As promised, or, as some like to say, warned, this is the second installment about my buying a new iPad. Writing two columns about buying a piece of technical equipment is no where near a record. Two and a half years ago, I got five—-count ‘em five—-articles about buying a new phone. An optimist would say the glass is half full. A pessimist would say a two and a half year old phone is desperately outdated and in need of replacement, preferably yesterday.
The phone really has a very small role in this story. I’ll begin with the new iPad. It is great. It is lightweight. It is pretty fast for a tablet that has to work off my Wifi which is to say excruciatingly slow. Let’s back up. I’ll begin with the old iPad. In my fervor to get my new iPad I failed to trade in my old iPad. This led to a duplication of some programs that appeared to be shared between the two devices. Messages for one would show up on the other. Technology and I have an uneasy relationship at best and having things unexpectedly and unpredictably crop up on my new iPad was not helping on the tranquility meter. Also, my phone wouldn’t stay plugged in.
I did call Apple tech support. I have the call in my phone log should anyone require proof. The tech support team was unable to help me. Technically (no pun intended), the tech support team was unable to help me because I called before they were open. But I did call. I am one of those people who is convinced if I make an incorrect entry on my computer or iPad, something terrible will happen, perhaps the launching of a nuclear weapon or the disabling of my air printer. Both have serious consequences. So back I went to the Apple store.
There is a legend that maintains difficult patients end up with a big red dot on their charts to alert a doctor’s office staff they are dealing with a stinker. Whatever the Apple store equivalent of a big red dot is, there is one by my name. This is not a good thing. Fortunately, I am just savvy enough to go to the Apple store at ten thirty on a Tuesday. The place is as deserted as it is ever going to get. But no matter when you walk in the door, you still have to get vetted by the Keeper of the Customers who logs you in and heads you in the right direction to get the help you need.
What I needed was my two iPads not to be connected any longer. Upon hearing this, the Keeper made a very unhappy frowny face and said he didn’t think anyone at the store could help me. The verbal sparring began. “Did you call Apple tech support?” he wanted to know. Based solely on my one pre-open phone call, I looked him right in the eye and said “Yes. They couldn’t help me.” All true in the strictest interpretation. Then the Keeper said “Well, you might need a genius appointment.” I needed a genius all right, but I really did not want to come back for a future appointment. Right on the cusp of pleading I asked him if there were anyone there who could take a look at it. He nabbed the closest staff member and skittered away, clearly appalled that I did not grasp the nuances of the genius mentality.
Nathan, may his shadow never decrease, looked at the two iPads, looked at the settings, and had at it. He was editing and entering and deleting and updating just as fast as he could. Because I am basically a pencil and paper kind of girl, I was taking notes, trying to make sense of it all and trying to be prepared on the horrific chance I’d actually have to jump in and help. Nathan, of course, did not require my help. Nathan could probably build an iPad with four toothpicks, a foot of wire, and a glue gun. In about ten minutes the problem was resolved. He did physically falter just once when I asked him what the Cloud was. Right up until that moment, Nathan had probably been blissfully unaware that there were people as clueless as I am when it comes to computers.
I am not above playing the pity card. After he had fixed my iPad and explained (slowly and using very small words) the Cloud, Nathan bravely asked if there was anything else he could help me with. “My phone won’t stay plugged in,” I said in that tone of voice that lets the listener know you are way out of your depth. Nathan did not need any convincing. Gently taking the ancient device, he stuck a tool in the charging port and came out with a huge chip. Wood, not silicone.