Written 19 December, 2006
I. I talk to Guys Named Tom and Bob
No, not political correctness problems. Geekical problems.
I really liked my glow-in-the-dark Athlon 64 system. It looked as if it had been crafted from alien technology—and maybe it had been. Could it be a coincidence that the first solid-state electronics appeared only a few years after the Roswell saucer crash? Think about it: before 1952, cathode ray tubes. After 1952, integrated circuits. And Diet cola.
I broke up with the Athlon system because of Second Life. It and I are not seeing one another these days.
It started when I sent a message to Live Help about my shoe base. I’m always losing it, which causes my feet to get swallowed by my CFM pumps. It makes me look like a little girl clumping around in her mommy’s shoes.
So some Linden or another at Live Help suggested updating my video driver might help with the missing shoe problem.
As if, I thought to myself, but I decided to try it. Anything to enhance the SL experience.
The instructions for the new driver said I had to uninstall the old driver first. So, to Add/Remove programs, and there it is, NVidia. Kill it.
I installed the new driver and rebooted.
I was able to get video back by hitting the F8 key while booting and choosing “Last Known Good Configuration.” That let me start Windows normally. I restored the system to an earlier date. Problem fixed, right?
I could not get online. Not no how, not no ways.
I can’t begin to tell you how frustrated this made me. I was in the first blush of a love affair with Second Life, and I couldn’t bear being offline.
I was tempted to rush right out to Fry’s and buy another PC—it would be merely a backup system, I told myself—but I managed to resist.
I spent the next couple of days talking to a variety of guys from India. Curiously enough, they were all named Bob and Tom and Michael. Sure they were. Earthlink told them those were their names.
Bob and Tom and Michael didn’t seem to know much about computers, but they knew a lot about the scripts from which they were reading, and a lot about sexism.
“Hi, Tom. I can’t get online. I’ve already reset my modem. I unplugged it and let it set all night. What next?”
“I want you to be unplugging the power cord from the back of your modem, sir.”
Everybody is sir to these guys from India, where women walk behind the men and, when the men die, cheerfully climb onto the funeral pyre to be immolated. Suttee, they call it. Suttee on this!
“It’s ma’am. I told you, I reset the modem already.”
“Sir, I want you to be waiting twenty seconds before plugging it back in.”
“Again, it’s ma’am. Are you listening to what I’m saying?”
“Thank you sir. Twenty seconds has passed and the modem is now reset. You can be plugging the cord into the back of the modem at any time.”
“Do you see the Start button at the bottom left corner of your screen, sir?”
“Ma’am. For the fourth time. If there’s a fifth time there’s going to be trouble. I already have a command window open.”
“Please be clicking Start. Do you see where it says Run? Sir.”
“I am not a goddamned sir. I’m a goddamned ma’am. You want me on that funeral pyre, don’t you, you third world bastard! The command window is goddamn open! And I know your name is not goddamned Bob.”
“My name is goddamned Tom, ma’am.”
“That’s better. The command window is open.”
“Please to be typing in CMD, sir.”
“Supervisor. NOW! NOW! NOW!”
And what does the supervisor say when he comes online?
“My name is Greg, Inshallah. May I to be helping you, sir?”
Photo 1 : Chey after talking to a lot of guys from India
Photo 2: A guy from India