Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I am a Computer Abuser

Let me begin this entry by first stating that, like most people, I have a very busy life. Until I am able to get my hands on a touchscreen Blackberry or an iPhone, I have to be near a computer to actually get on the internet. This is unfortunate because I often need to access e-mail information while en route in a car.

This morning I have exactly 20 minutes before I have to leave the house for work to get stuff done on the computer. Once I get to work it is challenging, but not always impossible to get personal business done on the computer. Since I work in healthcare and not for a health insurance company, we don't have the money to spend for each employee to have their own computer. If you want to know where your healthcare dollars go, look at the top of the health insurance corporate ladder.

So I digress, I sat down to do my quick work and the internet was not connected. The computer was giving me all kinds of wonderful messages, like telling me that my blogger address was invalid. It then gave me the option of "diagnosing computer problems" none of the problem solving options even related to what I saw on my computer screen. Alas! I was desperate and had to ask my husband to help me. I did this when I reached the point of frustration where I actually wanted to hit the computer or throw it out the window (not very effective problem solving techniques, I know, but very emotionally vindicating).

My husband, who works on and in harmony with computers daily was able to "fix" the problem. Let me also state that he knows computers so well he uses program function keys and pretty much never relies on an icon or pre-listed "help" choices. As I am not that savvy, friendly, or interested in computers, I will probably never be able to do this.

Once this latest technological glitch was under control, I began to reflect on my history of computer abuse. It usually happens when I am in a hurry and really wanting to get something done. My abuse is sometimes limited to yelling obscenities at the computer. It is located near a window in our house and I often fantasize about chucking it through the glass and watching it roll down the hill and into the small stream below. I never get to the part about what I would do afterwards if I were to ever enact this scenario. Sometimes I just want to hit the computer, probably not a good idea as it would only end up hurting my hand.

My father-in-law and I were discussing this recently. He is in his seventies and is very computer savvy, he even participates in a very active local group of senior computer users. Some of whom know a lot more about the computers than the young guys. He said that when my mother-in-law has these problems ( I know that it is scary, but she and I are an awful lot alike), she has to ask "Why doesn't the computer just work?" That is what I have to ask today, "Why can't it just work?"

1 comment:

Loud Larry said...

Don’t mess with HAL, the H-A-L 9000 computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey

HAL says:

“It can only be attributable to human error.”

“Let me put it this way, Mr. Amor. The 9000 series is the most reliable computer ever made. No 9000 computer has ever made a mistake or distorted information. We are all, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error.”

“I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a... fraid. Good afternoon, gentlemen. I am a HAL 9000 computer. I became operational at the H.A.L. plant in Urbana, Illinois on the 12th of January 1992. My instructor was Mr. Langley, and he taught me to sing a song. If you'd like to hear it I can sing it for you.”