Monday, September 18, 2006

Digital Dinosaur

In the late 1990's when I began to get seriously interested in computers and information technology, I tried to get all of the relevant reading and instructional materials available on the market and started to get down to some serious reading.

After a day or so of really intense study, I managed to borrow the use of a computer with a dial-up internet connection boasting the then dizzying access speed of 56 Kbps and attempted to do some internet surfing. The results were predictably catastrophic.

I did not only get lost somewhere in the midst of the Web's labyrinth of digital paths and highways but I even managed, to the horror of the computer's owner, to screw up so many of his internet browser's settings that he had to spend many futile hours trying to repair the damage and ended up having to reinstall the whole thing. Thereafter, he banned me from even getting near his computer and capped his indignation at what I had done by refusing to talk to me or receive my calls for weeks.

I eventually did, however, through the long and bitter process of trial and error, become adequately proficient in the use of computers and IT technology but I still cringe in embarrassment when I recall the many instances in the past when, inspite of my vast ignorance about such things, my tendency to foolishly forge ahead and tinker with the new technology led to swift, certain and inevitable disaster.

That is why I envy kids today and how they seem to be naturally bred to accept, interact and live their lives in conjunction with the personal computer and all the other spin-offs of the digital age. They are naturals. I, on the other hand, and like so many others, can only struggle to keep up.

So when you are forty something and not in any way an overaged computer geek and you are desperately trying to make sense of the flood of gibberish on your computer screen in an internet cafe, never be ashamed turn to the snotty kid playing online games next to you. Ten to one, he can solve your problem in a jiffy.

And take note of the patronizing look in his eyes when he helps you out. He's thinking, "Dude, how can somebody as old as that be so useless!"

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