The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

How Old is Your Computer?

No, not how many years ago did you buy old is it in terms of its maturity level, its social skills, etc.? Okay, so you can take it to a nice restaurant (and a frightening number of people do, via cell phone--c'mon, you don't eat in a phone booth, do you?), but that's only because you have control over the volume. Consider this conversation I recently had with my computer (computer translations provided by me...because I KNOW what it was thinking):

Me: Please print this document.
Computer: Sorry. Don't see a printer.
Me: You don't see a printer? What do you mean you don't see a printer? It's sitting right next to you!
Computer: Sorry, no. No printer.
Me: But...I just hooked you up to it!
Computer: Hmmm...nope. Don't remember that. No printer, no document.
Me: But you're sitting practically on top of it, you're connected to it by a cable, and I TOLD you exactly how to talk to it!Computer: Printer....printer....nope. Doesn't sound familiar. Sorry. Want to play solitaire?
Me: Of COURSE I don't want to play solitaire! I want to print this document! Now, please, talk to the printer and print it!Computer: Printer? What printer?

Now, tell me that doesn't sound like almost any young child you've ever known. Seriously, just insert "my mittens" instead of "printer", and put the conversation in the child's bedroom with the mittens approximately 5 inches from the child's foot. I'm right, aren't I? Or how about this one:

Me (after two hours of work): Okay, it's finally done. Now, if you'd just send this to--
Computer: Send what?
Me (screaming, and then becoming slightly faint): WHERE'S THE LETTER I JUST WROTE???
Computer: Letter? Did you write a letter?
Me: You KNOW I wrote a letter! I spent two hours writing a letter! What did you do with it?
Computer: I dunno...are you sure you wrote it?
Me: OF COURSE I'M SURE!!!! Now stop being obnoxious and give me the damned letter!!!
Computer: You're not my computer owner! You're the meanest computer owner in the WORLD and I hate you!
Me: No, no, NO! Don't freeze up, please don't freeze up, PLEASE keep running!
Computer: Lalala...I can't hear you.

Which is the point at which I reboot the computer and swear a lot. Another thing that reminds me of young children. Not the swearing (although I sometimes did some because of them when they were out of earshot when I was teaching) but the necessity of rebooting. They wail, you shut them down by putting them down for a nap or sticking them in their room and, if you're lucky, they come back much more cheerful and ready to work with you. If you're not, they don't remember what the hell you were talking about or what you wanted them to do but they're willing to argue about it again. Tell me that isn't a young child.

Or how about computers for singlemindedness? If you've ever tried to look up that recipe for the fresh hot buns your aunt recommended, you know that, like a 3-year-old with a new Sponge Bob dvd, there is only one topic worth discussing:

Computer: Would you like some porn?
Me: AAAACCCKKKK!!!! NO! Get RID of that!!!
Computer: Oh, okay. Well then, how about some porn?
Me: NO. No porn.
Computer: How about this porn?
Me: NO PORN. None.
Computer: Okay. Oh hey, look. I found some porn. Wanna see?
Me: Oh, for heaven's sake. NO. PORN.
Computer: Heaven? Well, here are some nice pictures of women dressed like nuns and they're stripping...
Me: NO. No nun porn. No ANY porn.
Computer: about some pictures of naked women, then?
Oh, and what about the dawdling thing?
Me: Computer, I need to get into this file now.
Computer: ....
Me: Now, please. I need to get into it now.
Computer: ....
Me: Oh, c'mon! I have to hurry! Please get me this file!
Computer: ....I'm thinking....
Me: What's there to think about? I was just in it! I just want back in it.
Computer: ....hmmm...
Me (more than a little crazed now): In! I need in! I need in NOW!!
Computer: Well, now I'm all confused. I was going to open this file...but now I'm going to stop and think. For about an hour.

Parents, don't tell me that doesn't look familiar. And if you're thinking I'm spending way too much time on the computer lately, you're quite right. I have to be on it all day at work, and the huge number of hours tapping absurdly on a notebook sized screen with a little stick while the computer laughs and runs away from me with it's shoes and pants off is perhaps addling my brain.

On the bright side, sock:

A finished sock is always a great addition to a day, isn't it? And it was fun to make this one. I worked on it during my lunch hours, enjoying the puzzlement of the muggle doctors as they wandered by saying things like " Putting your lunch hour to good use, then?" Nope, I was just screwing around and damned if this sock didn't turn up.

I didn't say that...but wouldn't it have been fun?

Knit on, friends. Just don't tell your computer. It'll want to play, too, and then where will you be?


  • At 7:30 PM, Blogger Marianne said…

    Hmmm...what I want to know is...where's the little camera you obviously have hidden in this house and watched me with the kids today....hmmmm?

  • At 8:03 PM, Blogger Faren said…

    Sorry about your computer woes, I think they know when the worst time to act up is, just like kids!
    Very pretty sock, love those colors.

  • At 11:27 PM, Anonymous angie Cox said…

    My little "computer" was on broadband before it was even thought of ...naps what are those?
    Dear Gonzales has been pretty bloddy-minded of late so he gets turned off . Lucky for me I don't have to work with one all day .Poor Jeff does and he curses about the darned things. Ours is addicted to gambling it seems .I might or might not!! have looked at some slightly dodgy pictures of a certain Mr. Everett the other day ..what does Pootie do ? It sends a micro-soft message that shouts about blocking dodgy sites when Jeff was on it ..ahem .

  • At 5:44 AM, Blogger Robin said…

    I'm sorry for your computer know it's a sure sign of insanity when you talk to "objects"!!
    I'm so glad you are keep me in stitches!

  • At 9:59 AM, Blogger Karen said…

    My daughter was speaking with hers this morning concerning her IPod...apparently it was taking too long to do something. As much as I curse mine I don't know what I'd do without my computer.

  • At 1:27 PM, Blogger Jo said…

    Love your computer woes, we have all been there! Nice sock, lovely colours

  • At 5:14 PM, Blogger Jeanne said…

    LOL! I love the concept of rebooting the kids, that's too funny!

    Computers can be a PITA. My pre-G5 Macs were drama queens. They always had the tendency of deciding today was the day and they absolutely cannot go on *arm across brow* one *snif* minute *sob* longer without a complete archiving and defragging. Of course, "today" was also the day my term paper, final project, or other vital non-missable deadline was upon me.

    Hmm. That reminds me. I haven't defragged in a year. Maybe I'd better go do that now.

  • At 5:27 PM, Blogger Lynn said…

    I think that's exactly what you should have told the muggle doctors. And followed it up with "and next week I'm buying a typewriter for my chimpanzee and timing how long it takes him to type 'War and Peace'."

  • At 8:30 PM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    Ahhhhh, dem computers. No wonder we think of 'em as alive - how could a mere machine be so damned quixotic?! Don't you just wish you could whap 'em one occasionally? Hey, it used to work for cars... TVs... transistor radios... (Nowadays, of course, they'd yell for a lawyer and immediately develop permanent damage.)

    ::snerk:: Knowing my tendencies, what you thought to your muggle doctors would've come straight out of my mouth, completely bypassing the brain. I'm glad your censor is better than mine! Lovely sock; I still heart that color!


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