18 November 2020

Theseus

When I was at secondary school in Kingston-upon-Hull I was one of the best rugby players in my year group. Our coach was an ex-player called Bill Minns. He had a habit of endowing his favourite lads with nicknames and he called me Theseus. The name stuck for a while. As far as nicknames go it wasn't a bad one to have. Better than Fatty or Beanpole or Specky Four Eyes.

In the last seventy two hours I have felt like Theseus in the Labyrinth. Behind the scenes of this illustrious blog, I have been battling with demons. Technological robo-demons that threatened to block me from my favourite websites and blogs.

"Error 401" kept raising its ugly face and I was repeatedly warned that my security had been compromised. Habitual passwords were being blocked as unfamilar dialogue boxes appeared on the screen.

All of this sent me scurrying off into a Google labyrinth of Blogger forums, YouTube help videos, techo-babble and "solutions" that turned out not to be solutions after all. It was nightmarish I tell you. On Sunday night I had little sleep as I tossed and turned, wrestling with my personal minotaur. How could I defeat it?

Today, the minotaur has slunk off into the bowels of the labyrinth for I have managed to resolve several of the blockage issues. Passwords have been changed. Caches have been cleared. Google Chrome has been reset. I am doing what I want to do on the computer again but I fear that the minotaur has not gone forever. This is just a temporary lull for the bull and the lad from Hull.

I am not a techical kind of guy. I have little idea how a car engine works and I am not interested in finding out how all that wonderful imagery appears on our television screen. Similarly, I find no pleasure in solving computer problems. I just want to press the on button, wait for it to load up and then do my stuff.

Before I leave this window of cyber-doom, may I just say that Google, Microsoft and Apple are advancing all the time. They do not stay still. They track our password choices and when their systems spot unhealthy patterns - such as repeated use of the same password - they are likely to ask questions, create barriers or block your activity. This is done via robots so you can't just phone up and speak to a human being saying something like, "Hi! I am Theseus. In error you have directed me into a labyrinth of anxiety. Now please get me out and remove the blockages. Thank you. Have a nice day."

33 comments:

  1. How long have you been on the WWW? If you reply a date after say 2004, you really don't know about computer and WWW problems. In my day, back in 1996........

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  2. I'm so pleased I have my own personal Help Desk. He bakes fine bread too.

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  3. Why did he call you Theseus? Is it because you subdued many ogres and monstrous beasts on the rugby pitch?
    That's a great picture of you at the top, YP. (Which one is you, by the way?)

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    1. I am THeseus though I sometimes talk bull! Mr Minns picked the nicknmae because of my surname - Theasby.

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  4. Theseus? No pressure there then.

    Labyrinths are nightmares made real. I know this because I am Ariadne.

    U

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    1. So it was you! You who sent me in there!

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    2. I saved you. Remember my ingenious idea of giving you that ball of thread so you'd be able to negotiate your way out of the labyrinth? Such gratitude.

      U

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    3. Ariadne's thread is an image employed by Jay Parini in his novel about Walter Benjamin, *Benjamin's Crossing*.
      I am a Walter Benjamin enthusiast. His short stories were published for the first time (English translation) last year in paperback.
      The irony of Parini's title is that Benjamin never made the crossing from Portugal that would have delivered him from the Nazis.
      He took his own life, his final work on the arcades of Paris still in his briefcase.

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  5. Could try switching to Firefox browser. I seem to be having more and more issues with Chrome. (LANs from 1982. JANET and ARPANET from 1984 and 1986. WWW 1994 with Mosaic browser).

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    1. I have no idea what you have just written in brackets. Looks like mumbo jumbo to me!

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    2. Just showing off.

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  6. Who remembers Netscape Navigator? I loved its look, and it made my very first steps into the WWW possible.
    I could go on and on now about privacy protection and IT security, but that's not what you want to read.
    As for nicknames, one of my maths teachers gave them to a handful of students in my class. I didn't have one, but I remember one he had for a boy whose last name was Kressler. He called him Der Grässliche, which is "The Awful One" in English and only makes (some) sense because the name sounds similar. In spite of that, the boy was a favourite - he was good at maths AND supported the same football club (VfB Stuttgart).

