Sunday, April 21, 2013

Wrestling with the twenty-first century

I got a desktop computer and printer. Anybody would be forgiven for thinking that I would be glad to be able to write things on the keyboard rather than using the old-fashioned method of a fountain pen. It's not quite as easy as that.

A pen - you fill it up and simply write until it's empty, then you fill it up again and get back to it. Computers are a little bit more complicated. Just plugging it in was a trial in stress management.

That wasn't the end of it, that was just the start because then I had to turn it on. Why do computer manufacturers hide the power-on button?

Well, I got the tower turned on, the screen and the little speakers.

"Magic!" said I to myself. "Now to try to get something out of it."

Easier said than done, let me tell you. There's too much stuff on the screen, all manner of little pictures and icons, and the only way to find what you want is to try them all. It only takes half of your life - no problem.

Finally got a screen that resembled that of a word processor and tried to organise the margins. Try that without an instruction booklet. In fact, try that with an instruction booklet. They could have made it difficult by printing it in Chinese Mandarin - in fact it might have been easier if they had.

Well, I finally got it all set up and proceeded to get on with a bit of letter-writing. Were my problems over? Were they hell! When I had the letter done, I turned on the printer, pressed the button on the mouse and sat back to watch the product of hours of labour coming out of the front of the machine. Nothing happened - it just buzzed then went back into a state of inertia.

More messing about, more resetting and all the inertia I could have asked for. I finally discovered that the problem was that the printer is different from the computer and I need special software to make them work together. By this time in the proceedings I am starting to think that euthenasia is a good idea - not for me, for the wanker who designed computers!

Well, I got in touch with my brother and he is sending the required software by urgent mail. If it's anything like the computer that will arrive quite quickly - about six weeks is my best guess. Still, look on the bright side - I got a desktop computer and printer.
A later date:

Well, I got the disks from my brother but they don't work. The installation wizard just tells me more or less to "sod off" for some reason or another. After a great deal of teeth-grinding and use of the vernacular, with a few words of Latin thrown in, I was on the verge of purchasing a new printer, but my guru told me not to until he has had the opportunity to grind his teeth, use the vernacular and a bit of Latin.

Fair enough!

So here I am, still sitting here patiently in my secret little location - or, as I like to call it, Bleak House or Dotheboys Hall - waiting for those who know about these things to put it right. However, if you are reading this then clearly it's all been done and is working, so don't read it, it's redundant - just like half of the country really.

What I really need is a weekend away, a bit of a break from everything, see the clan, stuff like that. We will see what happens and where things stand by this time next week.
The Voice In The Wilderness

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