Archive for the ‘Technology Humor’ Category

Computer Confusion (Limerick)

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021

A fellow, when told to reboot,
Was bewildered; this didn’t compute.
It was clear from his face,
As he bent to unlace,
That technology’s NOT his strong suit.

Happy “Treat Your Webmaster or Webmistress Day?” (Limerick)

Tuesday, July 6th, 2021

Happy “Treat Your Webmaster or Webmistress Day.” (July 6)

“Treat Your Webmaster/Webmistress Day!”
How exciting! Hip Hip and Hooray!
But wait! I’ve a plight
And can’t celebrate right:
Who’s my webmaster? I am! Oy Vey!

AWOL Paper (Limerick)

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021

Does anyone else miss paper menus and train schedules? In New York City, at least, they’ve both disappeared — their elimination an apparent byproduct of the Covid pandemic.

Paper train-schedule? Thing of the past.
Paper menu? It too didn’t last.
Their replacement? Your phone,
Where such data is shown.
Your cell phone ain’t “smart?” Best act fast!

A Grating Upgrade (Limerick)

Sunday, April 11th, 2021

Had a four-day-long mess at my site;
Server upgrade (gone bad) caused the blight.
The encoding set wrong
Made me long for a bong.
But it’s fin’ly been fixed, bit by byte.

Covid-19 Vaccine Adventures (2-Verse Limerick Plus Vaccine Scheduling Tips)

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021

What follows is:

1: A two-verse limerick about my adventures (and difficulties) in booking Covid-19 vaccine appointments in New York City for hubby Mark and me. (And yes, we both easily qualify by age.)

2: A blow by blow description of how I finally managed to snag vaccine appointments in the doesn’t-deserve-to-be-called-a-system New York Covid-19 vaccine scheduling “system.”

(I hope that the information I provide below my 2-verse limerick proves helpful to those who are having similar vaccine-booking problems, both in and outside of New York.)

Fin’lly got my first shot. So did Mark,
After problems with booking them — stark!
New York’s issue-packed system
(too many to list ’em)
Is so bad, I have fantasies — dark.

So how did I schedule our shots
In a system so tied up in knots?
“Push notifications”
Resolved our frustrations;
We were saved by some fine Twitter bots.

If you’re having problems booking Covid-19 vaccine appointments, here’s how I did it in New York City. I hope it helps you too. (Even if you live in another state, some of my info just might be applicable to you.)

1. After trying all the obvious methods for booking vaccine appointments, and failing abysmally, I searched Google to find out if anybody had created a Covid-19 vaccine appointment locator bot in New York. I used search phrases such as covid-19 vaccine New York bot and Covid-19 vaccine New York tracker bot.

This led me to these two Twitter accounts: @turbovax and @nycshotslots. (If you are having trouble getting a vaccination appointment outside of New York, try a similar search for your own state. And if you’re lucky, a Good Samaritan in your city or state created a comparable public bot. For example, this bot was designed for New Jersey residents, and this one was set up for Massachusetts residents.)

2. I went to Twitter, searched for both accounts, and clicked on “follow.” (I was already active on Twitter. However, if you’re not already a Twitter member, you’ll have to join it before benefiting from these or other Twitter bot accounts.)

3. For the next couple of weeks, I checked those New York bot Twitter accounts three or four times an hour. And from time to time, I actually found some potential appointments. Unfortunately, however, each time I went to snag a pair of appointments, I was already too late. This happened even when I started checking every five or ten minutes.

4. Finally, in desperation, I researched how to get “push notifications” from individual Twitter accounts. (In general, I hate and avoid push notifications. But this situation called for emergency measures!)

Fortunately, setting up Twitter push notifications on my laptop turned out to be very simple: All I had to do was return to the home pages of each of those two accounts I was already following (@turbovax and @nycshotslots) and click on the icon immediately to the left of the word “following.” (The icon looks like a bell with a plus sign.) Clicking on it turns on push notifications for that specific Twitter feed, and you’ll know it’s properly set up because after clicking on it, it will turn as dark blue as your “following” indicator button.

5. From then on, as long as I was near my laptop (and the sound was on) I’d hear a sound indicating that one of those two accounts had just tweeted. Additionally a visible notice would flash, then disappear very quickly.

6. As soon as I saw or heard one of those “push notifications” I headed to Twitter to read the latest bot tweets and see if it was for appointment locations/dates that might work for us. And the second I saw one that might be good, I clicked on the site, filled out the forms, and was able to successfully book appointments for both Mark and myself.

Even then, acting so swiftly, I ended up with appointments for us on consecutive days, and not the theoretically more desirable same day. But that actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because parking was impossible at that location (Hillcrest High School, Jamaica Queens, NY.)

