Monday, 16 March 2015

IT Dementia

I was once considered the IT Geek. I used to be able to write programs in machine code and I always knew which bit of tech was top of the pile, I knew ALL the functions of every latest phone and I had a Windows based smartphone in 2002 that played mp3s when everyone else relied on iPods. I knew every setting in Windows, I could fix the wiring in the house, I even knew what every button on a 1990s VCR remote control did.

But but but…. I am now swamped. My brain just can’t cope with it all and I want to turn into an Apple zombie where the nice men in Apple white coats just make the shiny thing work without me having to trouble my little brain as to how. I have hit the equivalent of IT dementia.

I am currently having to cope seeing my dear old Dad slip into that dark land of dementia, a land from which you know there is no return, only a one way trip down a tunnel of engulfing gloom as the light of the past recedes leaving only a memory of growing darkness. My mother said something very astute about him the other day, but then as a high flying consultant neurophysiologist in her day I should have guessed she would. When I asked how he had gone downhill so much recently she replied, “Well his dementia hasn’t accelerated, it’s just that he has been able to cope without the bits he has lost so far. But having denuded the excess capacity it is now eating into what he needs to function so the effects are much more noticeable". Poor Dad.

But IT is the same. We can fill up so much of our brains with its complexities before they suddenly hit the ‘full’ mark, at which point our brains have a choice. Forget the less important facts and replace them with those of a greater importance ’sort by rating’, or they can just forget the oldest stuff leaving space ’sort by date’, or it can do what my BLOODY MAIL SERVER HAS DONE. Sorry to shout, but I am only just holding enough brain CPU in reserve to type this, so stress levels are a little high as my brain has done exactly what my bloody mail server has done.

"Your mailbox has exceeded its quota, please delete messages from your inbox.” Yes, that’s my brain re IT ability.

I try to delete -

"The IMAP command “UID COPY” (to INBOX.Deleted Messages) failed for the mailbox “INBOX” with server error: You exceeded your mail quota.”

All the more annoyingly someone says that they have forwarded me a mail with how to rationalise my IT knowlege. Which leaves me with a paradox. Just as with my mailbox, my brain is full of IT yet I need to learn more IT in order to relinquish IT. Yet as my brain is at maximum quota of IT so I can’t learn any more in order to get rid of it.

In a large organisation at this point you pick up the phone to the help desk and act the dementia patient as the World of Warcraft playing spotty youths flock around your desk, not so much to fix the problem with one deft keystroke, but more to gawp in barely suppressed mirth and the gibbering IT demented moron who doesn’t know how to archive his mail box. However I don’t have that privilege anymore, working for a boutique operation it is often quicker to google the problem and embark upon a mission into the depths of system setups that rivals Frodo’s travails in the Mines of Moria, as I tiptoe through the darkness trying not to upset the smallest setting that will call the Balrog of irretrievable system failure upon me.

Having said that, it is most likely NOT the quickest solution, as Google swiftly refers one to chat rooms that need logins, or whose remedy involves a 7th dan in wonkishness. The other course of action is to try one of those YouTube entries purporting to solve just your problem. Now, I’m not being racist nor nuffink, not that I call 'identifying a larger than average population of wonks’ racist but is it my imagination or is the national pastime of 17-20year old Canadian young men to sit in their rooms and make incredibly badly communicated videos of themselves offering solutions to basic problems over a time frame of 20 minutes that can mostly be answered with a ‘just flip that switch there’ 0.3 second subliminal mind flash? You guys really are making it impossible for the self-help needing IT dementia sufferers like me from finding that self-help. I give up on you.

So I now turn to the half bottle of Amaretto that was by my side. I know the image is not as hard as an old hack in a Saigon steam-shop, garbed in a once white, sweat soaked vest, pummelling out his diatribe on an old Underwood No. 5 typewriter, swigging from a once-corkstoppered unlabelled bottle of firewater, but hey, allow me some leeway here. It was all I had. "Had" being the word as it appears to have evaporated. So with the last sticky sweet essences of almond evaporating away I turn to my last port of call. It may be late, but when a man is in trouble a man is in trouble.

“Darling, do you know how to make my letters thing on my computer thing work please? I was about to send your mother an invitation to join us for Christmas, a message to your sister offering to pay for her children’s education, an apology to your friends we were at dinner with last week for upsetting them with my dreadful sense of humour and a large donation to that donkey orphanage you so want to help. But it won’t let me as apparently the IMAP command “UID COPY” (to INBOX.Deleted Messages) failed for the mailbox “INBOX” with server error: You exceeded your mail quota, what ever that is”


Anonymous said...

If you have a webmail interface, try going in through that, as it should hopefully operate directly on the mailbox (not via IMAP) and try clearing your deleted items and junk first (as in permanently delete items, not move to bin) to get yourself back under the quota. Also, check you are doing this:

Polemic said...



Anonymous said...

No problem. Glad to be able to finally contribute something of use after the years of reading (T)MM and this! If you fancy doing any more non-macro posts, I'm keen to hear about the super-secret B-road escape route from Devon you mentioned a few months ago (I have the same problem). Otherwise, the usual fare is also top-notch, thank you.

Polemic said...

`Anon - send me a mail and we will compare route notes!

theta said...

Hmmm, are you sure about the dates you mention? I believe the first phone with mp3 playing feature was the Siemens SL45 (I remember because I had it, and I vaguely remember the tv ad for it with the phone playing Beethoven and being interrupted by a incoming phone call and the music resuming after the call), which was not a Windows phone and didn't come out until 2000 or 2001. And IIRC the iPod came out much later, unless you refer to standalone mp3 players in general as iPods.
I totally empathize otherwise!

Polemic said...

Theta .. bang to rights. It was 2002. Must be my IT dementia kicking in

I've just checked when my Orange SPV E100 came out. Actually checking back the dates it adds up with the canal holiday where I dropped my Nokia in the drink and replaced it with the SPV. I then stuck with HTC who made the SPV through to the android migration and only gave up on HTC when they decided to have built in batteries. Sad.

Hugely impressed with your phone knowledge

theta said...

Not that knowledgeable, just happened to play a lot with many phones and remembered that one as it was one of the few deviations from the nokia camp where I spent most of my pre-android phone life. The other notable ones were the Sony Ericsson P800 and P900. I hear you re: built in batteries. It's my biggest complaint about my Nexus.
I love your blog btw!

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