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Technophobia December 2, 2005

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.

Sorry to advertise here, but just in case any Germans or residents of the Bundesrepublik fancy a free laptop, there’s your deal. I am constantly bombarded in my inbox with this sort of advertising (unblockable, because they own my e-mail) and decided to plump for one of their offers recently. (The link is even better than the deal I got. When I signed up, it was order two mobiles for two-year contracts and get a laptop thrown in. Now the mobiles are contractless, if I’ve understood rightly.) I haven’t yet worked out the catch, and sure enough, a rather dishy blond delivery gent today furnished me with a laptop computer and two more mobile phones. I now have three of the former (2 PCs and a laptop) and four of the latter. I might as well just be done with it and become a drug-dealer right away.

I have long fantasised about owning a laptop. As an exile, I tend to travel a fair bit, and as my mother’s house is biblical in its technological levels (and there ain’t no miracles either), I do find myself climbing the walls chez elle, thinking of all the kopecks I could be earning and wondering if I can be bothered to walk to a crappy internet cafe to check my e-mail and be pressganged into buying a cup of luke-warm instant coffee for 3 quid. So now I have it. I do have a fairly major bout of away-from-homeness pending in January, so this will be my first test. No doubt it will sit dustily in my luggage or be broken en route. And I must say my excitement at having the bastard – I think the fantasy first formed in about 2000 – has already worn off. My first battle with it was getting it out of its packaging and trying to open the lid, as I’m sure it’s called in technology parlance. I went for force and there was a bit of a snap, but there seems to be no long-term damage done. And I suppose it looks laptoppish enough. A little silver rectangle (with German keyboard – I suppose I’ll cope) that shouldn’t make me stand out too much in the laptop crowd.

But I can’t get overly excited about gadgets. Now I’ll have to worry for two years that I’m getting the most out of my fifty free SMSes a month from my two utterly superfluous mobile phones. I can’t even give them away as they’ll no doubt be paid for out of my account. But even homosexuals and old people talk gadgets these days. When I think there might nicely be a conversation about love, or war, or sex, or god, or people in the offing, people start talking about what bandwidth they get on their mobile laptop ipod notebook. What the fuck? That ain’t a conversation. Even my mother – she of biblical advancement – asks me to fiddle with her mobile. And my ex-boyfriend, a 40-something homosexual, says, “Oh, Siemens,” when I whip out my mobile to fumble a graceless SMS to some fellow hermit.

The nicest thing about now owning a laptop is that it came in a lovely cardboard box which folds and closes nicely and has a sturdy plastic handle. That’ll come in handy for something, I’m sure. You can never have too many boxes.



1. Bren - December 2, 2005


Just to let you know that I’ve become a fan.

I initially ran across your blog care of Mr. Berger’s wonderful blog. Later, you, ahem, visited my own and it brought me back.

Anyway, now I’m back without the need for existing links.

So, kudos to you. Good blog, sir.

2. Broke in Berlin - December 3, 2005

Bren, thank you galore for your kind words. Really, thank you. I had noticed your blog via EINY too, and, as you say, visited. (Oh dear, does the ‘ahem’ mean I absolutely ravaged your site? I do tend to be rather a thorough visitor! Did I read every page? I easily might have done!) Of course I was fascinated to read about the life and thoughts of an Australian Christian, occasionally wishing he was an atheist, living in Israel. That’s an extremely interesting combination. Well, as you probably know, I am a religion-interested, gay atheist, so in some ways, of course, our world views are very different. But I don’t think that matters in the least. Where we do certainly coincide is in our pro-Israeliness and I envy you greatly being there. I have never visited, but have always heard such wonderful things about Israel, by Jew and non-Jew, religious person and atheist alike, and hope very much I will make it there one day in the not too distant future.

Keep up the nice work and I’ll try my best to do likewise. Warm greetings from Berlin.

3. I hate my neighbours - December 4, 2005

The idea of a “free”* laptop (I couldn’t give a damn about the mobile telephones, indeed, I’d prefer to have enough money to be able to afford Festnetz and not just this crappy o2-Genion-shite) interests me too. Perhaps I’ll have to “join” GNX with a real name and address, and even *my* real name and address at that…

Have you discovered the catch yet, by the way?

4. I hate my neighbours - December 4, 2005

I’ve found the catch:

“bei einer Grundgebühr je Vertrag in Höhe von nur 9,95 EUR/Monat. ”

So not quite contractless then? Or have I missed something clever?

5. Broke in Berlin - December 4, 2005

I haven’t, mysteriously. Well, apart from the fact that I’m thinking I don’t need it at all. It’s still lying strewn around with the mobiles (still in their boxes) and wrapping everywhere. Hopefully I’ll fall in love with it when we go out on our first date. Hope you got my e-mail. All the best.

6. Broke in Berlin - December 4, 2005

Oh, that is the same deal I got then. Well, that means 477.60 euros over the two years, which still ain’t bad for the laptop and the fifty billion SMSes, I suppose.

7. I hate my neighbours - December 4, 2005

477,60 € may not be bad as such – but I dunno, I really do prefer it when “free” means free and not “free*”.

I think I’ll have to stick with my Sir Clive Sinclair Z88 for the time being.

I even registered with GMX with my real name and address just incase there was something to be got. 9 free SMS a month, which is less than fifty billion, but admittedly still free. (I am hoping my web.de spam-blocker will adequately block the GMX admails that I will now get (in return for the 9 “free” SMS, but as both brands now belong to the same firm, I’m not expecting too much to be honest)…

Otherwise perhaps someone who reads this might have an old-ish (Windows 3.1 and weighing a ton does have some charm, but having once “owned” such an item, I know the charm vanishes quite quickly – so not too old please) laptop/”notebook” (what’s the difference anyway?) they might want to give to me…

All offers via http://ihatemyneighbours.blogspot.com please..

P.S. And thanks for the mail BiB, I’ll get back to you on that soon.

* not free at all, but 477,60 €

8. Bren - December 5, 2005

Broke, I can’t imagine that I’ll be in Berlin soon. Of course, with Australia in the World Cup (hoorah!), if I stumble across a few thousand dollars between now and then I might wander over for a game or two.

Failing that possibility, if you find yourself in the Zionist Entity, we’ll most definitely go out for a beer.

9. BiB - October 15, 2006

Daggi, yes, not really free at all. I have, of course, been majorly screwed.

Bren, that beer’s gonna happen one day. I promise.

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