crud. I have this frustrating relationship with all of it.

On the one hand, I am better at it than I have any right to be, as a stone Reservie, with anthropology and Greek and art history and museums as my entire background - no reason that such a person should be able to construct databases and troubleshoot network connections. On the other hand, since my abilities entirely come from lateral thinking and reading the manual, as opposed to training, sometimes I am really crap at it.

This week both happened. Friday, at one of my part-time gigs, I forgot how to restore a database in SQL, which I used to do all the time and which entails mostly following directions. Standing in a freezing server room confronted with a raw mdb, I had no idea what to do with it. Wrestle it to the ground? I wish. Call my favorite Muscovite journalism major? Sadly, yes.

And of course the phone cord didn't reach the server, so I had to stumble back and forth from receiving a verbal direction to executing it. Why are there never phones in server rooms? Or chairs?

Last night, however, I installed our new wireless router and got Mr. Librarian's new laptop onto the vastness of the Interverse with a minimum of swearing. Today I hooked up our new hand-me-down TV and set it up just like you're supposed to be able to do. AND assembled and installed our new printer.

Bogged right down when it came to getting Little Dell Laptop to find the printer though, and I have spent at least four hours getting that to go. Fucking firewalls. Dick-nibbling multi-layer network setup routines. Malformed, misbegotten documentation. Troubleshooting routines that start with "check the cables" and end with "no, you're wrong, in fact it IS working".

But now it is. And now I can sit on the couch in front of the new (to us) big-ass TV and live-blog the Oscars on Little Miss Laptop. I'll say it right here: if that kid wins an Oscar I'm gonna yack.