The Other I

March 8, 2015

Upgrade to the 21st century

Filed under: Just Stuff,Stuff of Life: Current Exploits — theotheri @ 1:11 pm

 I don’t know what’s wrong, but my computer isn’t working, and my mouse is missing

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Just as I finished my last post two weeks ago, my computer began to stutter.  Within a day it had crashed, pushing me back into what rapidly began to feel like the pre-industrial age.

Although I grew up with electricity and telephone and radio, we didn’t have television, and I didn’t start using even the most primitive personal computers until I was in my 30’s.  My first computer boasted a phenomenal 640K RAM and a DOS manual, leading my colleagues to remark that I was “seriously into computers.”  But I have always preferred to get information from the printed word rather than from tv or video documentaries and walls of our house are lined with book cases stuffed full of books.

So although I always knew I valued my computer as a thinking tool, I had no idea I would be so completely disoriented without it.  And it got worse.  I managed to get through the first week while I waited for our computer doctor to arrive and replace the start-up motor, which I was convinced was the cause of my problem.  Unfortunately, after two hours of diagnostics, he decided I needed a new computer.

Oh eek:  it wasn’t the cost.  It was the fact that I would have to upgrade from Windows 7, with which I was totally comfortable, to Windows 8.1, which sounded way too much like a screenful of Apple-inspired icons replacing the word-menus which Microsoft has used for half a century.  I decided, however, that I might have enough years left in me to out-live Windows 7, and if I was going to have to learn a whole new system, I’d be better off doing it sooner rather than later.

All right, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected.  I expected to have to work at learning it, which paradoxically made it easier.  It didn’t look at all like MS 7 or Vista or XP, so I faced it as a whole new challenge and didn’t get irritated when I had to figure out how to shut the computer down.  Or find the desk top instead of the Start page, or sign into my Microsoft account to boot up Windows.  Or to figure out how to delete the screen full of icons each more or less shouting that I could not live without them, and with which I was equally sure I could not live with. I am now comfortable with Windows 8.  In fact, I rather like it.

So I feel I have left the pre-industrial age and entered the 21st century.  I wasn’t thrilled, though, to see that Windows 10 is already being moved to the launch pad.

I do hope to start blogging again though.  I’ve missed talking to you.


February 9, 2012

Thoughts on Crash Size

Filed under: Intriguing Science,Just Stuff — theotheri @ 4:07 pm
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   Peter’s computer crashed last night.  I don’t mean, crashed/reboot/you’ve lost the afternoon’s work you haven’t saved.  I mean crashed/terminal.  The computer has no more life:  it is beyond all the revival systems 35 years of experience has taught us.

All right, I recognize it’s not up there with life’s Tier One challenges along with  diagnosis of an incurable disease or the break up of a significant relationship.  But it does belong a little higher up the list than the wash machine breaking down or burning the bacon.

As I was looking up a local contact for computer data recovery (also frequently sympathetically referred to as “disaster recovery”) I was remembering Google’s enthusiasm for the prospect of a brain implant that may one day soon enable one to access the internet merely by thinking about it.

I’m not kidding.  There are people seriously thinking about how this can be done.  Doctors already know how to annihilate traumatic memories that may be causing acute and ongoing distress.  While this sounds quite benevolent, the potential possibilities also sound terrifyingly malevolent to me.

Already, having someone hack into my desk-top computer is disruptive, and losing my computer altogether can make me feel as if half my brain has been disabled.  What if I have a brain implant that spreads the entire internet out before me as a mere thought?  On good days I might start feeling like a genius.  But what if somebody hacked into my brain?

No.  I’ll keep my unpleasant memories, thank you.  And I’ll stay with my old-fashioned computer.

And count it a small blessing when it crashes.


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