Tag Archives: technology

Lame Adventure 302: Wacky Time

Recently, there was a lull in my workload at The Grind.  Since my ambition is a bottomless pit or possibly it’s just a pit, or maybe it’s more accurately described as a rut, but who am I kidding, it’s none of the above. I have no ambition whatsoever outside of a fondness for staring enviously at the pigeons roosting on the sill outside my window.

Let's trade places. You write this blog.

As it so happened there was a free moment in my schedule.  Truthfully my work-life has been a barren plain the entirety of this month, if not every day in the 2012 calendar year and I’m shedding brain cells faster than my final vestiges of fertility.  So there was an opening as wide as the sky in my day and I seized — to be honest here, I never seize, I’m inclined to drag myself, bitching and moaning loudly to give the impression that I’m accomplishing something arduous that merits my salary of a potato and health insurance.  Anyway, I used this wide-open-as-a-$10-hooker’s-thighs-moment to exploit the opportunity to research setting the time on the office fax machine from the hour in Guam to the precise minute in Gotham City.

That statement motivated me to Google the time difference between New York City and Guam.  I’ve discovered that Guam is actually fourteen hours ahead of New York. Our fax machine is two hours behind EDT.

It turns out that the time on our fax machine is set perfectly for Scottsbluff, Nebraska.

Proving that point.

For a moment I consider weaseling out of my self-imposed mission by suggesting to my boss, Elsbeth, that we simply relocate our office to Scottsbluff, but even I have the capacity to realize that idea is utterly inane.  Instead, I consider proposing to my superior an alternative solution – we sell our fax machine to someone in Scottsbluff and we get ourselves a new one.  Yet, it occurs to me that setting up a new one would likely fall under my jurisdiction a.k.a., Perform Each and Every Thankless Task the Mentally Efficient Avoid.  I realize I feel like setting up a new fax machine even less than resetting the clock on the current one.  Since there is no rest for the bleary I have to figure out how to reset that clock.

I Google: how do i set the clock on the canon cfx-l4000?

Google takes me to a site called FixYa.  Back on November 7, 2007, someone named 1jennylyn asked the exact same question as me.

Approximately six weeks later, a dude named Rob F responds:

“There’s a button marked “Data Registration” in blue. This color means you 1st have to press the function button to make it work. Do this and scroll using the left right up down arrow keys till you find, date and time reg. Then follow your nose.”

I think:

Me:  Huh?

If my nose could talk, it’s screaming:

My Nose:  Leave me the hell out of this!

Did I mention that Rob F shared this solution on Christmas Day?  I suspect he wrote it clad in his underwear and lacks the Will This Make Me Look Like a Loser gene.

Since Rob F’s answer earned Best Solution and I could not find what other solutions he was competing against, even though my personal go-to remedy is one I call Shut It Off, Pull Out the Plug, Eat Something and Then Go Back to It, instinct tells me that will not work in the case of setting the time, so I decide to give his obtuse solution a shot.  Predictably, my nose fails me and I am a baffled button pushing cursing doofus.

Better name of site ConfuseYa.

My colleague, (not) Under Ling (anymore) notices that I’m hovering over the fax machine in fury.  I return to my desk to Google another source of solution.  Unaware that I’m in the process of losing even more of the little that remains of my mind, she approaches the fax machine.

(not) Under Ling (anymore):  Hey, is there something wrong with the fax machine?

I suspect she’s itching to push some buttons, too. I morph into Charles Manson and growl:

Me:  Don’t touch anything!

Hand's off or I'll shoot you.

I find a forum on another site called Fix Your Own Printer.  A first responder named Sharpie is my hero.  This person has a different model of fax machine, the L4500, but he or she thinks that setting the time works the same on both units and writes a description about how to do this in such lucid English for Easily Frustrated Morons I would like to award this person a Nobel.

We're not on Scottsbluff time anymore (but God help my nose when Eastern Standard Time returns)!

