Bewildering Stories

Change the text color to: White | Purple | Dark Red | Red | Green | Cyan | Blue | Navy | Black
Change the background color to: White | Beige | Light Yellow | Light Grey | Aqua | Midnight Blue

Computer Love Story

by euhal allen

Customer Services
Computer Heaven
Pheldspar, Oregon

RE: I don’t really want to talk about this, it is embarrassing!

Dear Ms. Rhonda:

I really don’t know how to start on this anguishing tale of love. It’s indeed a tale of surprising twists and turns (mostly in my back as I unwittingly fell into the tryst of which I speak).

I ordered one of the Eager Fax Modems (# 3379) so that I could upgrade my New Gen P90 MAD computer to 56 bps. That, of course, meant that I would have to remove the ZOINK 28 modem from the New Gen. Therein must lie the woeful tale.

I removed the ZOINK from Clyde (my computer’s moniker) and put in the Eager 56. I removed all mention of the ZOINK from Device Manager and installed the Eager Software. I went back to Device Manager and check to see if the modem was happy and doing fine. Device Manager said that all was going smoothly in modem world. So, I sought out my Microsoft Explorer intending to enjoy an invigorating romp on the Net at the wowing speed of 56.

MS EXPLORER told me that the modem wasn’t communicating with the computer. So much for wowing! Naturally, somehow, I told myself, that means a conflict somewhere.

I went back to Device Manager and went through every device listed through the properties utility. No, conflicts. I kicked onto MSD and No conflicts. I restarted the computer in the DOS mode and did MSD again from the DOS prompt. No Conflicts.

Just to make sure that everything was hunky-dory (bet you haven’t heard that phrase in a long time) I took the Eager modem out and de-installed all the software. I put the ZOINK modem back in and installed it. Wham! It came up whistling Do Ra Me and jumping to roam the Net!

“Well,” I said to myself, “1 must have missed something.” So, I did it all over again. Put the Eager modem in and installed the software, and ran unerringly into the same hard brick wall.

I took the Eager out and put in the ZOINK. Ta Ra Ra Boom Di Ai, put ’dis baby in gear and hit the Net.

I called you folks at Computer Heaven and said I thought that I had defective Eager modem. Your people were as cheerful as that ZOINK modem and sent the new Eager to me pronto! (I love them furrin’ expressions!) I sent the defective one back that afternoon by 1st -class mail.

The new Eager came and I de-installed the ZOINK again and put in the new Eager. I went through the same steps to see if all was OK in modem land, no conflicts, good connections, etc. Device Manager said everything was groovy, and so did MSD. The Eager wouldn’t talk to my computer.

I de-installed the Eager and reinstalled the ZOINK. POW, NETSVILLE and moving out. I reasoned with myself that there was something I wasn’t seeing.

So, I, again, de-installed the ZOINK, reinstalled the Eager. Checked all the IRQs, DMAs, Addresses, I/Os and checked all the connections three times, muttering to myself that I was developing compulsive behavior patterns.

I went to MS Explorer and was told that another dialup connection was using the modem and would I please wait my turn, or shove the other program offline. Just then thoughts of what I could shove came trickling through what was left of my mind.

I calmly and carefully used the Close Program dialog box (I know that is what it was ‘cause that was the name in the Title Bar. I know about title bars ‘cause I teach Windows 95 courses.) There, I carefully shut down every program in memory except Explorer, which you got to have because it don’t nothing work without it being in residence.

Gently, calmly, I asked the Eager to talk to Clyde. No sir, I ain’t having no words with that that guy.

“OK,” I said, “no mister marshmallow manager for you guys.” I went to Windows System and, after resetting the file properties, I deleted System.dat, System.daO, User.dat andUser.daO. Then I slipped my Win95 CD into the drive and reinstalled Win95. Got rid of any crap that might have been in the Registry.

I could have stuck my finger up my nose and played with my brain and done just as good.

I reinstalled the ZOINK. It’s Tango-NET time. Were kicking Web Sights.

I looked in the mirror, noticed that my mouth was a little crooked on one side and there was a little drool starting to form. That wasn’t so bad, but I was beginning to be a bit concerned with the tic in my shoulder. Made my screwdriver jump a little when I worked on modems.

I got desperate and sent Eager labs an unkind e-mail. Sent you a copy too. I don’t know if it made any difference to Eager, but the tic seemed less pronounced.

I called you folks and confessed my sins to the Customer Service person, begged to send the second Eager back, and asked to be blessed with some other type of modem. We jawed about it for a while, and decided to do the thing with the M-wave Wavetable Sound Card. I wrapped up the second Eager and sent it back 1st-class mail.

In came the MAR-VEL card. I de-installed the ZOINK and installed the software for the MAR-VEL card, as per instructions, and installed the MAR-VEL card and it all do what it was supposed to do. Then I clicked on MS EXPLORER and found that the MAR-VEL wouldn’t talk to my computer. I checked every thing out, including BO and bad breath. Nope.

I went into Device Manager, again, and did a — you write down every number, IRQ, DMA and any other numbers flew by on the screen — thing and compared everything. While I was doing that, I found a conflict! I FOUND A CONFLICT! Now I could do something. I change an address, cleared up the conflict, wiped the drool off the key board and headed for the modem set up in the Control Panel. Glory be, there it was, a 56 MAR-VEL modem.

I kicked MS EXPLORER into gear and shot down the net to When I got parked there, Microsoft was kind enough to tell me that I should upgrade my MS EXPLORER and I could do it right now if I just clicked on the download line. I just set there, reveling in the speed that the upgrade was coining down to Clyde. What a sight.

