Friday, 2 January 2009

Christmas Hiatus

There hasn't been a great deal posted over the Christmas/New Year period and the reason why is because of a Christmas present.

I bought my boys a interesting little devise called a 'UBFunkeys' and it was possibly the worst mistake I have made in a while.

They really enjoyed playing the games on Christmas day, the boys had a great time discovering new worlds, solving some simple puzzles, playing some games. I should have looked into this a little more before buying though.

My eldest boy,who is 13, was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome when he was 6. He can become a 'little obsessive' to say the least.

If you already know about these creatures, then you may understand. They are about 5inches tall, very cute, odd shaped and come in a variety of colours. Some are common, others rare, super rare, ultra rare and it wouldn't surprise if they come with computer used memorabilia. They sit into a bigger version called a UB which plugs into the USB port.

Upon discovering the many varieties available my boys asked if they could use some money given to them by my parent-in-law to buy some more. This is when it all started to go downhill.

Problem one -I bought the original from the interweb and didn't know where to find them. We searched and eventually found some but they were a little different.

Problem two - Upon loading these funkeys into the UB, they didn't register and we were prompted to upgrade the software via the interweb.

Problem three - The 'upgrade' caused the computer to freeze. A reboot and a retry made the computer crash, nothing. The helpline for Mattel, who make these creatures, is in America. The helpline for my PC, were helpful enough to get my computer into safe-mode and therefore able to get a restore point and remove the Funky programme.

I then spent the next day and a night on the telephone and then via e-mail following directions, uploading, rebooting, restoring. That didn't work. Wait for e-mail reply. Uploading, removing, downloading, rebooting. Still not working. Wait... Remove, reboot. Yes its working, upgrade. Now its not. Some more reboot, remove. (You get the picture just keep repeating amongst yourselves.) Finally after this repeated pattern, children breathing down my neck..Is it working yet? I decided to just buy a new UB thing. That shouldn't make any difference. I had tried everything else so...

If you work with computers, God love you for your patience, they are useful and useless. I know a bad workman blames his tools, there are no bad cars just faulty nuts attached to the steering wheel, I know. For some reason, which my helpful consumer response representative thought wouldn't work. The new UB did the trick, we were back !

The computer worked. The game worked. It recognised the new funkeys. My boys were happy. I was happy. All was good in the world.

But I hated the computer. I shouldn't, but I did. It should be the little creatures that my boys enjoyed so much. I just couldn't look at it for a while...

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