Skip to content

Guest Column: Oh, What a Tangled Web We Weave


Special to The Enterprise

The world has become an interconnected tangled web. To illustrate this point let me recount a story. A few years ago, we decided to upgrade and get a better granite saw. The one we thought suited us best was made in Italy. The Italians have a reputation of making quality products, but at a good price. At that time, the dollar was up and the exchange rate saved us a little more.

The one we chose also had stateside support of people and parts. Now since the people across the pond don’t use the same type of electricity as us, we also had to buy a transformer so it would run on what TVA is making. So, a little time went by, and the saw developed a hiccup. It would be going along and start having a jerking fit. Every time it did it would do a safety shutdown. We would have to go back to the computer, delete all the cuts already done, reboot and start again.

So, the stateside Italian engineer gets on his computer in Phoenix and logged onto our Wi-Fi and was doing all the diagnostics. Now since our router signal from the office did not reach across the road to the building the saw was in, we had to set up a Wi-Fi hot spot. Just another small issue to work through.   Anyway, he spends a couple of Saturday afternoons going through thousands of lines of computer code tweaking parameters to fix the problem.

We knew exactly which component was at fault and after all his efforts didn’t pan out, we just decided to just change out that particular piece. When I looked, that piece was made in Germany with some high-end electronics of its own. I don’t think the Italians fully understood the German-made equipment they were using. They just knew it did a good job doing what they needed it to do. I read the manual and it was deep.

But since I didn’t speak Dutch, I figured I’d just let it go. I didn’t figure they wanted to hear from some southern-talking American. So, after several months of questions and trying this failed, the problem got fixed with a simple change of one piece of equipment. But I thought it was a good example of this interconnected world we live in, with some mixed results.

Editor’s note: Keith Tucker is a Greenfield resident and owner of The Marble Shop.

Leave a Comment