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Wednesday, January 19, 2005


Fixing My Fax

No writer or editor seems to have a perfect record without mistakes in this business. I know I’ve made my share of them. It’s odd to me how you can spend a large part of some days simply straightening out one of those mistakes—like yesterday.

Some of you may not know this information about my writing life. Last August our family moved from Colorado Springs, Colorado to Scottsdale, Arizona. As a part of that move, I tried to carefully eliminate anything that didn’t need to be moved. One gadget that I thought I could eliminate was my fax machine. It’s a rare day that I receive a fax these days—or send one.  When I purchased a Dell laptop last year, it came with one of these all-in-one machines (fax, scanner, color printer, etc.) I decided to sell my old plain paper fax machine to the used computer store. I was fine with it until recently.

I tried to get the fancy all-in-one machine to work as a fax—and couldn’t seem to get it working. In the last week, I’ve had several situations where I needed to receive a fax or send one.  After doing a bit of online research, I went to Officemax and picked up a new fax machine.  It was fairly simple to install yet one of the things that took some unexpected additional time was locating a dual phone jacks. I was certain I had one at home so I didn’t purchase another one. I probably should have purchased one and it would have saved the “digging through boxes” time but I persisted and came up with it.

This afternoon I was pleased when I was able to easily send a fax.  I hadn’t received one. Then I remembered my youngest son in Colorado Springs wanted to fax his grades from the last semester to me. For the first time, he made all A’s  (You can tell I’m a proud father).  I sent him an IM and asked him to fax me his grades. I set the new fax machine right beside the all-in-one machine that I couldn’t seem to get to fax several months ago.

My son’s fax arrived right on schedule—but came out on the all-in-one machine—not my new fax machine. Both machines are hooked to the same telephone line. At least I can fax out and receive faxes. Of course, I could spend another large chunk of time trying to get them to work like I expected them to work (nothing on the all-in-one machine and send and receive from the new fax machine). Since now I have a working fax machine, I believe I’m better off leaving it alone.

Oh, the things we get involved in as writers and editors. Some times the truth is stranger than fiction.

 

7 Comment:

At 6:02 AM, Blogger Katy Left a note...

This is hilarious! My husband is a techie and has the kind of patience to keep tinkering until it's just the way it should be. I'm the type who, if ANY configuration of stuff ever works, says, "Don't touch it!"

BTW, you just reminded me that I still haven't seen my youngest child's grades from his first semester of college! Hmmm...

 
At 6:52 AM, Blogger (Jim &) Brandy Brow Left a note...

Oh, that's so familiar. Well, at least know you're not alone in the world of electronic quirks.

I had my own last night as I was balancing our budget on my spreadsheet. I added $100 to one column and it registered as $100.01. No matter what I did, I couldn't fix it, so I manually adjusted the balance only to find two columns later that it corrected itself when I deducted from that same column. That explains a few months ago when my checkbook statement was one cent off.

Technology! Grrrrr.

 
At 9:04 AM, Blogger violet Left a note...

Your post reminded me of my yesterday. We're driving a rental car right now while ours is being fixed from an accident. On backing out of the driveway in the rain and dark yesterday morning, I realized my side view mirror was fogged. So I tried to open the (automatic, of course) window to wipe off the mist. Couldn't find the right switch, but did end up opening the other three windows. When I finally got all the windows closed and the mirror cleared (by jumping out of the car), couldn't get the overhead light to switch off.

Spent 20 minutes finding instructions in the manual, reading them, grasping them, doing exactly what they said but the thing wouldn't behave. Drove to work without any dashboard lights because that was the only way the OH light would turn off.

Finally my husband, on his way to the rental place to switch cars, noticed the 'door ajar' icon was lit up. I'd obviously not closed the door tightly from my previous closing-window antics. Sometimes, for me, technology is impossible because the solution is too easy.

 
At 9:56 AM, Blogger Becky Left a note...

Terry,

You had me laughing on this because I can so identify. Besides the cost of things, I shy from upgrades because it means things that have worked might not ever work again!

On another type of mistake, does an editor (not you, of course) ever sign an author (none of yours, of course), see the finished product, and think, That was a mistake.

Do you have any magic formula to keep that from happening?

 
At 9:56 AM, Blogger Becky Left a note...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 10:23 AM, Blogger Macromoments Left a note...

What a funny reminder of our reliance on technology. Thanks for the laugh, Terry. I've been thinking about buying one of the multi-purpose machines but after reading your adventure story, I'm not sure I really need all that fun! Bonnie @MacroMoments

 
At 1:55 PM, Blogger shannon Left a note...

Oh, Terry, I'm ashamed at how delighted this makes me. I often feel very alone in the Techno-Twilight Zone. One minute the fax works, then it emits a wicked laugh and starts chewing my document while simultaneously placing prank phone calls to Pizza Hut . . . It's alive, I tell you. If you haven't already figured it out, I own the same Dell all-in-one.

Thanks for the comfort :)
shannon @ wind scraps

 

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