So Mark and I took turns on consecutive appointment days, remaining in the driver’s seat, illegally parked in front of someone’s driveway with the blinkers on, ready to move the car at a moment’s notice, for as long as it took for the non-car-baby-sitter to get his/her shot.

Mark and I are both very relieved to have gotten our first shots and to have dates scheduled for our second shots. And I hope you too either have gotten (or will soon get) your Covid vaccine shots.

I also hope that you found this info helpful or, at least, enjoyed my limerick.

*****
FYI, here’s a non-Twitter New York State-wide bot that I haven’t tried, because I discovered it after booking our appointments.

An IPad Convert?

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

I hate learning to use new devices. And that explains my multi-year resistance to buying an iPad. (That, plus my carpal tunnel-wrists, which make any small keyboard an extra challenge.)

Anyway, Mark’s been an iPad devotee for many years. And a few weeks ago, I finally allowed him to talk me into buying one. (A great Amazon sale price, combined with the daunting prospect of countless hours away from my laptop during a then upcoming Dallas trip to see Mark’s ailing mother, was enough to convince me.)

It arrived, and I was an almost immediate convert.

But the one thing that did drive me crazy (besides learning to copy/paste on an iPad) was the different layouts you have to deal with when switching to the iPad app version of a given site.

The Twitter app, in particular, drove me nuts. How I cursed it out throughout our 12 days in Dallas.

Why did it have to be so damn different and confusing?

And how would I ever manage to alternate between tweeting on an iPad and doing it on my trusty laptop?

I’m feeling a bit guilty now. Why? Because when I finally got back to my laptop, I made a surprising discovery:

It turns out that Twitter’s done a major site overhaul across all devices, which just happened to coincide with our trip. And the new laptop version is virtually the same as the iPad app version.

So learning to use the spanking new Twitter on my laptop?

No problemo!

Limerick Ode To Internet Day (October 29)

Monday, October 29th, 2018

Is the Net good or bad at its core?
For it’s frequently hard to adore.
But on “Internet Day”
All in all, I must say
That it DOES make us hard to ignore.

Pining For Spines (Limerick)

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

This has nothing to do with World Spine Day (Oct. 16,) but it DOES include the word “spine.” That should count for something, right?

When I try to read e-books, I pine
For the texture of paper and spine.
I can see their appeal,
But for me there’s no deal,
And I cherish my library/shrine.

Limerick-Off Monday – Rhyme Word: BOOT at the end of any one line

Saturday, December 9th, 2017

It’s Limerick-Off time, once again. And that means I write a limerick, and you write your own, using the same rhyme word. Then you post your limerick(s) as a comment to this post and, if you’re a Facebook user, on Facebook too.

I hope you’ll join me in writing limericks using BOOT at the end of any one line. (Homonyms or homophones are fine.)

The best submission will be crowned Limerick-Off Award Winner. (Here’s last week’s Limerick-Off Award Winner.)

Additionally, you may write themed limericks related to HYPOCRISY, using any rhyme scheme. And of course I’ll present an extra award — one for the best HYPOCRISY-related limerick.

How will your poems be judged? By meter, rhyme, cleverness, and humor. (If you’re feeling a bit fuzzy about limerick writing rules, here’s my How To Write A Limerick article.)

I’ll announce the winners on December 24, 2017, right before I post the next Limerick-Off. So that gives you two full weeks to submit your clever, polished verse. Your submission deadline is Saturday, December 23, 2017 at 10:00 p.m. (Eastern Time.)

Here’s my limerick:

My computer refuses to boot.
This is brutal! And backup? Oh shoot!
My backup drive crashed.
I’m in hell! All’s been trashed!
Might as well go get smashed on some Brut.

Please feel free to enter my Limerick-Off by posting your limerick(s) in my comments. And if you’re on Facebook, I hope you’ll join my friends in that same activity on my Facebook Limerick-Off post.

To receive an email alert whenever I post a new Limerick-Off, please email Madkane@MadKane.com Subject: MadKane’s Newsletter. Thanks!

Just In Time For Book Lovers Day (Limerick)

Saturday, November 7th, 2015

Just in time for Book Lovers Day, celebrated both on the first Saturday of November and on August 9:

Like most of my friends I love books,
And I don’t want to read them on Nooks
Or other devices;
Real paper entices.
Don’t dare give me pity-filled looks!

Technology Saves The Day? (Limerick)

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

So what should a pragmatist do,
Who’s reluctant to stand in a queue
When the new iPhone 6
Is on sale? Easy fix:
Send a robot to buy one for you.

