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Oct 27, 2009


When my computer doesn't work, or when I cannot get a good internet connection, I miss podcasting. I'm sorry that I missed last week, but it was one thing after another with computers. Do you ever have problems with them? They are so useful sometimes, and then, at other times, they can be a real pain. Well, I suppose the reason for me missing a couple of podcasts has given me a story for this podcast. A week ago, I showed A Cup of English to a friend of mine. While we looked at the computer, the battery sign flashed once. I checked that the cable was plugged into the socket properly. But the sign kept on flashing, twice, three times. "Battery failure, two minutes of power," it said. Then, "Battery failure, thirty seconds of power." Then suddenly the screen went black. "Oh, shoot!" as they say around here in cowboy country. Well, off to the computer wizard it went the next day. At home, we have another computer, but it is a bit of a dinosaur. It is big, and slow, and seems to eat important information, just like a T-Rex eats meat. But at least I had a chance to do a podcast, so I thought. I happily turned it on, put in my password, selected the big E sign for the internet, but no luck! "No connection available" was the message it gave me. "Sugar!" as we say in England and a few other places. "What on earth is wrong now?"

Grammar notes.

 Vocabulary: battery, to charge, failure, to plug in.


We bought a new toy for Tommy, but we forgot to buy batteries.

The car battery needs to be charged; I think someone left a light on all night.

Lack of study will lead to failure on your exam.

Of course the tv is not working. You need to plug it in!


The next day, when I woke up, there was a lot of noise in the neighborhood. I looked out of the window and saw lots of trucks of different kinds, a crew of workmen, a backhoe, and a roller. Hmm, interesting. I wondered what needed to be done. There didn't seem to be anything wrong with the road. Then, someone rang the door bell. "Hello. I'm from the local council. We're putting in a drain because of the excess water that gathers on the street." I thanked the man for letting me know. Our cul-de-sac does get huge puddles when it rains, so what they were doing made sense. The trouble was, as they were digging, they cut the internet cable for our area. Oops! They notified us and fixed the problem, but not until a few days had passed. So, what was I going to do? A friend told me that the local library has internet access for one hour for free. Great! The problem was that I didn't have recording access, or my sound editing software. After the workman told me that they had fixed the internet cable, I tried to get on again, but no luck. Nothing! So, I jumped into action, called our internet provider, and a technician came to the house to see what was causing the problem. He looked here and there, pulled out wires and cables, and put them back. "I think I've found the problem," he said. The plastic head of one of the tiny cables that plugs into the router kept on slipping out slightly, totally unnoticed by us. Oh my goodness! All this technology, and we depend on a little piece of plastic.

Grammar notes.

Computer vocabulary: router, screen, software, cable, high speed access.


The router is a little box that connects to the computer and supplies the internet.

My baby squirted his milk on the computer screen.

I need a new software for virus protection.

The main power cable has been cut.

I'm tired of this slow computer. I need high speed internet access to do my job properly.