Adapt/or

July 21st, 2010 in .Blogs
Mrs Mario
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When I first started using PCs and gadgets, it was a fairly complicated affair. If you bought a new floppy/drive/computer part it was inevitable that you’d end up spending several hours trying to get it to work. It would involve sweat, swearing, tears and, possibly, a bit of a temper tantrum before anything happened.

Remember the days when getting one thing to talk to another was arduous hell? Then along came the words “plug-and-play” and slowly the horror began to drift away, replaced by calm and quiet and the sound of devices happily communicating.

If I am honest, I haven’t quite lost that tense feeling whenever I buy a new gizmo. I walk slowly towards my PC, carrying the new item in front of me like an offering. Will my PC calmly accept this new arrival with a whirr and a ping? Or will I spend hours trawling the forums for a solution to a completely bizarre problem?

I have developed a strategy. I approach slowly. I allow my PC to see the new friend before calmly unravelling the USB cable and inserting it. I leave the room, letting them spend some quality time together, getting to know each other. Perhaps a bit of socialising will ease them into a comfortable working relationship. I go and make some tea.

Then, tea in hand, I carefully (and very, very slowly) introduce the device to my PC. Yes, I know that the box screams “works with Windows 7”, I know my system specs are all perfect, but there’s that X factor – that something that happens “occasionally” (also mentioned on the box, in fine print) – and I am going to do my darndest to avoid it.

I can’t be the only person who still suffers from the residual tremors of the first days of computing, surely? The days when a LAN game meant travelling across country with your PC in your boot and a deep terror that, in spite of your every effort, your machine just won’t recognise the network?

So, I am still very much amazed every time things just work. Just work. The other day I needed to get an image of something at my office to somebody in another office faster than the speed of light. All I had to do was use my camera phone, select Share, and email it. Five minutes later a triumphant email from the other side thanked me for my prompt response.

It stunned me! Yes, yes, I know this has been around for a while but haven’t I made it clear that I’m still struggling to adapt to the brilliance of modern technology? I own lots of it. I am a gadget freak.  My nerves may not be of steel, but they still demand a fix whenever something shiny comes on the market. However, it may take me a little longer to stop approaching my computer slowly, while murmuring calming words. Just in case…

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