Lame Adventure 255: Alone at Last with Siri and the iPhone 4S

Recently, I read an article in The New York Times online that Siri, the virtual assistant available in Apple’s new iPhone 4S, has glitches in the search for information that Apple insists are not intentional.  These glitches were discovered by (who else?) bloggers that were asking Siri questions about reproductive health services … Okay, I’ll drop the pretense — they were asking Siri to locate abortion clinics in Manhattan.  Siri informed them, “Sorry, I couldn’t find any abortion clinics.”

I Google searched “abortion clinics in Manhattan” and in 0.23 seconds I got 104,000 results.  This does not mean that there are 104,000 abortion clinics here in Gotham City, but there are easily 104,000 pharmacies and 104,000 banks. Yet if someone gets knocked up in this part of the country and she’s now in the market to safely terminate a pregnancy, this is a good place for her to be.

In the comments section of this article one commenter noted that Siri responds, “I do not know,” when asked, “Which states legalize same-sex marriage?”  This made me want to do my own Siri test.  Although my cell phone is a Samsung dumb phone, my friend and colleague, Ling, was the first on the block to get an iPhone 4S.  Fortunately, when I arrive at work, fashionably <cough> late, Ling was already at her desk.  I spill my guts about the glitch.  This intrigues my buddy.

Ling: Do you want me to ask her about abortion clinics?

Me:  Let’s ask her, “Find me Chinese dissidents.”

Ling (to Siri):  Find me Chinese dissidents.

We’re expecting to at least hear about Ai Weiwei but instead, Siri finds us Chinese restaurants.

Where to take Chinese dissidents for dinner in TriBeCa.

Ling insists that she must be mispronouncing dissidents.  I assure her that she’s not.

Ling:  Why the hell does she keep giving me Chinese restaurants?

Me:  It must be the glitch.

Frustrated, Ling barks into Siri:

Ling (screaming):  Find me abortion clinics in Manhattan!

Siri:  Sorry, I couldn’t find any abortion clinics.

Unbeknownst to Ling and I, Ruth, our company’s General Manager, who seldom visits our office, has slipped in behind us.  Ruth’s eyes widen and she cannot suppress her “gotcha!” grin.  She thinks she has just heard the Powerball equivalent of company gossip, our very private, very professional graphics manager with the co-owner’s snarky assistant searching for abortion clinics.  I can read Ling’s mind.

Ling’s mind:  Shit!

Ling flashes me the “get me out of this mess” look.  I simply explain to Ruth that we’re not looking for abortion clinics, Siri has a glitch with a political tint, and we’re asking Siri questions to find out if this glitch is for real.

Ling: She doesn’t like it when I ask her about Chinese dissidents, either.

Quickly, Ling asks Siri about the dissidents again.  I add:

Me:  And Siri also draws a blank about what states have same-sex marriage.

Quickly, Ling pops that question and Siri responds:

Siri: I do not know.

Ruth:  That’s interesting, guys.

I doubt that Ruth finds our Siri testing interesting at all, but the “gotcha!” cheer has completely drained from her face.

Must see theater.

Last month, Milton and I saw a terrific one-man theater piece at the Public Theater called The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.  It stars Mike Daisey, the heir apparent to the late Spaulding Gray, a legendary monologist.  Unlike cool, slender Spaulding, Mike is a heavy-sweating bear of a man.  How they are both wonderfully alike, is that they are both riveting storytellers.  For anyone that owns an iPhone, this is an important piece of journalistic storytelling, an exposé about the link between human rights abuse in China and the production of this iconic gadget that has taken the world by storm.  I urge all iPhone users that are in Manhattan when this show returns for a five-week run starting January 31 through March 4 to check it out.  It won’t make you chuck your iPhone in shame, but iPhone-user Milton did crave copious amounts of alcohol following the show.  It will make you think about China’s role in the production of this coveted device – and it made me think about the curious blank Siri drew when Ling asked her about Chinese dissidents; cynical me thinks there must be some link.

Apple worshipper Mike drives home the point that Apple is the cell phone manufacturer with the power to reverse this situation overseas.  It’s the common iPhone user that has to pressure them to “think different” again and right a very big wrong that is currently happening in the production of this fantastically popular phone.  Mike tells this at times shocking story with a tremendous amount of humor and heart.  It’s must-see theater and I hope he’ll eventually take this show on the road and get this message out across the country.