Thursday, 26 February 2009

Technology - dontcha just love it?

This may strike a chord.

I switched on the telly last night, to watch some football (I know...), and got a message from Sky which said 'this channel has a technical problem, please try later'. Oh well, I thought, and went over to BBC4, where I watched something much more interesting (about motorways, since you ask). This evening, I switched it on again, and got the same message on EVERY SINGLE channel. Given that I'd intended to watch the 6 o'clock news, 'please try later' wasn't really that helpful, as advice goes.

Well, I dug out the Sky+ manual, as a first step. Naturally, this error message wasn't listed. (Can you smell the residues of boiling blood yet?) Anyway, being the analyst I am, I thought 'is it possible that Sky has totally crashed and no-one else has noticed?' So I phoned my brother-in-law Alan, and asked him, as a fellow Sky victim, to please check his out. Anything to avoid calling the Sky help-desk. They were just off to their first ballroom dancing class (don't ask), but he reported that it seemed fine. Just as were about to ring off, he said 'actually, I remember something similar ages ago. They told me to power it off, take out the card and put it back, power it back on again.'

This took me back to my days in IT, when 'switch it off and on again' (or as one guy, Neil, charmingly used to put it, 'on and off again' - but he was Australian) was a first resort. Of course I tried it, and of course it worked. SO, why, given that the Sky people by their own admission know that this problem exists, and how to fix it, WHY don't they put this in the f******g manual??

Phew! As Auden put it, nothing like a good dump, is there?

Right, going to watch a bit of telly now (if it still works ...)


  1. Is there any football on tonight? We have a problem with our 'digibox' which occasionally annoyingly freezes and has to be 'on and off again' (sic) and then has to go through its start up process which brings up the word 'STING' in the little viewing panel. I have been reliably informed that STING is short for 'STARTING' but I prefer my mental image of a large mutant bee injecting its sting into the tv to bring it to life. I'll have to search some forums for a solution sometime.

  2. Freezes here all the time...before a storm...if it's windy...we switch it off, unscrew the ariel going into the back of digibox, unplug from wall, leave fifteen minutes, screw ariel back in, switch on power to digibox, wait ten minutes, switch television on by which time the one programme worth watching that week is over. Oh, and sometimes you have to take out card and rub it on a Tee shirt. If there's a big storm coming we have to do all that and unplug telephone, computer as well

  3. Oh wow, bit of a performance but there must be loads of other things which compensate for the occasional inconvenience! I'm thinking the weather perhaps? Oh, and the wine and of course the food.....

  4. Are you sure it was football & not rugger? (different shaped balls y'know) But as you didn't get to see it I suppose you don't know.
    Never mind you always were more of a motorway man that a footie man.
    Telly didn't go on here last night (or off)- crayfish chilli & spaghetti, superb genius playlist from Bowie's Heroes whilst (still) reading Obama. Great evening. Off to see Slumdog tonight.

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  6. Get my spelling right this time...SuPine, it's cold fog here! Tim, could you get the recipe from Soaring for the crayfish chilli?


    Probably as near to it as it comes but Val doesn't put capers or passata in, it's much simpler. The recipe isn't written down anywhere round here, just copied from the chef at the Royal Oak in the village who is now in Australia. But with grated parmesan on top.

    I'm not the cook round here.... (did you know that, Tim? I don't cook)

  8. Looks good! Thanks for the link. I might chuck in a whole pile of seafood.