I learned to type on a manual typewriter – with covered keys which forced us to learn the ‘touch’ method. My first work computer (1990) was an IBM with a boot disk. Every morning slip in the 5 1/2 inch floppy and start it up. It had a ‘dictionary’ disk for spell check. Okay, this was a non profit agency so we may have been a little behind. But still.
I have moved along the last 20 years learning new operating systems every few years. There are many many things I do with a computer that I don’t understand. I tell it to perform a task and if it doesn’t respond I don’t know what to do except call for help.
At work, since the beginning of 2011, we have installed a new web page design and changed email providers. Everything about both of these new systems looks and acts differently from what I have worked with for the past several years. In my opinion, these two events provided sufficient change for me to deal with. But let me tell you about my week.
• Day one: I got a message on my computer (at work) that basically meant life as I knew it was over. Windows was ‘compromised.’ Our young technician spent the day running tests and scans while I cleaned the office supply closet – time not entirely wasted for me. Later, at home, when I inserted my black-stick SanDisk into my Netbook to edit a chapter of my latest novel-in-progress, it gave me a message that it was locked – I did not have permission to edit. Now, I bought that computer-ette and black stick with my hard earned money. If I don’t have permission, who does?
• Day Two: Tech set me up with a laptop so I could work on the online data base I’m responsible for. I was glad to be able to catch up some work but it was a flat laptop with no key pad for inputting numbers. I put two rulers under it to give it a slight tilt. Tech would clean and reinstall the operating system on my computer. He promised no files would be lost – one of those things I don’t understand and can only say “Thankyoulord for favors.”
• Day Three: Computer back at my work desk – newly installed with Windows 7! Another major change in my life. I spent five minutes looking for the printer icon, even tried the old pre-mouse command ctrl-P, before finding ‘print’ where Windows 7 so cleverly hid it. That night, at home, I was hacked – or something – on facebook. All my friends got a message that I ‘liked’ a dirty picture.
• Finally, the weekend: My previously ordered copy of The King’s Speech came from Netflix. I had waited eagerly for this to come out on video so I could order it. I settled back to watch my favorite actor in his award winning performance. Nothing. Removing the DVD I saw a big smudge and a small scratch. I cleaned the smudge but the scratch was obviously the culprit. No movie for me this Friday night.
So, after being under attack for a time by the Tech-Devil, I am adjusting. I am learning Windows 7, hearing a chime or mini glissando every time I make an entry in my data base. I have changed my fb password. And the very nice people at Netflix said they will send me another copy of the movie post haste. I still haven’t solved the problem of the SanDisk, since it stubbornly refuses to let me copy or save or do anything but print. But I believe in hard copies so I may just type it all over again. Just glad I don’t have to do that on a manual typewriter with covered keys.