Pressing the right buttons

PUBLISHED: 13:09 21 June 2007 | UPDATED: 15:08 12 May 2010

NOW, as I have said in the past, I am the last person to display any skills toward technology. For me, it remains a complete mystery. If a button is pressed then I expect the gadget or whatever to work. There s nothing complicated about that. Simple, isn

NOW, as I have said in the past, I am the last person to display any skills toward technology.

For me, it remains a complete mystery.

If a button is pressed then I expect the gadget or whatever to work.

There's nothing complicated about that. Simple, isn't it? Or so it should be.

But not anymore. We have a gremlin - and it's become unremitting in its actions.

It's taken over the television set.

It will not allow us to see programmes, but just keeps telling us that services are being updated.

To make matters worse it tells us that this so-called updating will not take too long. Indeed, services will be restored shortly, it says.

What does it mean by saying shortly? We've spent three days this week waiting for the screen to produce a picture.

We've pressed every button available, but still no joy.

And when we did get an actual programme it decided to being the process of "updating" again just as we reached the last vital scene of whatever we were viewing.

So this is modern technology.

When we had a television set in the 1950s we were living in the shadow of Alexandra Palace.

We could virtually see the picture being beamed down to us from that giant mast that dominated the landscape.

All right it was still black-and-white and the programmes left a lot to be desired, but at least the technology worked.

Nowadays we have so many options that the market, and our minds, are completely over-burdened with choice.

We can get programmes any time of the day by using our "on demand" button, and spend an evening working our way through hundreds of channels.

It all seems so clever.

But when someone, somewhere spends the evening just sending a message saying that the service is not available then all the technology in the world becomes worthless.

It's probably time to return to listening to the radio.

But we can't use that because the gremlin has upset the digital bandwave and, believe it or not, programmes are not available.

Perhaps it's time to get one of those old, wind-up gramophones and rummage in the loft to retrieve a lost collection of 78rpm records.

At least that was technology that used to work - as long as there was plenty of spare needles.

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