7 January 2011

The Night of the Laptop

The last of the Christmas presents arrived yesterday. Well, not exactly a Christmas present, more a necessity after the monitor on the six year old desktop Husband uses breathed its last over the festive season. How much for a new monitor?! The CPU was coughing with age and refusing its updates so we opted for a new product... and moved him to a laptop.

Last night, after a very good home-made Chinese and a bottle of Undurraga Brut, armed with the clear set-up instructions, I fired it up. No sooner did it flicker into life than I realised that the instructions bore no resemblance to what was coming up on the screen. Son was called down. Husband hid in the lounge under the pretense of catching up on the cricket.

It really is not a good idea to attempt a first-boot of a new laptop after a good bottle of sparkling Pinot Noir. Hilarity rang from the rafters. Which company doesn't warn new users that the service tag needs to be handy before it's requested on-screen? And where is it situated? On the bottom of the laptop in the smallest letters imaginable. Where had we plugged it into the mains? In the dining room with only mood lighting. Torch anyone?

Service tag entered, the company's update system refused to update. Our laptop did not exist. The hilarity faded. We checked we'd got the correct string of letters & numbers. Yep. Tried again: da nada. It became apparent that the delivery had outstripped the company's internal record-keeping. What can you do when you are halfway through a BIOS and driver update? We had no idea, because the simple instructions didn't allow for any hiccups. Could we just switch off the laptop and try again in another day, trusting that the company would have updated our laptop service tag into its system? I looked at Son, Son looked at me. Husband remained resolutely fixed on his cricket.

Pulling the power didn't seem like a good idea, so Son opted for a manual update. It was then that the company's update system started asking for maker's names we couldn't give because they weren't listed on our paperwork. It was as if the Pinot Noir had never passed our lips.

Son got there in the end, but I would never have managed it. In the cool light of the following day I am not an altogether happy bunny. And there's still Windows7 to learn, because this laptop isn't destined for my use but Husband's, and he's a technophobe.

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