Heck, tech is a wreck


By Marla Boone - Contributing columnist



First a warning and then an interesting, or at least disturbing fact. This article is about my buying a new iPad. Goodness knows I put it off for as long as I possibly could. I think I had perhaps the second iPad ever to roll off the assembly line. This thing was ancient. It connected to the internet reluctantly if at all and was confused by the simplest of requests. (I fully realize those last two sentences also describe me fairly accurately but for now that’s beside the point.) It served me well but it was time for a trade-in. The process of buying this new iPad cannot be adequately described in the space here. It’s going to require at least two columns’ worth of verbiage. That’s the warning. The interesting/disturbing fact is, when I type “iPad” on an Apple product, such as, well, an iPad, the “p” is automatically capitalized. For that matter, the “a” in Apple is automatically capitalized, too. Well, Bill Gates is having none of that nonsense or branding or convenience. When you type “iPad” on a PC run by Windows, get ready for those extra key strokes to make it grammatically correct.

Because I seem to require human interaction when making a purchase of anything vaguely technical, I went to the Apple (extra key stroke) store. The Apple store is full of people who appear to be about twelve years old and this includes the customers. Oh, there are a few old coots like me trying not to get rear-ended on the information highway but mostly it’s young people. One of these young people who was toting an iPad met me at the door and asked what I was there for. I told him I needed a new iPad so he entered that into HIS iPad and told me to go over and stand by table number two. Table number two was full of the latest iPad offerings. They were sleek and colorful and about one half of the weight of the dinosaur I had with me. After no more than a half hour wait (there is a reason Apple stock is selling for over three hundred twenty dollars a share), Evert came over to help me. Very soon we, or mostly he, decided I needed an iPad Air. Evert was a specialist. He dealt only in sales. He handed me over to Savannah whose job it was to acquaint me with my new iPad and to transfer my data from the old one. It might have been my imagination but I think I saw Evert give Savannah the “Oh, you’ve got a humdinger on your hands here” look. Savannah was multi-tasking not to mention swamped. She had three people orienting to their new phones and two of us getting new iPads. Nonetheless, she was wonderful. And patient. And knowledgeable, which made one of us. I got to go through the spine-tingling ceremony of peeling the plastic sheet off my iPad. Peeling the plastic sheet off a new tech device has replaced medium-sized miracles as a source of awe.

The data transfer went amazingly well. Relatively speaking, I don’t have a lot of stuff on my iPad, but what I do have I’ve grown quite fond of. I wanted to keep it. Just like magic, it all appeared on the new machine which gave every indication it would in fact make it work. People who are immersed in computers and tablets and other esoterica cannot grasp the wonder those of us less techno-embued find in these things actually working as they should.

I was on my way out the door — I had my coat and hat and gloves on and everything — when, just as an aside, I turned around and asked, “This IS the iPad with the GPS in it, right?” It appears this is a question that should have been asked far far far earlier in the proceedings. What I had just purchased was, unfortunately, not the iPad with the GPS in it. What was nestled in the pristine little white paper bag with the silver apple on it was an iPad that had no idea where it was. Or maybe I had no idea where I was. Each scenario is equally likely.

Savannah (instructor) handed me back over to Evert (sales) with her own version of a look that said “Humdinger doesn’t begin to cover it.” They were all very nice about it and got me the iPad I needed all along. They were still nice when we had to do another data transfer. Their cheerful demeanor sagged just a little when Apple, a suspicious lot, wanted to send a verification code someplace I couldn’t access just to make sure all the transferring was legitimate. They took back the original iPad and let me keep the charging cord. They refunded the cost of the first iPad, doubled the price, and charged me for the second one. They even let me peel the plastic off again.

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By Marla Boone

Contributing columnist

Marla Boone resides in Covington and writes for Miami Valley Today.

Marla Boone resides in Covington and writes for Miami Valley Today.