I really have to rely on my kids for my electronics knowledge. I don't know how today's youth were genetically altered to make them able to quickly figure out new gadgets and gizmos. Maybe there was something in the water we were drinking when they were in utero. But hand them anything new and shiny with buttons - even if it was just invented and is only about 40 seconds old - and they will have it whizzing along and know all the in's and out's of it before the end of the day. They usually don't even need the instruction manual which I hang on to forever "just in case".
I know this is not a new phenomenon. I can clearly remember my parents getting a suitcase which had a built-in-combination lock (new-fangled!) on it and they could not figure out how to set the lock to a combination of their choosing. My aunt and uncle were visiting and the four of them were reading the instruction manual and finally decided it made no sense and gave up. My cousin Bonnie and I - we were probably around 10 or 11 years old - looked at the instructions and had a new combination set in under a minute. Must just be the young brains that can comprehend new stuff.
I plugged my iPod in one day this week to charge it's little battery and the computer promptly informed me that the iPod was corrupted. It gave me two options:
1. Restore factory settings which would erase everything in the iPod, or
2. Try unplugging in and plugging it back in.
I decided to go with option #2 as it seemed less invasive, and I would still have option #1 available to me if #2 failed to please.
So I unplugged the iPod and then replugged it back in. This time, the computer did not recognize the iPod at all. It kept telling me, "I don't know what that is, I've never seen it before in my life" or something like that. So then I didn't even have the option to restore it.
I decided to just turn the iPod off overnight and see if it and the computer could work out their differences in the morning.
But the little sucker wouldn't turn off. It was frozen on the same screen and I couldn't make it do anything. I knew immediately (without being told) that the iPod would never work again. I started calculating the cost of a new one, and the cost of telling the kids that my iPod (which they use daily) was dead and irreparable. I decided to wait until the morning before telling anyone. Let them have one last good night of sleep before awakening to the news that their best friend had died.
Just for the heck of it, I went to a technology message board and described the problem I was having. When I got up the next morning, I had a message from a very nice person who told me to hold down the center button and the top button at the same time to reboot it.
I tried it, and low and behold it worked! Not only that, the iPod and the computer are back on speaking terms and appear to have resumed their former happy relationship. All because I held down the right buttons!
I wonder if Einstein felt like this when he discovered the theory of relativity?