(Inspired by this news item about a woman who sent a “telepresence robot” to wait on a Sidney, Australia Apple store line and buy her an iPhone 6s.)

A Window Into My Guilt (Limerick)

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

A Window Into My Guilt (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

You’re sure to encounter frustration
With laptops, when spilling libation:
Your computer won’t thrive,
You may lose your hard drive,
And you’ll likely face defenestration.

The Almost Naked Truth

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

I love this headline: “Mother, 29, who ran through hotel naked ‘after her friend stole her pants’ is slapped with an obscenity charge.”

Not only did it make me laugh, but it reminded me of my own personal experience, memorialized in this humor column I wrote way back in the Twentieth Century:

A Traveler’s Net Woes
By Madeleine Begun Kane

If your husband ever invites you to join him on a business trip, be sure to ask him these questions:
1. Will you ever get to see him while he is not — technically — asleep?
2. What will he do, if you accidentally lock yourself out of your hotel room in the middle of the night while you are not — technically — dressed?

Unfortunately, I didn’t think to ask these questions when my husband Mark invited me to join him for a six-week Boston business trip. So I had to learn the answers the hard way:
1. No.
2. He will remain — technically — asleep.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Back when my husband urged me to accompany him, all I could focus on was:
1. Whether I could pack my cappuccino machine;
2. Whether I’d get any writing done so far from home; and
3. Whether we’d have reliable net access in our room.

Okay, I admit it: I’m a little — okay a lot — hooked on cappuccino and the on-line life. And I never — ever — go to sleep without reading my email and surfing the web.

Anyway, Mark managed to convince me that working out of a hotel room in a strange city would inspire new, creative ideas. He also swore that Boston is a modern city with lots of cappuccino and Internet connections. So I reluctantly accompanied him, after packing enough gear for a year.

We checked in late that first night, and the accommodations (paid for by Mark’s client) were luxurious. But I gave no thought to our lovely hotel, the sites and sounds of Boston, or the excitement of living in a new city. While Mark unpacked, requested a wake-up call, and ooohed and aaahed at the view, I foraged for a modem connection. Only one view mattered to me — the blank one on my laptop screen.

Finally, I had the computer set up. I began to relax, happy in the knowledge that any minute I’d … What’s this? An error message? What did they mean “no dial tone”?

It must be some mistake, I told myself, as I tried to sign on again and again and again. After a dozen failed attempts I was even reduced to violating my “don’t crawl on a strange rug” rule. Struggling to reach the wall behind the desk and bed, I squeezed my arm into places it didn’t belong, pulling and pushing and tugging at anything that looked important. And trying to spot a loose connection … aside from the one in my brain.

Now a normal person would probably have given up and gone to bed after 10 or 20 or 30 failed attempts to sign on-line. (By this time, Mark had been asleep nearly an hour.) But the more disconnects I got, the more determined I was to access my net account. Am I stubborn? Yes. Plus I really needed my pre-sleep fix.

So I persisted, all the while cursing out computers, the hotel, my husband’s client, and my husband, who apparently enjoys having his bed shoved across the room while he’s sound asleep.

Then it hit me — the kind of revelation one only gets way past midnight. I’d simply phone the concierge, and he’d do some concierge type thing and get it fixed. So I picked up the phone and — you guessed it — it was as dead as my modem.

You moron, I castigated myself, as I tried to guess whether I was being personally singled out for email deprivation.

Just then, I heard a sound in the hall. Eager to find out if anyone else had phone service, and forgetting that my attire (or lack thereof) would get me arrested in many countries, I rushed out the door, wedging it open with a shoe. Luckily (I thought) the sounds were coming from the next room, whose door was ajar.

“Do you have phone service?” I asked a female guest, who was still gripping her luggage.

She didn’t answer. Instead she stared at me blankly, no doubt wondering why some barefoot, barely clad crazy woman was standing in her doorway at 3 a.m.

“Do you have phone service?” I repeated.

“No speak English,” she said, as she put down her suitcase and looked around the room, possibly for a weapon. Now desperate, I attempted to mime talking on the phone. But she apparently didn’t speak mime either.

At this point, I’m afraid I did something that can only be characterized as insane; I strode into the room, walked right past her to the far end, and picked up her phone. It was dead. This was good news, because you need a phone to get someone arrested for trespass.

I put the receiver down and belatedly began to apologize. But the woman ignored me — she was embroiled in some incomprehensible dialogue with a man (her husband?) who had apparently been in the bathroom when I invaded their room. Were they plotting my demise?

I crossed the room as quickly as I could and darted past them, hoping they wouldn’t try to stop me. And that they understood the meaning of the word “sorry.”

