|Ain't She a Beaut?|
The downside of keeping a computer until it literally gives up the cyber-ghost is that it leaves you hopelessly unprepared for the next generation of technology you'll suddenly have to deal with.
When I began my journo career, in the days when ships were made of oak and men were made of iron, we used manual typewriters with carriages, drums, return levers, cloth ink ribbons and keys that were usually mortally wounded here or there. Type would eventually come to resemble a set of bad teeth which meant regular visits from the typewriter repairman who would arrive with a case of weird instruments, and a bucket of replacement springs, levers and whatnot. The machines were old and beat up and grimy and, God, I loved them.
One day I wandered into the newsroom to discover we had gone to the Dark Side. Overnight some fiend had slipped in to purloin our venerable tools of the trade, leaving in their place these goddamned IBM Selectrix, electric typewriters. No carriage returns, no ribbons to rewind, keys that seemed to 'fire' at the slightest touch. No rough handling there. Electric, sterile, soulless.
But, like it or not, eventually you make peace, like a horse broken in a corral. The deed was done. Then, beaten into submission, life ground on until some bastard showed up at the door with a computer. In the early days, before Windows, we had to contend with operating systems like CPM-86 and MS-DOS . That meant you had to memorize commands to be typed in when you actually wanted to do something. We did it although it must be one of those memories that the brain suppresses.
Now I'm confronted with an i-7 this and Windows 8 that, terabytes of memory, SSD drive and everything is now wireless, operating in what, in a gentler time, we might call the "ether." New computer, new keyboard, new printer, something called a touchpad, new software - the slog begins anew once more from the bottom of the steep hill. It's like all of this technology was lurking in a dark alleyway just waiting for me to turn the corner. Arrrgh!
I've rebelled against this for a week now, figuring that if I simply ignored everything it would magically return to business as usual. That's like believing you can stop a car without learning how to apply the brakes. I give. I will read the freakin' manuals and tinker with this and that, trial and error style, until I can pass the machine's muster. Jeez, I'd like to bolt but somehow I know I'd never get far. So, my blogging output may be declining a little for a while. Maybe, maybe not - we'll see.
I'm getting too old for this.