Friday 24 October 2008

Computer says no

They’re supposed to make our lives easier, aren’t they? But ever since mere mortals have been let loose in the world of IT there’s never been a bigger time waster. Tried internet banking yet? In the old days, the nice bank clerk would take my cash deposit and write my balance on a slip of paper. And smile at me. They’d set up my standing order, direct debit, whatever I like. They’d even give me a receipt for my records. Now, I have to do it all myself. Print the damn thing off using my own paper (and not, I might add, nicked from work). I am transferring this, transferring that. I am the banker in my spare, precious time.
Log on, remember the correct login name, password, keyword, passcode. I write them all down – sharp intake of breath – because how am I supposed to remember when I have ebay, paypall, facebook, egg card, googlemail, yahoo all on the go?
And as for my new best friend Norton. When he works, he’s brilliant. That little friendly green tick that tells me I am safe from ‘bad men’ on the web. But when he gets a cob on and a red tick appears – I’m terrified. What can this mean? How long have I got before my precious hard drive begins to self-destruct? And the emails from ‘support’ are no good. Every single step they tell me to take is not what appears on my screen. IT support bods must be continually rolling their eyes at the likes of me who whine: ‘I can’t work the key, you know the tab, the button, the thingy.’ Computer bods mostly just tell me to switch it off and on again. Usually does it.
But then, when it works and the whole of the web is laid before me, how great is that? Must be the best invention, ever. Sharing info, reaching people in an instant, checking the weather, checking the form. Having a bit of a nose.
As a writer, my lap top is an absolute miracle. Imagine having to type and retype every time there’s so much as a typo, messing around with carbon paper, dabbing on oceans of Tippex. I learnt to touch-type on a cranky old metal manual more years ago I care to remember right now (in the year BM - before mobiles). Blind carbon copy, anyone? I wouldn’t go back.
Computer says, all right then.


galant said...

My computer is working nicely right now - dare I say this? It's certainly tempting fate to praise the blimmin' thing! But without my computer I'd not have been able to praise your first novel (response to your first blog posting)and I'm now just adding this comment to let you know that someone 'out there' has read it!
Indeed, now that I've finished your novel I'm casting around for something to read from the TBR pile ... and, oh dear, what a pile it is! But perhaps more of that another time.
Margaret Powling

Catherine Law said...

Thank you Margaret for your comment. It's great to know A Season of Leaves is being read "out there". Perhaps you could add Tides of the Moon (working title of my second book) to your TBR pile... however you'll have to wait until September!