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Having the right equipment is important August 14, 2008

Posted by Raul in personal life, random thoughts.
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Being in Mexico to visit Mom and our family has meant both for my brother and for myself a slight shock and adjustment. We both have grown so used to having the technological tools that we need for our day-to-day lives that when we have been faced with problems, we’ve struggled not to scream with frustration.

The other day, my brother needed to print a form, sign it, scan it and send it back in PDF format. Normally, it would take either of us about 45 seconds to do this. However, since Mom refused to get a laser printer or a multi-purpose printer/fax/scanner (she didn’t think she’d need it that much), we have had to visit a few internet cafes. None of which actually had the right equipment.

My Mom’s computer is pretty robust since my brothers A, S and myself made sure she’d have a pretty good system so that she could GMail, GTalk, Skype and do other type of video-conferencing. We also have ensured that she has relatively fast internet (cable). But none of us really thought much about getting her a multi-purpose printer, so when my brother needed the equipment, we didn’t have it and had to scramble to get this done.

Normally, we would have gone to an Office Depot and done that, but in Mexico, internet cafes have proliferated like you have no idea. There is almost one in every corner (well, not quite). There are a couple that are located near my Mom’s house. The thing is, not many of them are very well equipped, and that’s somewhat frustrating.

For example, today I needed to work on a presentation before 9 am. Our internet at home was down, my Mom doesn’t have MS Office and thus I needed to find a net cafe. I found one that has good speed (internet) and printer, and it’s going to cost me, all in all, about $6 dollars Canadian (not taking into account my time) to submit this presentation. Of course, I’ve already read blogs, responded to tweets, responded to emails, etc. So, the cost waas 2 dollars for equipment rental, 3 for printouts and 2 for parking. Plus the cost of gas, and without taking into account my time. GRRRR. I NEED MY EQUIPMENT!

And because of that, we are going to go buy a multi-purpose printer this week. Simply because we don’t like to depend on someone else to get our stuff done. And no, I didn’t bring my laptop (which is also frustrating). So I don’t have the equipment to insert references into my journal articles, nor do I have STATA or SPSS, nor any of my other software. GRRR. I need my MacBook Pro!

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Comments»

1. Keith - August 14, 2008

It’s amazing how dependent we can become on the technologies we use every day. I have similar struggles when I visit my parents or my in-laws… and they’re just across the bridge. πŸ˜‰ As a result I tend to cart my MacBook with me everywhere I go… even if it’s for a family dinner.

2. Barbara Doduk - August 14, 2008

Thing is, does you mom even need that item. Would she use it? I understand you needed it, but clearly she has survived without it this long and since you never noted that she has complained about not having it, I assume she has done without quite nicely without it.

I know tech people often can’t imagine a world where someone doesn’t want or need what techies want or need, but a HUGE part of the population doesn’t really need the gadgets the world has.

Just saying.

3. Raul - August 14, 2008

@ Keith – Totally, I’m ultra dependent!

@ Barbara – Fully agreed. She thinks that if she REALLY needs to print out something she can go to a net cafe. It’s just that I’m impatient (you know, the hummingbird notwithstanding!) πŸ™‚


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