Monday, 13 February 2012

My Computer

Remember that, Windows users?  (Inhabitants of the Appleocracy can look away now.)  It figured about three versions back, and I remember thinking it both sludge-brained and sinister at the same time.  The hyperactive teenage tadpoles who invent this stuff were obviously after conveying the idea that I had ‘ownership’, but got it exactly the wrong way round – they should have called it ‘Your Computer’, shouldn’t they?  As it was, the message came across, or would have done to anyone down there in the same sludge-brain swamp, as: ‘I, Microsoft, Own This Computer.  You Are My Slave And Victim.  Do Not Fuck With Me!’

Fortunately, they dropped the ‘My’ in the next version, so now it just says ‘Computer’.  Which is precisely as helpful.

But what I really wanted to talk about was my computer (small m, small c).  I know that I ask a lot of it, given its age.  Are computer years like dog years, multiply by seven?  If so, mine’s, well let’s just say, catching up with me.  But machines (unlike dogs)  shouldn’t unpredictably modify their behaviour without my telling them to.  I wouldn’t expect my car to do that.  Examples: when I double-click an icon, it has decided – sometimes – to open the same window twice.  Not always: that’s the irritating bit.  I swear I have not changed anything.    And when I ask it to stream from Spotify or Youtube it obeys submissively, whereas when I ask iTunes to do the same thing, I am solemnly informed that ‘This computer does not support streaming.’  It’s like the car telling me that it can’t run the aircon because I got in through the wrong door, or the dog not recognising the lead.

The thing is, this technology is in its infancy.  It’s all about surface.  Deep technology is totally dependable except in really dire situations.  If you don’t believe that, turn on your tap.  This is shallow technology, in its infancy; and it occasionally worries me that, if it breaks down because a tadpole failed to report in for work, then so will everything else.

I’m off down the Post Office tomorrow to buy a book of stamps.  Ozymandias rules.


  1. You write beautifully when your angry.... or a bit cross.
    Happy Valentine's Day!

  2. I agree......this is a wonderful blog and strikes in many familiare sor places.

    However, at the rate technology is expanding, I don't know if we can call Windows Op systems a young technology.....but I am not ready for the newest tech stuff yet.

    As for computers misbehaving.....ha...we could all write a book.

  3. Laughing at the whose computer bit.

    My son tells me that the whole windows system is just a series of corrections to earlier errors, cobbled together a bit at a time after each disaster. As if they built a bridge starting at the top and had to keep adding bricks and struts and suspenders as the structure wobbled more and more.

    I'm still using first class Christmas stamps from about ten years ago - and they still work! That's deep technology.

  4. I worked with Windoze for around 15 years, then along came Vista and I knew that our edgy relationship was soon to end. Mig's son is absolutely right in his description, by-the-way.

    I now have a Mac mini desktop and I run a free Linux system (Ubuntu 11.10) on the laptop. There's no way I would never go back, no matter how much MS rip off Apple design features to make their product more appealing.

  5. The "hyperactive teenage tadpoles" bit made me laugh out loud! You are so right. I also get very irritated by MS habit of "updating" my computer overnight with no discernible benefits to moi. In fact, it seems to run slower with every poxy update!

  6. I still have MY Docs, Music, Pictures, Video.
    If I put them in the cloud they will be Nimbo's Docs, Music, Pictures, Video.

    Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The lone and level sands stretch far away.

    If they get the stuff it'd be goodbye beach forever wouldn't it.

  7. Throw it away and get a new Amstrad!

  8. Could I perhaps interest you in a carrier pigeon? I have several for hire. They would dedicate themselves to your personal service unconditionally.

    (Please reply by smoke signal)

  9. Thanks all. Not sure if this comment will get through, because IE is crashing every few minutes. This computer has gone insane.
    Def off to get a new one 2morrow.

    Chris, trouble is, they're one-way, aren't they?

  10. I worked for ten years on a second hand PC that didn't do much of anything except excel and explorer one and a half.
    Which concentrated my mind wonderfully.

    Still got it in case the new shiny model breaks down on me....

  11. You've got me worried now, Tim, because I still have "my computer" et al....

    I certainly wouldn't ever consign anything to a cloud. Might rain.

  12. Of course, once I whipped it with a twig like Basil did his car, and sent it to the naughty step for an hour, it's been as quick and docile as a laptop can be. (It's listening, better not say any more.)