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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tech Roller Coaster

It's gone. My BN is gone again. Back to the shop. Our
reunion was very short. But fear not. I am doing okay.
Read on for the latest segment of "Dot Bug's Tech Soap
Opera."
The local Humanware Representative came to my house
yesterday to set up my DBC and look at my misbehaving BN.
We'll call him "HW Guy." He's a great person who is really
good at what he does. As things turned out, I'm very
fortunate to have him as my HW Guy.
It was a grueling three house session. By the time he left,
my brain was throbbing. It was a serious emotional roller
coaster ride that left me with a massive case of
information overload. But in the end, I'm happy. That's a
state I don't seem to achieve too often when it comes to
technology.
The plan for this meeting was to set up my new Deaf-Blind
Communicator and get me started in how to use it. The DBC
has been sitting in a box in my living room for months.
This was to be the day it would finally hook up with my M
Power. However, that didn't happen because my M Power is
still not working right.
HW Guy tried three different chargers. None would work. He
finally called Humanware to talk to the tech specialist who
fixed my machine. My mother could overhear his side of
the conversation. "Uh oh," she told me. "He just said he'd
send it back in."
My shoulders sagged and my head slumped forward. Those were
the words I was dreading. I had promised I'd throw a hissy
fit if the machine had to go back in. But at that moment, I
felt too drained to do anything.
I couldn't go back to the Classic loaner. I had endured
that for two months. The only thing it was any use for was
the word processor. But anything I wrote, would be stuck
on the BN. I had no way to move files from the BN to my
computer or vice versa. Even the word processor seemed to
be dying. The last few weeks that I used the Classic,
weird things were happening to my documents. Everything was
becoming garbled. I was convinced the machine was
haunted. No way could I go back to that.
My pain was short lived. I wouldn't have to use the
Classic. HW Guy would leave me a fully working Braille
Note M power. Even better, this unit has the DBC. It's
only an 18 cell but that's okay. I can deal with that for a
little while.
We began my DBC training. Since I'm already experienced
with the Braille Note, it wasn't hard for me to learn the
new functions of the DBC. It's thrilling to use this
machine. I love Face-to-face communication with the DBC.
It is sooo much better than the Screen Braille Communicator
I've been using.
I made my first phone call in eight years. I still can't
believe I now have phone access. It's been so long.... I
don't have a clue who to call. I guess I'm just overwhelmed
with all the possibilities.
When I demo'd the DBC last winter, the TTY would not
work with the relay service. I eventually learned that all
DBC's had this problem. The bug has now been fixed and
the DBC works just fine with the relay service. I'm very
happy about that.
I don't have access to text messages with this machine. I
need an SIM card for the DB cell phone. I'll wait until I
have my own unit to do that. The machine will do GPS and
Google Instant Messenger but I haven't learned those
features yet.
The next order of business was to get the new loaner set
up for my use. We were able to transfer all my personal
files to the loaner. This means I've got my addresses,
internet favorites and email folders on the temporary
machine. it makes it a little more like my "home."
We set the machine up on my home wireless and begin my
first download... To my shock and utter horror, it didn't
work! Here I was on a totally different Braille Note with
a totally different network card and I was experiencing the
same problem with the wireless. That proved it wasn't my
machine that caused the connection issues. But what was?
We began trouble shooting.
Truthfully, I'm still not sure what we did or how we fixed
it. HW Guy suspects it was some kind of relationship
problem between my BN and the router. Maybe the router
and my PC have been having an affair and decided to kick
out the BN. oh, so funny. We reset the router and now
it's working again.
I can't believe the issue was never my machine. I could
have fixed this many months ago! I can't believe we fixed
the wireless problem but I still have to send my BN back to
the shop because the charger broke again.
It doesn't matter! It's working again! I have email again
on a BN! I have the DBC! It's not mine but it's good
enough for now. Before he left, HW Guy told me, "Hang in
there. The sun will come up tomorrow."
You know what? I think it already has.

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