I spent the morning putting together a how-to book for my mother, so it would be easier for her to do what she needs to do on her new DVR, assuming Comcast actually came through with a working box for her. It looked something like this:
I went through all of the functions I thought she might ever actually use and I was quite happy with it when the 12-page document was all finished.
At 11, I left for her house, just me and Harry Bosch again (what will I do when I am out of Harry Bosch books, which isn't going to be too long from now!) I got there in time for lunch and then we sat and talked while waiting for the Comcast guy to show up. I was falling asleep (remember I'd been up for a couple of hours around 2 a.m., when the power came back on last night). I finally agreed with my mother that I should take a nap, and so I did, waking up shortly after 2, when a rep from Comcast called.
I took the call and he asked what the problem was (again!). I explained it. He asked if they had tried a re-set from the office, I said they had. He said that he guessed we needed a new box and that, surprise, surprise, he could have someone there before 4.
And a young man did, indeed, arrive shortly before 4. We explained the problem. He explained that he wasn't sure he could help, that Comcast never gave the guys on the truck a new box, but merely boxes that had been returned, and that they had "fixed" at the headquarters. He didn't sound hopeful that he could get what he had in the truck to work, and said that if it didn't work, my mother would have to go into town, get a new box from Comcast, bring it home, install it herself and if she couldn't get it installed, pay a technician to come out and install it.
I...um...did not take kindly to that suggestion! I played the "c'mon...she's 90, for Pete's sake! and I can't be driving 80 miles every day to check on whether or not her box works!" card. He said he would go out to the truck and get what he had and that we would hope for the best. I have to admit that he really seemed like a very nice, likeable guy. I came to like him more as time passed.
He brought in a box that looked identical to the box he had just taken out. He hooked up to some gizmo and watched it go through all sorts of tests, then he installed it. One of the problems with the old box was that if you pushed the number buttons, nothing happened, so the only way to change channels was by cycling through the on-screen menu, which could take a bit of time if, for example, you wanted something on channel 109 and were starting on channel 2!
The numbers now worked on this box. Yay!
But it still did not show a space for "scheduled recordings" or that anything that was recorded actually could be played. He explained that this would not work until 45 minutes had passed, time for all the stations to reload all of their programs. I was skeptical because it seemed that we were back at square one, but he assured me that within 45 minutes, it would all work.
But better than that, he gave my mother his name and his cell phone number and told her that if it didn't work, to call him directly and he would see if he could get a new box from the main office.
That sounds good, but we won't know for sure. We left it that since Cousins Day (remember Cousins Day? We haven't had one since October) is this coming Monday and since my mother could now at least change channels and get to all of her favorite programs (and, more importantly, would be able to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday), we would leave the "recording" until Monday when we arrived and if it still didn't work, we would call the guy and see what he could do.We still aren't completely set up, but things are better than they were yesterday, at least. AND, the instructions I made seemed to be something she could understand, so between now and Monday I'm going to make another set of instructions so she can find my journal on her WebTV. If that happens, I will really feel like I've succeeded!