Consider a voice transmission from the earliest space missions put through the following process:
- save onto magnetic tape
- playback via an early analogue phone line to someone on the other side of the world
- have that person translate it into a foreign language on before passing it on
- get it translated back
- shred the paper then stick it back together
- fax it
Then dictate that information to someone using the worst ever VOIP/Satellite service and ask him/her to read it back; you’ll begin to get a feeling for the near hopelessness of the dialogue. Add to the mix the line quality to be further degraded whilst standing by a motorway holding a tin can and bit of string for a phone, with an automated pair of virtual scissors chopping the few remnants of speech into more pieces.
The purpose of the call was to get remote control support software manually installed on a laptop to cure a number of problems for someone who has minimal computer skills. You might begin to feel for me at this stage. It took about three hours altogether to get it in and working which, I suppose is nothing, when you are on the ‘dark side of the moon’.
My sense of humour returned later during the installation and after a very long pause in the ‘conversation’ I repeatedly asked how the progress bar was looking, to which I got the answer “it … has … about … an … … … … inch… to …. go”.