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        The best laid plans go awry.  I bought the new SONY computer because it would make all of this much easier as well as easier to give lectures.  It came with Win2000 I suppose to make the photo and video stuff easier.  Even though I got on line at the hotel in Milan upon arrival, it was because I was dialing the Santa Monica AOL number and paying long distance.   Couldn't connect in Munich, Innsbruck, Sirmione and after 8 hours of working on it could not do it here at Dimitrii's house.  It should work fine here.  Finally in exasperation I make long distance call to AOL Tech Support and at least they got on quickly.  The problem?  AOL does not support dial tones in Italy with Win2000.   Just great!  If SONY, AOL or MS had let me know this before hand I could have brought the Toshiba Libretto and been just fine with Win98.  Dimitrii suggested I just go on line with his computer which I did.  I can get on AOL but of course can't send all the mail in my AOL "Mail Waiting" account on my small computer.  And opening mail from the AOL website is tedious and time-consuming.  I had 158 emails after 4 days not connected.  Finally thought through the solution.  I copied the text of all my email to be sent into one Word document.  Then I used the backpack CD burner to put that and the photos on a CD.  Put the CD in his computer and spent time cutting and pasting until I got it all out.  Some of it was important with deadlines and files to attach (which I put on the CD as well.)  From here on in I have the possibility that this is only a problem in Italy.  If so I might be OK in France, Spain and Portugal.  If not, I will have to wait until I can get to an Internet Cafe to do email of any kind.  Well wasn't that fun for 2 days.  We decided to finally leave and spread our wings.  We drive south to Genova, make a right and past Savona we will return to the Hotel Punta Est in Finale Ligure where we went in '97.  Then will leave the next day and drive into France and spend the night at the Hotel Splendid in Nice.  Then on past Marseilles to drop into Montpellier.  The weather has been unbelievably hot: 100 degrees and 90% humidity (umido).  No wonder these people all shut down and go on vacation for August.  It is really stifling.  Our last night Marcia and I drove (using the GPS) from Arese to downtown Milano for dinner at the famous Savini's Ristorante in the Galleria Victorio Emmanuele.  Very high price, not very Italian, and not worth returning.  To add to the aggravation we finally have to put gas in the car for the first time and discover as we head downtown that all the gas stations close after 7PM and go on a self-serve system.  You put your lira bills into a slot and push the number of the pump.  Then you pick up the pump (of the 3) that you want.  I accidentally picked up the diesel (gasolio) pump and when Marcia pointed that out I put it back and picked up the correct one (senza piombe).  30,000 lire down the drain.  Never got my money back.  So I learned: make sure you pick up the right pump.  Which of course is true in a lot of things.  Probably won't get online while still in Italy.  We'll see if France is any better.  Hope everyone is well and enjoying what's left of the summer.

 

KJH                                                                                               Go To -> NEXT DIARIO #7 

Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD

KHofferMD@AOL.com            RETURN TO INDEX           

Arese (MI), Italia

Sent 8-2-01

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