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    1. What was your maiden name Meike? I have never asked before.

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    2. Hölscher. Then Tommasi during my first marriage, back to Hölscher after my divorce, and then Riley when I married Steve in 2005.

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  7. I'm glad you're back. I enjoy coming here and it's become a part of my day.

    As for spin classes, no wool involved. It's people on stationary bikes. The premier shut down gyms and stopped restuarants from selling liquor after 10pm, because that's going to slow down the viurs. He's a thick headed, ideologue.

    I'm thankful I have my own computer expert in house, otherwise I'd be screwed. He's mostly patient with me and has taught me to stop pressing buttons when things aren't going as planned. Very useful advice.

    Have a lovely day.

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    1. Are you referring to The Big Guy or The Little Guy?

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  8. Ah! The love/hate relationship with technology. But doesn't it make you feel excellent when you've figured something out?
    Not that I've felt that way in awhile...
    I seem to remember though.

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    1. I must admit that I felt less suicidal.

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  9. Thanks for this illustration of the Minotaur, Sir Yorky.
    As a boy I was a comic collector as well as book buyer. Yours is a collector's dream, or nightmare.
    I shall now call this dreaded beast Der Grassliche, thanks to Meike. Why does it sound so much better in German? It must be those gutturals and memories of early Fritz Lang movies.

    Go into Google, type in Minotaur, click on images. Artists as different as George Frederic Watts and Picasso were stalked by the Minotaur.
    Michael Ayrton (1921-1975) did a number of Bronze Minotaurs worth looking at online. Ayrton worked with novelist Frederic Raphael on a number of projects. Frederic's daughter Sarah who died so young was a brilliant painter and illustrator.

    My late older brother went to the Glasgow School of Art and then the National Film School in Beaconsfield. If I had had his drawing talent I would have followed him.
    I still draw and one of my favourite illustrators is Leonard Baskin (1922-2000) who illustrated Homer, Virgil, and Shakespeare.

    I'm not sure if Baskin drew the Minotaur, but I try to draw like him. Check out his book illustrations online.

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    1. The ability to draw with confidence and panache is a great talent to have.

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    2. I like the physicality of drawing, painting, textile design, clay modelling. And the way the artist has to walk around his subject, be it *nature morte* as the French say or the life model. Or they work with a palette of colour like the textile worker or even the set designer on a film or TV drama.

      My father said he would like to have seen a molten metal cast being made for a bronze statue, rather terrifying if someone slips up.
      I wouldn't wear personal jewellery and don't even like cufflinks, but watching jewellery artists at work is compelling because they use glittering materials so inventively.

      I have just purchased Pat Barker's novel, Life Class. I'll be curious to see how she handles Professor Tonks at the Slade. Students had to do two years' drawing before they held a paintbrush.
      Tonks like the Euston Road School have been forgotten, and we hear too much about Francis Bacon.

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  10. There is nothing worse than sorting out technical issues, but I'm thinking that I'm getting better at it. I haven't had my computer in a shop for probably 3 or 4 years now.

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    1. Next time I have a problem with my laptop I am going to send it to "Debby's Repair Shop".

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  11. Ah. I happen to be rather techie (rebuilt a car once) and practical rather than academic although I did do computer programming as part of a post grad in the '60s. Having said that everything is so specialised now that apart from common sense things like never duplicating a password every problem becomes more and more complex and requires more and more expertise that fewer and fewer of us can possibly keep up with. I've been an Apple user for over a decade so Microsoft is now a complete mystery to me. Fortunately Apple seem to have fewer problems than other platforms. I'm waffling. What was the post about?

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    1. The post was about me having a meltdown!

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  12. Even little computer problems send me into a full blown break down. So I hope this never happens to me.

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    1. I think I need a therapist. Lie down on a couch, breathe deeply & let it all out.

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    2. You don't need a therapist, Yorky.
      You pour yourself a beer and watch YouTube:

      *Full Movie: The Bigfoot Alien Connection Revealed.*
      August 13, 2020. Janson Media.



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  13. Theseus is a good, strong name. Maybe the next time you could summon up the Greek Gods to help you fight the technological robo-demons!

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    ReplyDelete

Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

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