Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Have we ever discussed how hopeless I am with computers? Let's start at the beginning.

My parents are computer people. Dinosaurs, but total computer people. (Hi! Love you!). Programmers, engineers, you know them, the people who the IT guys hate because they know more than they do, yet they still have to help them from time to time? We would come to my dad with a question about some computer related topic and his answer was always, "Did you read the manual? Come back after you have." Infuriating.

We had computers where you had to insert floppy disk after floppy disk just to get it started, no hard drive. I'm pretty sure that the funny program called Prodigy where you could talk to other people on other computers - Dad, were we really beta testers for the whole internet? Did you know that my sister was at the forefront of technology when she invented internet dating? Maybe not invented, but seriously! We were at the beginning of it all!

So, with high hopes, I signed up for an AP computers class my Junior year in high school. I am so old that we were programming in Pascal. It's an ancient romance language, now. Regardless, I signed up, was going to conquer the computer world. I was going to program the computer to add math problems or to type "hello" or something amazing like that. All I know was that I, um, well, wasn't very good at it.

I remember my dad saying, "It doesn't do what you WANT it to do, it does exactly what you TELL it to do." in about as shouty a voice as he ever got. In fact, when it came to our final project, I'm sure that the Green Tractor remembers the rest of the story vividly. He says I had a bad pointer. I have no idea what that means, just that when I wanted my program to run and do what it was supposed to do, that it all went blank. ALL. My program should be the one sold to people who are going to sell their computer on Craigslist, because apparently it was the one that completely wiped the computer clean of everything.

There was a lot of floppy disk inserting and some mumbling about "DNA... genetics... what went wrong...why me?" coming from the guy who had to undo my bad pointer and reformat his whole computer and then a defeated, "Try it again, Sara" and then more floppy disk inserting and more mumbling. I'm pretty sure I was missing and end parenthesis or something silly that if the computer were doing what I WANTED it to do, never would have happened.

Fast forward a couple of years and I thought that email would never take off as a form of communication and that the internet was stupid. Thank goodness I wasn't a business major. Or a stock picker.

And now, today, I tried to enter a password that was about 38 characters and I did it about 38 times and still could.not.get.it.done so the young dude who was patiently trying to help me through my issues made the password easier so that I could handle it.

Things aren't looking good for me as I get older.

1 comment:

Green.barn said...

Was the "young dude" your eldest son?