July 10th, 2003



Hmmm. It looks as though Mozilla isn't going to work out. I find their browser for Windows to be rather crappy. The thing that irritates me most is that I can't figure out how to read pages from the cache offline. With IE, all I have to do is click on history and bring up whatever page I want. Mozilla probably requires some sort of Byzantine re-configuration that would be beyond my skills, or at least beyond my patience. It also remains rather slow, even on pages it has already visited. Most likely, there is something I'm doing wrong, but the result is that, to me, Mozilla looks like a great, clumsy cow of a program. Heh. Moozilla. So, for the time being, at least, I'm back on Internet Exploder.

I'm also not sure I'll be able to use the Mozilla e-mail client. When I was attempting to configure it earlier, I saw something in the instructions about the options I want not being available when you have a POP3 service, which is what I'm getting from Chiconet. If it turns out that I can't get e-mail delivered directly to my hard drive, I'm going to be very cross. (My kindergarten teacher used to say that. If you children don't behave yourselves, I shall become very cross with you. I always thought she talked funny.) But it looks as though I might be reduced to trying Outlook Express, although I don't know if even that will do what I want.

All I want is to get my LJ notifications! If Juno had not decided to block all the e-mail from the LiveJournal servers, I wouldn't be going through all this hassle. What on earth would make them do such a stupid thing? The people who run Juno have the brains of dust bunnies.

Well, at least the new Internet service is working well. It is considerably more stable than Juno, and most of the time I get a connection right away. And, unlike Juno, I don't have to open their home page every time I connect to the Internet. (It is a peculiar feature of Juno that you are required to open their page, which usually takes at least fifty seconds, before you can begin opening other pages.) I do miss the clock that is in the task bar of the Juno browser, which shows how long you have been connected to the Internet. Other than that, IE is about as good -- or (more accurately) mediocre.

But I grow weary of all these dealings with digital gadgetry. I can only play geek for so long, and then I turn surly. A good grasp of the workings of technology has never been one of my traits, and a capacity for anxiety certainly is. In my moments of greatest frustration, I sometimes imagine myself the subject of newspaper stories with headlines such as "Madman Slays Dozens with AOL Disks: Blames Internet." Give me back my e-mail, you Gods of technology! Don't drive me to kill!


My older brother use to take engines apart and put them back together. Over a period of several years, our garage was usually littered with the bits of various cars and motorcycles. Before that, he worked on the small gasoline or kerosene powered engines of model racing cars and model airplanes. He never tired of dealing with these gadgets, and my memories of youth are haunted by the smell of that fluid known as Gunk, and the smell of oil and gasoline and the fumes of their combustion. I have to say that my brother and I are exactly unalike. I have never been fascinated by the inner workings of machines. All I want from them is that they work when I turn them on. Machines ought to be as polite and obedient as ideal Victorian children. Alas, they are too often as boisterous, unreliable and dissipated as fraternity boys in a mindless Hollywood comedy. I'm not laughing.

From all this, I'm sure you can surmise that I have not yet been able to set up an e-mail client to meet my desires. That the heat is again growing oppressive adds to my irritation. I work and slave all day over a hot keyboard, and what do I get? Nothing! Oh, how sharper than a serpent's tooth, etcetera. If technology were my child, I'd send it off to military school, or to Outward Bound. It needs discipline! Crap! I'm going to go make some iced tea.