The Easy Setup Button

Not too long ago, we purchased a computer for downstairs. It’s a little computer, just something for the rest the family to use so they don’t have to come upstairs to the work computer. I also purchased a wireless router so both computers could share our internet connection.

The challenge with wireless routers, it turns out, is getting the router and the computers to communicate with each other. The router I bought claimed to have solved this problem by the use of an Easy Setup button. You press the Easy Setup button on the router, press the Easy Setup button on the software, and the two communicate. In fact, that was the sum total of the manual:
Step 1: Press Easy Setup button on Router.
Step 2: Press Easy Setup button on Software

The problem with this sort of manual is that when the Easy Setup button doesn’t work, you’re left completely on your own.

That was my situation. The machine and the router were refusing to recognize each other, leaving me to tinker on the machine downstairs, then run upstairs and tinker, then downstairs and tinker, then up, then down… you get the idea.

Complicating this little moment of joy was the fact that I was watching the kids. I had thought, you see, that setting up the router was just a question of pressing a certain Easy Setup button, so I had told C to “just give Daddy five minutes and then we can play a computer game together.”

I believe this should be added to the list of Famous Last Words.

After a few minutes of “I want to play” and “are you done yet?” and “why isn’t it working?” I was about ready to scream – so I recruited the little guy. When I went running upstairs, his job was to wait for me to shout and then press the cursed Easy Setup Button.

This worked pretty well, as long as I didn’t spend too much time tinkering at any one place.

Even so, we weren’t able to get it working. After half an hour or so, I gave up and we went outside to play.

That evening, when J was back, I took another, more serious, crack at it while she played with the kids. About forty five minutes into this attempt, C was at my shoulder again. “Can I help?”

“Um…No, not this time.”

“What’s wrong? Why doesn’t it work?”

“I don’t know.”

C pointed at the CapsLock key. “Just press that key there. That key. That will make it work.”

“I don’t think so. Thank you, though.”

I’m very proud of that response. It’s hard to say “thank you” when you’re grinding your teeth together in frustration. It really is.

“How about if I just press that key? That key? That key will make it work.”

Grrr… “Where’s momma? Wasn’t she playing a game with you?”

“How much longer? I want to play Little Einsteins”

Sigh. “I don’t know.”

“Can I just press this key? This one? That will make it work.”

Eventually, I gave in and let him press the CapsLock key. No, the computer didn’t magically connect to the router at that point. It turns out that the CapsLock key was just about as effective as the Easy Setup button. C waved his hands in frustration. “Aww…man!”

I share your pain, little man.  I share your pain.

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