Monday, August 3, 2009

Rogers World (Part Two)

For those of you who might be entertaining getting the Rogers Rocket Stick, which enables you to take the Internet with you anywhere (as long as there are cell phone towers to beam the signal), a word of warning.

The stick, which fits into the USB port of your laptop, is easy to use but expensive - and lethal to flash drives. When using the stick it is important that you do not operate any flash drive, or memory stick, below it - especially if you have any audio material (like music) on it. I tried the Rocket on a 30-day trial basis. Although it made it simple to write and e-mail from just about anywhere, I generally used it when I wasn't simultaneously listening to the hours of music I loaded on a memory stick to save room in my computer hard-drive. One day, not so long ago, I was in a rush to get downtown so I decided to check e-mail while listening to tracks on the flash drive. First, the Rocket idled, unable to connect to the Internet. Then, the song I was listening to ("Mykonos" by Fleet Foxes, now burned into my memory) started to skip and then it stopped playing altogether. I disengaged from the Rocket to see what was happening only to witness sheets of music (9,000 songs to be exact) disappear into the Twilight Zone. At which point, I yanked out the memory stick. The Rocket then finally connected to the Net. Hmmm. After I did my e-mail, I went back to the memory stick only to find that indeed all that music WAS GONE.

In trying to find out what happened, and if the Rocket stick had a hand in this mass murder, I called computer places, talked to knowledgeable friends, but no one could account for it. Most said the Rocket likely had no part to play. Getting no definitive answer, I called Rogers and spoke to their tech people. Now these folks are SUPPOSED TO KNOW. The tech assured me that the Rocket could do no such thing and suggested that a virus might be the culprit. Sitting in despair, with no answers to satisfy my hunch that the two were related, I turned to the Rocket's manual. And there on Page One, at the bottom of the page, it warns that the stick gives off an electro-magnetic signal and should not be operated within short distance of any device with audio files operating. (They also included hearing aids and pacemakers - but in that area, I was safe.) In short, the Rocket operated like a bulk eraser.

I have since informed the Rogers' sales staff and their call centres of one the Rocket's more destructive attributes - and that their tech staff should be aware of this. (Especially if it is on Page One of the manual.) So just in case you're thinking of getting one - and nobody warns you - do not operate it while simultaneously running a flash drive below it. Or your files may disappear - in a flash.

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