After 10 minutes, disappeared, the download crashed and MS EXPLORER went bye-bye. I wasn’t worried too much. It had happened before when something went wrong with the Net.

I went back to the Internet Explorer icon and gave her a click. There was another dial-up network program using the modem and would I please wait until it was finished. Or, if I wanted to be hoggish about it all, I could shut down the other program and the MAR-VEL would be happy to serve me.

I went to the Close Program Dialog box and shut down everything but Explorer. I clicked on MS EXPLORER again and was told that the modem was being used by another dial-up network program. My jaw was slackening a little and some moisture seemed to be forming.

I shut everything down, counted to thirty (which was a miracle considering the state I was in) and then turned it all back on again. Everything came back up nicely. I went to Device Manager to see if the Modem was all right. It was. I checked all the connections, IRQs, DMAs, I/Os, addresses, my disability insurance. No conflicts (well there was one, my disability insurance did not cover computer-generated madness).

I selected MS EXPLORER again. Clyde and the MAR-VEL were not speaking to each other again. I de-installed the MAR-VEL software, I gently removed the MAR-VEL card and installed the ZOINK modem. Connect City!

Did I tell you that with the MAR-VEL card having a sound card built in I also removed my AKS-TECH sound card. One that also had to be removed to keep conflicts from happening? Did I tell you that? MAR-VEL picked up the sound duties like a pro. Great sound! When I reinstalled the ZOINK modem, I, of course, also had to reinstall the AKS-TECH card and reinstall its software. I know, between drools; I told you that.

Well, I have been working with and on computers since my first computer, a TRS-80 16KB big one in 1979-80. That has been a while. I have had my little ups and downs with computers. It happens. I always solved the problem sooner or later. AND, I WAS GOING TO SOLVE THIS ONE!!!

I thought about it for a while and wondered if maybe some little jerk out in NETLAND had made a new virus just to keep Clyde and the modems from talking. I had MR. Norton do a thorough scan of every file. No infection. Nothing. Nada. Nichts.

I reinstalled the MAR-VEL software and then the board. I carefully went through every nook and cranny in Device Manager. I booted to DOS mode and used MSD to spy out everything and everywhere I could. No conflicts. I began to drool again. My shoulder has become a major bodily earthquake.

The computer would not recognize the modem from the software. The modem would not talk to the computer. Yesterday it talked, today, it itself shuts up.

I worked and worked, occasionally wiping away increasing amounts of drool. My jaw has become so slack I can lick my feet standing up. Yesterday they talked. Everything is the same. Now, they don’t talk.

I go to the modem install and finally the computer sees an IBM Aptiva 56 MAR-VEL modem. The OBJIX is an IBM-manufactured modem. If Clyde wants to think he is an Aptiva, that is OK with me. At least he is no longer shunning the modem.

I go to MS EXPLORER, I click the icon. The modem is not communicating with the computer. To keep my socks dry, I change my low-cut shoes for boots. My mouth and my toes, who never spoke before, are having a bridge party. The toes have never seen a dental bridge before.

I pull the modem out and reinstall the ZOINK and the AKS-TECH boards. I remove the MAR-VEL software. I reinstall the software that works with the ZOINK and the AKS-TECH boards.

I reboot the computer. Clyde tells me that he can’t find the MAR-VEL manger. Raising my voice, just a little, I tell him what he can do with the MAR-VEL MANAGER if he ever finds it again. The drool starts to boil. My shoulder has joined the Jackhammer union and I am paying its dues.

The computer comes up weird. I reboot it. It comes up looking normal. I go to MS EXPLORER and start to use the ZOINK modem. It won’t talk to Clyde. I go to Device Manager. No Conflicts.

I do the system.dat-da0 and user.dat-da0 thing again, and reinstall Win95. Clyde won’t talk to the modem. No conflicts, no problems, no conversation. I notice bits of gray hair in the drool, hair somewhat the color of that which used to be on my head, yesterday.

I grabbed Ontrack’s Disk Manager and commit Clyde-icide. Clyde is gone, MAR-VEL is gone, Eager is gone, my mind is starting to calm down.

We start everything new. A new Clyde, a new WIN95, all new programs. I drool a little faster as I realize in my insanity that I hadn’t backed up all the latest work that I had just done in the last few days.

I install the AKS-TECH card and the ZOINK card. They come up great.

I think that I know why the ZOINK always worked and the others did not. Clyde thought it was a ZOINKETTE. I have the only computer in the world that fell in love with its modem. The Eager and the MAR-VEL just didn’t have that certain spark that really turned Clyde on.

I haven’t the heart to separate them again. I haven’t the supply of paper towels to handle more drool.

I am begging you, can I send the MAR-VEL back to you so it can find some computer that will care for it the way Clyde can’t? I can do it right away. I can send it all back: the MAR-VEL modem, the Internet Phone and Carbon Copy programs that you mistakenly sent with the MVAVE. I have lots of used paper towels to pack them in for protection.

I would have called and done this over the phone. BUT, I didn’t think you would believe me, and the stammer hasn’t quite gone out of my speech. The order # was P09105700014. I promise that I’ll be good and wont order anymore modems from you. I just need an RMA#.

I must go lay down now. I have spots before my eyes. Little words, Clyde, Clyde, Clyde. The voices are saying, “Why did you murder Clyde? Why did you murder Clyde?” My mouth feels moist again.



Copyright © 2004 by euhal allen

Home Page