HAMMERTIME: I love my computer…most of the time

Laws of computing in this week’s Hammertime column

As I bravely approach my 75th birthday my wife and I are really enjoying our retirement, especially after slowly adjusting to and accepting such great real lifestyle amenities such as: the cell phone, Wi-Fi, E-books, GPS, massage chairs, heated car seats, rainbow ice-cream, and of course our beloved computer and all the rest of the neat perks that go along with it.

Somebody told me that Charles Baggage founded the first simple computer way back in 1833, but despite numerous attempts by the ‘techies’ of the world did not really roar into overwhelming universal popularity until the 1970s and has never ceased to amaze and test our skills with a vast array of new gadgets and loads of increased time out along the air-waves.

For years yours truly had to put together all my newspaper stories on all sorts of typewriters and used scads of ink remover, but once I calmed down in front of my first fancy new computer I was hooked, never missed a deadline, and realized that it was okay to calmly ask for help when I made a boo-boo, even if was from my grand-children.

Like so many others, we don’t know what we would ever do now without our internet and laptop, from where we can get in touch with family and friends instantly, Skype, Facetime, or e-mail them whereever they may be, as well as getting the news, weather, sport scores, and just about any information that we may need on any subject, all with just the flick of a finger, night and day. This week I decided to put together a few facts and funnies about our wild and wonderful world of computers, which I hope you will enjoy, and will never feel too bad if your system throws a hissy fit or shuts down once in a while.

The 10 laws of computing for you and me

• If you have reached the point where you really understand your computer it is probably outdated.

• When you are busy computing and someone is watching, whatever might happen, calmly behave as though you meant it to happen.

• When the going gets tough up grade your computer, but before pushing to many keys like I do, always have the HELP ME phone numbers handy of your whiz kids, tech buddies, or even the Geek Squad to get you out of trouble.

• The first place to look for information on your computer and other systems is in the section of the manual that you would least expect to find it.

• For every action there is an equal and opposite malfunction, especially if we hit the wrong key.

• To err is human…to blame your computer for your mistakes is even more human, and in fact it’s downright natural.

• He who has the last laugh probably has back up.

• The number one cause of computer problems is computer solutions.

• A complex system that doesn’t work is invariably found to have evolved from a simpler system that worked just fine.

• A computer program will always do what we tell it to do, but rarely what you want it to do. It does not help for us to yell or swear at our computer because it will never talk back, but it will likely find a way to get even.

A few fancy bytes

• Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to use the NET and he won’t bother you for a week.

• Frustrated shopper: ‘I want my husband to pay more attention to me. Do you have a perfume that smells like a computer?’

The latest innovation in office safety…when your computer crashes an air bag is activated so that you won’t bang your head on the keyboard in frustration. No matter what the case, let’s try to look on the bright side of every situation, and then just go ahead and have a great sunny summer week, all of you.

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