Herald and Journal, July 12, 1999

Yes, sir, that's my ebay . . .


I'm baaaack!

At last I am on-line again, sending in my column via e-mail. I seem to have this little black cloud over my head where computers are concerned.

Last year, our TV antenna was struck by lightning and it took out my computer, along with several other electrical items in the house. This time the internal modem on my replacement computer went out.

Some people, namely my children, have suggested that I may have caused the crash by visiting ebay too often.

I have to admit I was spending a lot of time checking out the doll offerings on ebay's online auctions. It was great fun! I actually bid on a few things to add to my Raggedy Ann and Andy collection.

I was really getting into the action, checking for new items, comparing prices and sending bids. Faster than you can click a mouse, I branched out into Strawberry Shortcake and Holly Hobbie dolls, seeking more little, happy, smiling faces to add to my collection.

About a month ago, my husband, Tom, was eagerly anticipating his upcoming Canadian fishing trip. I was anticipating being left alone to browse ebay at my leisure. No husband picking up the phone and breaking my connection. No husband wondering where I had disappeared to for hours on end.

Tom left for Canada on Sunday night. Sadly, Sunday night was the last time my computer would connect to the Internet. Monday morning I tried to log on as usual. I couldn't get a dial tone.

I tried repeatedly, growing more and more frustrated. I just couldn't get a dial tone from the modem. I finally gave up and sought technical help.

America Online is our Internet provider, so I called them first. I thought the problem might be connecting thru them. They didn't provide any service, other than making me feel completely computer illiterate.

Watch out, AOL! Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Especially a woman who is trying to log on to ebay.

Because my computer is a Macintosh Performa, I turned to Apple for solace. Their technical people were very helpful and friendly. The guy I talked to walked me thru all the steps to try to reset the modem. I followed through quite easily, with him guiding me over the phone. The modem still refused to get a dial tone.

His diagnosis? If this doesn't work, you need to take your computer to an Apple repairman. My ebay dreams for the week went out the window.

So, I did what I usually do in these situations ­ I procrastinated. I complained. The procrastinating wasn't very successful, but the complaining was.

My daughter, Gina, also has a Macintosh. She talked to some computer tech people that she knew. Their diagnosis? I needed to buy a new modem, and disable the one in the computer.

Fourth of July evening was spent watching Gina remove the defective internal modem and hook up the new one. The new modem is faster than the internal one. Now I can find the doll auctions even faster.

You won't believe it, but guess who had me surfing the 'Net for him on Monday? Tom found some e-mail addresses he wanted to check out for classic cars.

He's a Thunderbird enthusiast. Just imagine all the dolls I could buy for the price of one '56 T-bird!

You know, I haven't even checked out ebay yet, and it's already been three days since I got back on line. I can hear those dolls calling me now.

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