By DARREN HANDSCHUH
The more I use them, the more I am convinced computers have been placed on this earth to drive me crazy. I suspect I am not alone in my assessment of the ‘marvels’ of science.
Many movies have been made about computers running rampant and destroying humanity. I say we are almost there.
The electronic beasts have effectively taken over the world and are in control of everything from traffic lights to international banking.
They were supposed to make life easier, but as my home computer proved this week that’s like saying alcohol makes people smarter.
My computer had been acting up for some time and the other day it gave the electronic version of a death gurgle and shut down.
My computer at work is in good shape, but it still drives me crazy. As I was typing that very sentence I accidentally hit a combination of keys and this red line and information bubble suddenly appeared in the middle of the column telling me what I had just deleted.
Thanks, but I know what I just deleted because I was the one who deleted it.
Then there is the perennial problem of the electronic terror crashing without warning. One minute you are merrily working away, your fingers happily caressing the mouse and then - BAM – you are left staring at an error message.
I think I know why quirky little things happen when using the infernal machines: computers are evil.
More than once I have wished I could bring a computer to life just so I could have the pleasure of killing it.
“Hi, I’m your computer. I have just come to life.”
“Really, that’s great.”
Acting as a buffer between feeble-minded computer users – I’m not mentioning any names here - and the technologically bloated machines are the tech experts, who are sometimes referred to as geeks.
I, of course, would never call them that and have a deep and heart-felt respect for their astounding ability to communicate with said machine, and to correct whatever digital crisis the device may be enduring.
I really mean that. I am not just saying it because there’s a chance the tech where I work will read this and take offence to being called a geek.
Because if he were to take offence to the comment (which I am not making) the next time I go scampering to him for help, he might just stick his fingers in his ears and go, “La-la-la-la-la” until I went away.
Or worse, he might put his hands over his eyes and say, “Where’d the tech go? Where is he? He’s all gone.”
When it comes to fixing computers I am lost after re-booting, which is the first thing I do no matter the problem.
Smoke and flames could be pouring from the hard drive and my first course of action would be to reboot. If rebooting doesn’t work, I might try hitting it on the side like the Fonz would have done. I would like to add that never works on computers or anything else for that matter.
I would then think bad thoughts about the computer, wish it were alive and I had a gun and then go running to our most beloved in-house computer tech who is not unlike a knight in shinning armor waiting to battle the evil, glitch-breathing dragon that has dared attack one of his flock.
Techs are busy people, and one time I explained the problem, but he was too busy to tend to the matter immediately, so he rattled off some possible solution and asked if I knew how to do it.
I said I didn’t have to know how to do it. That’s what he was for.
He corrected the problem in about four seconds.
“The least you could do was make it look difficult so I could salvage some shred of self worth. Maybe spend a whole minute fixing it or something, I mean, c’mon will ya. Every body is watching.”
The only computer course I have taken in my life was in high school and, at the risk of aging myself, they weren’t really computers as much as electronic type writers with monitors. True computers with hard drives and all those other fancy gizmos were not available to our school yet.
I can remember some of the computer geeks, um, I mean, future computer experts getting all excited about the new-fangled device. They would scurry about the hallways with floppy discs, salivating at the opportunity of spending more time with their electronic mistress.
I didn’t learn a lot about computers during the course. Part of the reason may be because it was the first year it was offered and some of the smarter students were showing the teacher how to do things.
By the time the school year was over, the ‘computers’ we were learning on were outdated by several computer generations and the knowledge we learned was only good for reminiscing about the good ol’ days when men were men and computers were just another gadget.
Maybe I’ll just sit back and wait for this whole computer “fad” to end.
I have a feeling it’s going to be a long wait.