Finally I made it out of there, and they slammed the door behind me. Relieved, I turned toward my room and, after tripping over my failed-wedge shoe, I discovered another shut door — my own.

Ten minutes of door pounding later I was still stranded in the hall, and Mark (who can sleep through anything) was still sound asleep.

By now I was more or less resigned to going to bed without reading my e-mail. But no way was I sleeping in the hall.

I probably would have continued my futile pounding, but adding the crime of “destroying the peace” to trespass didn’t seem wise. And getting thrown out of the hotel probably wouldn’t help Mark’s consultant/client relations.

But what else could I do? I couldn’t very well take the elevator downstairs and beg the concierge for a key while I was dressed like this, could I?

Apparently, I could. I started down the hallway, moving as quickly as I could manage, and fervently hoping I wouldn’t meet anyone en route. Fortunately, every reasonably sane person was asleep by then. So the halls and elevator were empty, and I even made it down eight floors to the lobby nonstop. I was so relieved, I didn’t even mind the strange looks I got from the couple getting on as I got off. Or the amused grin from the concierge when I told him I needed help.

“Phone problems?” he asked, looking me up and down.

“For starters,” I answered.

“Sorry, everything’s down at least until late morning. Anything else I can do for you?”

“Yes, I locked myself out of my room. Could you…?”

“Yes, I can see you did. Hold on and I’ll get my keys.”

“This is very embarrassing.”

He took another look and grinned again. “No problem. I’ve seen a lot worse.”

Throughout the elevator ride up and the walk to my room he regaled me with tales of locked-out guests stranded in garb that made me appear ready for a full dress ball. Then he placed his key in the door and said, “Do you have any ID?”

“What?” I said, beginning to panic. “Where would I…?”

“Just kidding,” he said as he unlocked the door.

Safely back in my room, I found Mark sound asleep. Exhausted and angry, I stared at him, willing him awake. I could have been kidnapped from the room in the middle of the night, and he would never have known. I could have …

Suddenly, Mark sat up. “What is it?” he said.

“Didn’t you notice I was gone?”

“What are you talking about? One sec. I have to go to the bathroom.”

“What were you saying?” Mark said as he climbed back into bed.

“Never mind. But you should set your alarm. The phones are broken, and you probably won’t get that wake-up call.”

“Thanks,” he said as he fiddled with the clock and lay back down to sleep. “What did you do to their phones?” he added just before he began to snore.

Overzealous Deletes (Limerick)

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

Overzealous Deletes (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

There are times I make haste to delete
A phrase that feels lame or effete.
Then I suddenly think
That it doesn’t quite stink–
I can save it — “Control Z” you’re sweet!

Wexting? How Pedestrian! (Limerick)

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

Wexting? How Pedestrian! (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A habit that many find vexing
Is called “wexting.” I think it’s perplexing
To text while you walk.
If you wext, then I’ll balk
At sharing a path you’re annexing.

Smarting from “Smart Shoes” (Limerick)

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Do we really need “smart shoes” that will vibrate us in the right direction using Google Maps? Ducere Technologies thinks so.

Smarting from “Smart Shoes” (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Dear shoemakers, please have a heart.
I do NOT want my shoes to be smart.
I just want them to feel
(both my sole and my heel)
Like they’re not out for blood from the start.

Open Limerick To Facebook Fanatics

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Open Limerick To Facebook Fanatics
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Dear Facebook fanatics, I know
That an outage on Facebook’s a blow.
But a crisis that small
Doesn’t call for a call
To the cops. Grab a beer or Bordeaux.

(Inspired by the lunatics who called 911 lines Friday during Facebook’s half-hour outage.)

Limerick Ode To AC

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

Today is the first day of Air Conditioning Appreciation days. (July 3 to August 15)

Limerick Ode To AC
By Madeleine Begun Kane

How I long to be sweaty-skin-free.
“Make it cool!” is my summertime plea.
Humidity, heat
Make me drip with defeat.
Yes indeed, I’m a fan of AC.

Dear Doc (Limerick)

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Dear Doc (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Although surgery’s surely a grind,
It with sexting ought NOT be combined.
’Tis a practice that’s mal;
A risk to the gal
Or guy patients. I’m guessing they’d mind.

(Inspired by this story: Doctor suspended amid charges of sexting during surgery)

This Invention Doesn’t Pass The Smell Test (Limerick)

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

This Invention Doesn’t Pass The Smell Test (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

I’m vexed and a little perplexed
By the concept of smells sent by text.
I do not mean to vent,
But don’t send me a scent,
Or our friendship is apt to be exed.

(Harvard engineering professor David Edwards and co-inventor Rachel Fields have invented an aromatic mobile messaging device called an oPhone that sends and receives scents.)