Tuesday, 11 August 2020
Englishman in Dubrovnik Englishman in Dubrovnik

Enigma style upgrade just to watch the History Channel

By  Nov 16, 2019

What has happened to the Germans? They were once the shining example to the world of efficiency and effectiveness. They brought us decentralisation with autobahns connecting all the major cities, they gave us dual-flush toilets that saved water, they offered citizens an affordable means of transport or the Volkswagen or people’s car and they even join words together to cut spaces on a page, such as “Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän” (try saying that when you are drunk) which basically means Danube steamship company captain. Instead of four simple words they made one massive one and cut out four spaces on a page.

When you think of Germans you a nation that gets the job done, quickly and comprehensively. However, to rewrite Shakespeare, something is rotten in the state of Germany. I suspect that it has a Croatian influence to be honest but let’s leave the nationalistic debate to the side for now.

“Important Notice” flashed up on my TV screen with an automated message from T-Com that I had to upgrade the software. MY first thought was “If modern technology was supposed to save me time why am I constantly wasting precious time updating things.” Those thoughts were rapidly washed away as I saw the update instructions underneath the message on my TV. I was so shocked that I actually took a photo.

This, and I am not joking, was the message, and I have shortened it a little otherwise I would run out of spaced on this page. – Turn on your MAXtv receiver and then unplug the receiver from the electricity and then plug it in again – OK, that doesn’t seem so difficult, that was until I read the next line. – Wait for around 8-10 seconds. When the picture appears on the screen unplug the receiver again. Repeat this four times – WTF!

They must be joking! Am I now on the payroll of T-Com? Why am I doing their job? Restart my receiver 5 times by yanking it out of the electricity. Not only that but timing every shut down. It would be easier to launch a nuclear weapon. Apparently the US nuclear code only has 8 digits. Meaning it would be easier to drop a bomb on North Korea than to watch HBO or Premier League football. But the instructions hadn’t yet finished, believe it or not. – After the final unplug wait for between 5 and 10 minutes while the software is uploaded to the new version – Again WTF!

Just to watch the History Channel I am going to be forced to lose half my morning on this bloody receiver. Resigned to the fact that I had no choice I tried to follow the instructions. And needless to say I was meet with countless error messages. So I phoned the helpline. And needless to say I was met with an automated voice that told me exactly what I had just read on screen. What had happened to German effectiveness? There must be an easier, more customer-friendly, way of updating this bloody receiver. I think I am relatively techno savvy. But what about the hundreds of thousands of less savvy MAXtv viewers. I am only glad that my mother-in-las doesn’t have MAXtv, otherwise I would probably be out buying her a new TV and she had thrown the remote at it along with some juicy swear words.

But there was more. – At the end check that the update has been successfully completed. On your remote control choose Menu/Settings/Information on system/version – Again a huge WTF! I tried once again, and again error messages bombarded me. A nation that had discovered both Uranus and Neptune, that had invented the first printing press and created the world’s first pocket watch were now asking people to go back to basics and unplug a device five times just to update software. It would have been easier to crack the Enigma Machine than understand T-Com’s update policy. I tried once again, this time with a stop watch timing my seconds between the receiver having power and not having power, this was getting ridiculous. And again it didn’t work.

In a rage I jumped up and walked out the door to get some fresh air to clear my head. It was then that I spotted the old-fashioned aerial on the roof of my neighbour’s house. With a wry smile I said to the metal aerial “Nobody had to upgrade you.”

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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