River Wissey Lovell Fuller

What Does the Doctor think this month?

February 2012

Technological Christmas at The old House: Management and I have just taken a leap forward in the technological department. Deannie bought me an iMAC computer (for half a dozen Christmases and birthdays combined!) and I bought myself a MacBook Air (like an iPAD but with a proper keyboard for clunky types like me) for use when I am “mobile”. Both our mobiles used to run on steam so we decided to update those with iPHONES. We found a very reasonable contract which suits our needs and the applications went in. Head Office, after sending some paperwork to confirm her address, received her iphone after a couple of weeks and has been playing with it ever since, swiping the screen and seeking help from old friends, passing sons and daughters, grandchildren and so on. If she ever discovers she can watch TV on it, we shall be in real trouble!

“What about your iphone?” I hear you shout. Well, after 4 weeks, I am still waiting. Why? Because Orange decided that I was not credit-worthy and would not give me a contract. When I protested that I have owed nobody anything for years, pay all bills promptly and pay the credit card by direct debit each month, they suggested that this might be the problem and that, if I was in debt and had a couple of “maxed out” credit cards, I would be much more credit-worthy.

I contacted Experian, obtained a top of the green credit reference and sent it to Orange with a couple of metaphorical fingers, so to speak, whereupon they were delighted to offer me credit and gave me a reference number for the 'phone supplier. The 'phone supplier congratulated me upon my success before telling me that they had now run out of stock of that telephone! That situation persists and, while Management's fingers become ever more nimble on the magic little screen, I am still using steam technology to make mobile 'phone calls.

We had half the family to stay over Christmas (about 20 people this year) and the house looked like a branch of PC World which had suffered a terrorist attack. Sitting down was difficult because every chair seemed to house a laptop, and iPAD, an Xbox a MP3 or Heaven knows what else. Every work surface was covered in cables, chargers and electrical items, all generating their energy for the next day's exertions. The kitchen table and dining room tables had to be debugged and cleared of technology before we could eat and the expert members of the family were coaching the novices in every room. There was so much broadband activity that my broadband provider felt obliged to contact me on Boxing Day to tell me that I had exceeded my monthly “ration” of megabytes and that they had been obliged to offer me more, for the appropriate fee.

One evening, one of our less technophilic sons wandered around the house and discovered that everyone else had their head buried in a screen of one sort or another. At this, we took stock, realised how ridiculous the situation had become, and took down the cardboard games from the shelf. However, during those games, there was a distinct feeling that the minds of the players were, at least in part, somewhere else, dreaming of keyboards perhaps.

Indian English: Last month , I gave you some examples of the quaint form of English used in Indian newspapers and I promised you some more this month.

Police nab six for battery thefts: Ponda police have busted six persons involved in the stealing of vehicle batteries. (A bus driver had been asleep in his vehicle at 3am when he suddenly became aware that it was being jacked up and there was a lot of spanner activity underneath. He alerted the police on his mobile phone and they “nabbed the miscreants red handed”).

350 junior doctors at Calcutta National Medical College are on strike: Miscreants from outside the hospital had roughed up doctors and nurses, alleging negligence in the care of a 62 year-old patient. 350 odd doctors went on immediate strike, demanding security. They say incidents of violence are quite regular in the hospital.

German robbed at Colva: Some unknown miscreant effected entry into a rented room at Colva and decamped with 45,000 rupees (about

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