Dear Mr. Gates and the rest of you b#$%@&ds

I try to keep up, I really do. But it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for me to be our household I.T. Manager. Why can’t the so-called brilliant minds at our high-tech companies devise gadgets that work like they should – the first time – and stay computer frustrationworking. The problems of maintaining all our electronic gadgets is becoming too much for me to manage.

Yesterday, my husband spent more than an hour on the phone with a technician about a new password. Speaking of which, I have more than two full pages of passwords for accessing various sites and accounts – apparently all for my own safety. That means changing forgotten passwords regularly, which they say is a good idea but I’m not so sure. The only person who can’t access my accounts is me. And my husband has only once in the last several years been able to successfully change the toner cartridge in his printer by himself without having a major meltdown.

About a year ago  when I visited my 87-year-old father I inadvertently did something with his TV remote control that was so catastrophic he felt it necessary to go out and replace the television.  After that, he hid his controls to keep them out of my hands. He only watches three channels. When I visited again recently, I noticed that despite paying for high-definition satellite and having a new high-def TV (see above) he was not getting Canadian networks in high-def. A rather protracted call to Shaw involved several service reps until I finally got one who spoke English as a first language and one whom I could hear (I’m hard-of-hearing). After more than an hour of performing various combinations of commands, I was informed we had to update the “thingie” in the satellite dish on the roof. With enormous trepidation we made the appointment for a technician to come out. And now my Dad’s TV is screwed up again. I’m out of the will and he’s never going to change channels again as long as he lives.

Electronic equipment’s built-in obsolescence requires we replace our computers, receivers, phones and modems every couple of years. Just thinking about the horrors of that process causes me to break out in a cold sweat and bile rise in the back of my throat. A change in equipment never works right the first time without spending hours on technical issues. And then, things look different which requires a shift in mental approach. Windows 8 and Yahoo Mail’s most recent upgrades nearly put me over the edge. I still haven’t recovered.

Why can’t all you high-tech companies simplify things so that ordinary people are not put through all this stress. It’s jeopardizing my marriage, I’m probably cut out of my parents’ will and it’s making my hair fall out. And I can think of many things I’d sooner be doing with the 5 or 6 hours a day I spend on your gadgets. Fortunately I do not have a “Smart” phone or I would probably have been institutionalized by now. Instead I manage reasonably well with a $13.50-per-month amplified cell phone I got through CARP (Canadian Association of Retired People) that allows me to do more than I care to know.ab fab1

And for the privilege of experiencing all this stress and frustration I am paying in the neighbourhood of $200.00 a month which I’m thinking would be much better spent on wine.

Please hear my plea, Mr. Gates. It’s all becoming too much.

P.S. And, no, I will not click on “Help”. My nerves are just too fragile.

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[…] of stress in my retired old lady life. In previous blogs I’ve documented my difficulties with software help lines , Netflix, Chromecast, Toshiba and others . What should be a simple improvement always turn into a […]


[…] wrote you a while ago about the difficulties involved in keeping up with changing technology ( While I love all the new advances we’re making, it’s getting  harder and harder for […]

Perry McEwen
Perry McEwen
9 years ago

Oh Lynda, you absolutely hit the nail on the head! I wouldn’t be surprised if the feedback from today’s blog crashes your system! As a working boomer I deal with this stuff on an almost daily basis…. both at the office and at home. The words “updates” and “upgrades” put me into a state of terminal stress because I know the nightmare that’s sure to follow. This subject deserves lots more blogs and I’m already looking forward to reading them. Everyone tells us that it’s us boomers who have all the spare time to spend surfing the ‘net, staying connected… Read more »

Lynda Davis
9 years ago
Reply to  Perry McEwen

Just experienced another meltdown as a result of not being able to get my Comcast internet working for 24 hours. Fixed it finally but not without some bad swears.

  Lynda Davis Follow my blog at: 2460 Glengarry Road, Unit 14 Mississauga, Ontario L5C 1Y2

 Tel: 905-275-4036 Toronto Cell: 647-918-7141 e-mail:

Gail from Oakville
Gail from Oakville
9 years ago

Well written……long live the simplicity and cost of “digital” rabbit ears……we live in the city and get all the major networks at no cost…..believe it or not!