What makes you so special?


Old technology would go away a lot faster if the new technology didn’t suck quite so much.

We use our wireless network to play music throughout the house: there are speakers in the kitchen and living room that are plugged into those airport things which talk to the computer which plays music through them; you can get the same song playing in every room of the house and then wander around in circles listening to it; it’s all very shiny and fun.

Right now I’m telling it to play music in the kitchen, and it’s telling me to fuck off. I click the little checkbox that says “Kitchen” which is supposed to send playback to those speakers, and it just unclicks itself back at me. I know the file is ok, because I can hear it through these speakers. I know the wifi is up, because I can see the nodename and refresh the IP address and reboot the box and all that’s working just peachy. It just won’t let me tick the ticky box, is all there is to it. Are my digital rights being managed? Was the last patch buggy? No explanation.

And I’m supposedly not totally helpless: I know what DHCP stands for and how to read a logfile ahd where to look for them and I’ve basically got a whole set of magic chickenbones to wave over the thing to coax it in the right direction when it gets kvetchy; I have no idea how people who can’t wield a command line tolerate having these things in their houses.

A stereo would not do this to me. It would either play music when I told it to play music, or else it would be on fire or otherwise clearly demonstrating the problem source. I’m sorting the spice cupboard (okay, okay, yes, that is what I am doing at ten PM on a Thursday night; bless the Internet for allowing me to share this sort of information with you) and I’m going to be in the kitchen and I’d like to listen to some music in there without having to crank the volume in my office, and I can’t, because a household appliance is telling me “no.” My dishwasher wouldn’t do this to me. My microwave wouldn’t — wait a minute, I take it back; that fucker beeps at me reliably exactly two minutes after I take something out of it, just precisely long enough for me to have found a fork and a drink and maybe a paperback and sat down to munch, like clockwork. Never does it to Emily. No idea how to stop it. So the problem is spreading.

On the other hand, I am allowed use of an object in low earth orbit to broadcast my complaints about the situation. Mixed bag, really.

Update: I can also use that satellite to solve the problem. But still. Grr. Excuse me, I have some spices to sort.