Interludes with Cortana

So, new Dell laptop. Fearlessly and without the aid of any children or grandchildren I switched it on, and at once was assailed by this maiden of loud cheery voice who informed me her name was Cortana and could she assist me. She was astute enough to suggest I might want not to have her talking to me, and that was ok by her, which was fine by me, cheery voices are not required when setting up a new computer, not in this house anyhows.

Now all was well, save for trying convince McAfee I have a two year subscription in force and not their tweedly 28 day free one…I sense phone calls are in order, never much fun when contacting computer helplines, no matter how much info you have prepared for the call someone always manage to find some obscure question to ask you.

Well, truth be known that WAS my only problem. I have a new one; this lady Cortana. She has taken to asking me odd questions. I was about to check something  and Type Search when the following announcement appeared:

Remind me at Saturday 6pm

Convert 172 inches into centimetres.

This troubled me greatly. In the first instance I could not recall having put aside any time at 6pm on the coming Saturday for anything whatsoever, it was a possible blank piece of the day for me to do so as I wished. Then there was this question of converting 172 inches into centimetres. Why should anyone should think I wish to know how many centimetres are equivalent to 14 feet 4 inches was beyond me, there seemed no possible use to the business to my mind. Admittedly if you are one of those people who concern themselves over quantities of the consumption a particular species of edible fish and wished to demonstrate this in terms of length there might be some use. But for myself it was a random subject of no interest.

By good fortune though other domestic matters took my attention, such as trying get my other computer out of its state of complete cantankerous faux-collapse. As the fiendish device had been foiling my attempts at productive work for weeks and I now had a more sober and responsible machine, this task I set about with a cavalier attitude and the craven thing sank into meek submission.

Feeling quite superior, I went to checking with my new model and found Cortana was now advising me

My groceries are arriving

Flight BA 196

At this stage it was obvious the young lady was getting quite giddy in her attempts to be helpful. If she had troubled to consult a Google map or whatever else, she would have noticed the nearest supermarket of note is but three miles from our house and does not have a runway. This however did not occur to her for in her excitement she had now imagined a stalwart pilot had manoeuvred their craft into a 90 degree climb to be over our home, at which point bold members of the crew would be deploying parachuted goods to land all over our street. As I had not been consulted over the order, goodness what Cortana assumed would arrive. Happily the air space above our home was only intruded into by one light aircraft about its own business.

It now remains to be seen just what the lady will have believed to be of import to me, there are obviously a myriad of possibilities, and to suggest one might seem rude and spoil her fun.

Once the initial shock is over, the best strategy is to accept these little eccentricities for what they are.


16 thoughts on “Interludes with Cortana

    1. She seems to happier in the Dell environment. On my Acer she was very boastful and saying ‘Ask me anything you like’. So I typed in ‘What is the latest quantum research into 11th Dimension possibility suggest’…she sulked.
      All the best Eric

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Déjà vu!!! I remember when I first opened up Baby Dell and Cortana greeted me! By the end of the day, I had trussed her with duct tape and locked her into a teeny byte or space, where she remains to this day! I give you credit for achieving something that nobody has achieved for a couple of weeks now … you have me a genuine, spontaneous laugh!!! 😀 😀 😀 Note that you will love your Dell once you convince him that you are the boss, not him. Mine takes all my abuse, plus the abuse by the moggies, and still works fine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The best thing to do these days when setting up a new computer is to turn on the web cam and show the whip and chains. You may have to take a picture and place it as desktop wallpaper as a reminder for a week. Once it’s established who’s boss, things tend to move smoother. The alternative is to post a picture of the Donald with the caption, “You’re Fired!” There’s a third option (mine) and that was to switch the OS to Linux. Cortana packed her bags and I haven’t heard her since. That’s on the HP (not the sauce, the computer) – I don’t care for computers who like to wander in the Dell’s… Enjoy your new baby, Roger. Take the time to remove 99.9% of all the useless nerdy bells and whistles. Touch screen or standard? When I switch suddenly from tablet to computer I tend to streak greasy finger tip marks all over the screen and get all huffy when nothing moves. “I wish I had a Touch Screen!” plays in my head to the tune of “I Wish I was in England!”

      …and for your edification:

      Oh I wish I was in England, in France or even in Spain Or wherever dwells my own true love, to hold her near again Wherever dwells my own true love to hold her near again

      Oh long time I had been roaming, in country and in town But never in my wanderings met, a maid with such renown No never in my wanderings met, a maid with such renown

      Until I met my true love on the shores of Knocknashee Her brown hair in the howling wind, a-blowing wild and free Her brown hair in the howling wind, a-blowing wild and free

      Oh my true love she did promise me some land with rambling kine And on her ample pasture land to build a mansion fine And on her ample pasture land to build a mansion fine

      But then my love she left me, and she wandered far away And I’ve been searching for my love for many’s the night and day Yes I’ve been searching for my love for many’s the night and day

      Oh I wish that I was in England, or wherever she may be That I could go and call my love, and together we would be That I could go and call my love and together we would be

      Liked by 3 people

      1. That’s nice Sha’ Tara, I’ll have to YouTube that one!
        Well one week along and me an’ Dell are ok, thus far. Of course you have to be careful with these devices you can never tell….They don’t fool me I’ve seen all the Terminator franchise(not a fully rewarding experience) …..Skynet is out there somewhere.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Baby Dell is doing quite well. It’s surprising and salutary that how heavy and cumbersome by other laptop seems in comparison. All those 1960s SF authors had it so on the button!
      ‘Short Anna’…. That is never gonna grow old Sha’ Tara!
      Actually, she keeps asking for my phone number. It’s very unnerving. I do not care to be involved in such a relationship…and she’s trying to socialise, she just asked me ‘what’s the weather like?’…If you ask me, a 66 year old Brit, set in his ways, I must say…..She’s very forward young lady!

      Liked by 1 person

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