Friday, October 18, 2013

The Burn of Technology Gone Wrong

The past 20 years have seen some of the greatest technological advances in man. We are holding phones in our hands that are as powerful as computers from 2009.

Remember video stores? Yeah, useless because everything is instant gratification over the internet.

And I can order cat food from my phone and have it here within a day.

But when technology doesn't work as you hope, it gets ugly quick.

Sallie gets incredibly frustrated. When technology doesn't work right, she gets pissed and I find myself apologizing and listing all the places where the technology could break down as if the complexity of it is an excuse.

(Secretly, when the same stuff happens and Sallie isn't around, I curse technology to hell.)

Last night was the perfect example of everything going wrong.

Last year, Sallie and I would stream Blues' games and hook her laptop up to the TV with the VGA cable. We had to get a new TV over the summer. Turns out, VGA is no longer a supported format for video input on newer TVs.

Since that was no longer an option, I bought a Chromecast which allows you to stream anything from your Chrome browser to the TV through this magical little stick.

I tested it by watching Southpark, Premier League Soccer, YouTube and Netflix. All seemed to work with little issue.

Queue the start of the Blues' season and Sallie's laptop dies. And it's not the, "Oh, we can just reload Windows and all is fine" sort of death. She was getting beeps upon start-up, which means her motherboard / processor is fried. (As a side note, anyone that wants the laptop for parts can have it.)

So we got a new laptop... that has HDMI out. So the original reason for the Chromecast is invalid. But I'll still use it because it's easier than digging out wires.

Last night, I found an HD stream of the Blues game. Turns out Chromecast can't handle streaming of that quality just yet. (It's still in it's Beta)

So out come the cords. I spend the next 35 minutes swapping out HDMI cables, downloading Windows updates, using the receiver, disconnecting the receiver, playing with Windows settings, etc, to try and get the picture to work. Finally get it to work in the second period.

Then, about 30 seconds before the game goes to a shootout, the stream starts looping to the same 30 seconds. Turns out the internet connection in the house went out.

Our router has been acting up lately and dropping internet connections. I think it's because with Scott living with us, we might have a few too many wireless devices connected to the router. (I get IP address conflict errors sometimes)

So I reboot the router and am unable to get a connection again.

So to solve this, I go back to a 100+ year old technology. I flip on the radio, just in time to hear Oshie score.