Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Yesterday my friend Mrs. Ochiai came out to Nikko to help me install a new printer/scanner. Actually she did a lot more than that! Last week on Thursday I saw Mrs. Ochiai at patchwork and I had brought along my laptop hoping to consult with her about the purchase of a printer/scanner. My idea was that I could catch her for 30 minutes after patchwork, we could go to the electronics shop together, she could point to a machine she thought was good, I'd buy it and ask the electronic shop people to install it for me and Voila! we could go our separate ways and I'd be all set.

Mrs. Ochiai looked at me like I was crazy.

"You can't just buy something like that without researching it Tanya! Let me think about it a few days and check the Internet and I'll get back to you about what is the best bargain and what is suitable for your needs."

Mrs. Ochiai is our resident electronics buff. She researches everything and knows computers and cameras and cell phones etc. inside and out. If any of my friends or I want to buy something new we consult first with Mrs. Ochiai.

Saturday Mrs. Ochiai called me and she'd GONE to the electronics shop, quizzed the clerk, checked out the Internet, called two other electronics shops and quizzed them too and she had a result from her private printer/scanner survey.

"You should buy "-------". It costs "-----" at such and such a shop. Let's go there together Monday after your English class and buy it together and then I'll come back to your house and install it for you."


Monday morning she called me again.

"Tanya, instead of you coming all the way out here, I'll just buy the printer/scanner and bring it directly to your house. I'll be there around noon. I'll pick up lunch on the way."

You can see how much I trust Mrs. Ochiai's judgement.

Yesterday around noon Mrs. Ochiai and the printer/scanner arrived and she seemed to be floating in seventh heaven. She claims she has FUN at the electronics shop and that she LOVES talking electronics talk with the clerks. Neither of these activities holds the least amount of appeal to me.

Mrs. Ochiai laid out the printer/scanner box innards like she was preparing to perform surgery.

"Here are the cords, these are the instructions. Here is the ink and the CD-rom. This is the warranty and here is the receipt. It's all here. Let's get to work."

Of course work meant that I just hovered over her while she connected and installed and hummed and sucked air in between her teeth.

"Hmmm. The words are in code. That means that the computer (American) and the printer/scanner (Japanese) are not set for compatibility."

Oh my gosh! That sounds terrible!

"No problem. We just adjust the settings. Let's see. Try this. No. Try this. No. Hmmm. Okay, let's call the service center and get some help."

I'm chewing my fingernails.

Mrs. Ochiai stayed on the phone with the service people for about half an hour and clicked and opened windows and did all the other things that computer people seem to know how to do. I served coffee and occasionally confirmed that the window she'd opened was the right one (we're working on an English computer here right?)

Ta-da! A perfect set-up! Whew! Next, lessons for me on how to work the thing. I scanned. Yeah! I printed. Fantastic! I even copied. Wow! This thing is amazing!

Considering that if Mrs. Ochiai hadn't helped me I would have wasted days and weeks thinking about the purchase, I would have gotten Tetsu involved and he'd end up in a bad mood for a whole day and who knows the lasting effects an argument between us might have resulted in.

Yes, and I did reimburse Mrs. Ochiai and even paid for the lunch she brought (a whole $8.) I think I got my money's worth!


Nancy said...

Mrs. O is a saint. Pure and simple. A saint.

CT said...

"you don't need to know everything. you just need to know the PHONE of the one who knows!"

in this case, Mrs. O! cool beans! hehehe!

G'G'ma said...

Everyone needs a family member or friend to help with all these electronic devices. Once in a while I can snag my sons to help me with problems. It only works if they are here at the computer. Over the phone they ask me what I've clicked on and they mean the technical term....not that red thingy on the left!!! My daughter in AZ and I muddle through things by video cam.

Anonymous said...

Can Mrs. Ochiai come to my house? Actually my husband is pretty good---but it sounds like everyone should know someone like her!

Amanda said...

Mrs Ochiai is worth her weight in gold. I'm pretty good with computers etc, but often have to call on my son for the real techy stuff. Have fun with the new gizmo - I love mine.

Mart Bright said...

My husband is like Mrs. Ochiai... except he does sometimes sigh at me! And he doesn't generally bring lunch. I even had him designate a second-in-command for when he's gone!

Shasta said...

How fun. Those are great machines to have. I have an old one, that I bought for millions of dollars when it first came out, but it isn't compatible with my (newer) computer. One day I might replace it, but I'm still trying to get my money's worth!
How wonderful you have someone like Mrs. Ochiai to help you.

Julie said...

What a wonderful friend Mrs. Ochiai is. I am always impressed with anyone who can keep all of that computer stuff straight.

June said...

Thank God for such good friends as Mrs. Ochiai. They are few and far between these days! Thank you for your prayer for my friend. She is doing better, and appreciates your kind words on my blog!

Elaine Adair said...

Is she for rent? 8-)))

The Calico Quilter said...

Oh yeah, everyone needs a tech-y friend!

My husband bought me a sheet-feed scanner last year for anniversary (no hisses, please, I asked for it!) but I can't get the Vista drivers to work, so my new laptop won't talk to it. This compatibility stuff kills me!

meggie said...

You are lucky to have Mrs O! I have a wonderful friend who is so great with computers, & she fixes my problems for me.