The 12:00 Flasher

Only the übergeeks will truly understand and appreciate.

During my four years of university, I worked for the Information Technology Services Help Desk on campus – yes, headset and all. Übergeek. I’m not sure who I convinced to give me the job – I was a marketing student for crying out loud! Apparently someone saw my inner geek ready to scream out.

Anyway, we’d get calls from students, faculty, and staff regarding anything and everything that uses a battery or plugs in the wall. On extreme calls, usually with faculty, you’d: Press Hold.  <scream at your screen> UGGGGGH! WTF? Seriously man?  Press Hold.  “Now, Mr. So and So, have you turned your monitor on yet? Yes, that screen we agreed looked like a TV. You did? Greeeeeaaaattt.”  You get the picture. We’ve got a damn 12:00 Flasher on our hands.

Did you watch the video or not? Mind you, this video is from… 2002? It might be over some peoples heads. Or I’m just a dork.

Here’s a 12:00 Flasher recap. It’s someone who’s home is full of electrical appliances… all flashing 12:00. It’s not that they don’t want to set the clock, it’s that they don’t know how! Someone who wants the full benefits of a world run by computers, the internet, and automatic iEverything, but is unwilling to learn how it all works. Something in their little world is bound to break. Once it breaks… Melt. Down. Central.

I was recently graced with the presence of a 12:00 Flasher on board. She has many other names I’ve lovingly given her, but overall, she’s a very wonderful person to have aboard. Needless to say, our Flasher had an iPad meltdown this trip.

This disaster happened due to our very very bored “Flasher” thinking trying to help out by downloading a software update. Most guests have zero patience. If you try to manually restart an iPad while it is automatically restarting – the end product will be a locked out iPad that needs to be plugged into the computer that has the original custom designed Crestron app. Only licensed programmers can make any changes to a Crestron system and its applications. There goes a couple thousand dollars out the port hole.

Some people should not be allowed to touch electronics. Not even a microwave. Never mind allowing them to use an iPad that runs their cabins full entertainment system. Disaster is bound to happen. No matter how foolproof you attempt to make it.

Here are my useless pointers on avoiding a technological failure:

  1. Always update all electronics before guests arrive. They’re all curious about those little red update bubbles on the corner of an app or settings button. Curiosity obviously killed our cat. And by cat, I mean iPad.
  2. Make sure they are 100% charged. They’ll never put it back on the dock by a guest. Never.
  3. Erase all other apps besides Safari from the iPads that are used as remotes. If you don’t, each time you pick up the iPad, EVERY SINGLE APP will be open. Why do you need the contacts, maps, and game center open!?!? Close all apps but the Crestron (remote) app.
  4. Show them exactly how to use the remote app.
  5. Breathe. Inner scream. Show them again.
  6. Tell them not to touch any other buttons. No matter what.
  7. Tell them not to push a button 12 times in a row. Wait for it to recognize the button you pushed first. Pushers drive me absolutely mad!
  8. Once you move said guest into another cabin so they have a working TV (after they, of course, pooched the system in their first cabin), make sure they don’t have magnets in their fingers. The next iPad WILL freeze. Only for them. Most likely, you’ll just hit the “System Off” button with just the tap of a finger, and it’ll turn off.
  9. Check all AV systems multiple times per week. I’m pretty sure those “Boat Gremlins” we’ve all come to loath, hide especially in the AV and networking systems.
  10. Wonder what the hell they’re doing with a better iPhone than you. Do they even know how to use it?

Trust me on these. You do not want to end up in my position. Luckily for me, they were the last set of owners guests on for the season!! Yay! We’re coming to the end. Time to get our AV guys lined up for the yard period!

Moral of todays lesson, out smart the 12:00 Flashers, unless of course, you are one yourself. Don’t worry, there is still hope for youmaybe.

Jess sig


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