Thursday, 9 January 2014

Catch-22 in the cyberhive!

So here I am, properly re-assimilated into the cyberhive. In other words, my phone is just about sorted out. Mind you, it wasn’t easy! 

First of all was the fact that the teenager who donated the (to her useless) handset neglected to return it to “warehouse settings”. That means she didn’t get rid of all her stuff from the phone. The main reason for this was that there were security settings that she either forgot existed or couldn’t cancel because she had forgotten necessary passwords. 

They always say not to write down passwords but as our life is more and more ruled by passwords and codes it becomes ever harder to remember them all unless you have a system to remind you. Sometimes you don’t even know you have a code. I discovered one when I tried to renew some library books online. Asked to put in an id and a code I put in what I thought it might be: my name and the number on my library card. Not at all. In the end I had to go and ask them at the library what it was all about. They sorted it out and it’s quite simple but I didn’t even know this system existed at all. 

Anyway, back to the phone problem: my daughter spent almost two hours on the phone persuading the phone company that we were bona fide and not some stray people who had found the phone and wanted to make use of it. 

So that was step one. Then I wanted to keep my old number and thus avoid having to contact everyone and let them know my new number. (Contacting everyone was another aspect of the problem.) Once again there was a system for this. The problem was that they were supposed to let me know this changeover from new number to old was taking place by sending a text message to my old phone. It was beginning to feel rather Catch-22-ish. In the end I had to get someone to phone me on my old number to see if it worked. Yes, it did! 

Finally there was the matter of all my contacts, saved onto my old phone. I had been assured that if I took both mobiles to the phone shop, they could copy the contacts from one sim to another. That sounded logical. So I did that. The young man I spoke to appeared to listen when I told him about the problem. However he then proceeded to try to connect my old phone to the new one and wondered why the connector wouldn’t work. So I explained again that this was the original problem. I went on to mention that I had been told that they should have a device called a “sim card reader”. This was me, the technophobe telling a technogeek what to do!!! 

Unfortunately, he discovered that the wonder-machine wouldn’t work because the sims come from two different providers. Apparently I needed the original phone to be working. Oh, yes? Erm, I think that was the problem to begin with, wasn’t it? He then suggested that I take the broken phone to a stall on the market to see if I could have it mended. Then they could transfer the numbers!!! There’s that Catch-22 thing again!! 

In the end, I remembered that the last time I had a phone problem I had made a computer file with a whole lot of contact phone numbers on it. All I needed to do was locate it. Which of my several memory sticks contained that bit of info? Finding that file was the easiest bit of the whole business. Now, all that remains is to spend a happy half hour entering these numbers manually onto my new phone. 

It’s a good job I was going nowhere that evening!

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