LET ME SHARE A MODEST AMBITION
I WOULD LIKE TO BECOME SIGNIFICANTLY MORE COMPUTER COMPETENT BEFORE I DIE. AND FEEL FREE TO INSCRIBE ‘RE-BOOT ME’ ON MY GRAVE STONE.
HOW IS THE QUESTION (in both cases)?
When I set out to become a writer, I had no idea that computers would become such a major factor in my daily life. In business, I had primarily delegated their hands-on use. That wasn’t possible when I finally committed to writing in 1986—after sundry adventures, and misadventures beforehand. Evidently, I could not escape close-quarters combat.
I won’t regale you yet again with tales of the miserable time I had with computers in the early days. Suffice to say that anything that could go wrong did—and I was the worst person in the world to fix the things. I know a great deal about computers theoretically, but my mind doesn’t seem to work the right way when it comes to the practical.
In particular, I lack the intuitive feel that exists when you grow up with the things. I’m too old. I grew up with a pen you dipped into an ink-well. I was just one step ahead of writing with a goose feather! I’m probably near enough to my ancestors to do quite a reasonable job painting on cave walls.
This week I was faced with three problems of the kind that occur on a fairly regular basis—but which I normally need some help to fix.
- My Chrome browser got corrupted. It would do everything except accept input from me. I could click on a link and it would go there fine, but the search box wouldn’t accept any input. I would type but nothing would appear. This, by the way, is particularly frustrating if you are a writer.
- My blogging software, Windows Live Writer—which I love—started misbehaving for the second time (which is why my blogging is in arrears).
- The program is use to keep my electronic files in order, Xplorer, started opening my PDFs when I tried to move them. Previously, I had dragged and dropped at speed without problems. Now the program was opening each file as soon as I touched it.
To my absolute amazement, I fixed them all—and a few more besides. Evidently, after 30 years using the damn things, I have learned something—not much—but something.
How to progress to the next level is the question.