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Politically Incorrect

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Who knew dealing with computers was harder than raising teenagers?

Misty was my first, and most difficult child to raise. I had not yet learned that trying to control a teenager was an exercise in futility, and we butted heads on a regular basis. I swear, for about three or four years straight, every single thing that child did was done for the sole purpose of irritating me.

Who knew she would one day be topped by computers? Two of them, in fact. Mom’s Big Computer, and now the Mac World e-Mac. (That’s their names.)

Back in October, Mom’s Big Computer decided to embark on an experiment in computer crashing. After six years of being my faithful companion in putting together each and every issue of the River Journal, MBC decided enough was enough.

I took her to the doctor. His diagnosis? A faulty piece of RAM. MBC came home, and promptly crashed again. I took her back to the doctor. This time it was a faulty hard drive that had to be replaced before she could come home. And then she crashed again. Doc says  the only thing left is, basically, a brain transplant. I’m not sure if he meant for her, or for me. I do know that I might find one useful.

Interestingly enough, MBC works just fine as long as she’s not allowed to associate with the Internet in any way, shape or form. At least, she does for a little while.

Damn computers.

Although MBC was struggling with health issues, I still had work to do, and Sandy Compton offered me an unused e-Mac he had sitting in his Heron office. So I live in Mac World now, and I thought that Sandy might just piss himself in delight. (He says that’s not true, that I exaggerate.) People who use Macs, in case you didn’t know, are fanatics, and want to convert the world.

I don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I can tell you now that Macs are every bit as contrary as any other computer.

Mac World e-Mac has issues. Although Macs are supposed to be the computer of choice for designers, this one is remarkably unhelpful in a number of design areas, particularly in providing previews of pictures, fonts, etc. Which means you have to actually select all of the 2,000 fonts on your system, or the 5,000 photos on the hard drive, and open them in a preview program one by one, to figure out which one is the one you really want.

I can live with that, because you kinda have to live with things you have no power to change, but Mac World e-Mac is also just a tad bit idiosyncratic when it comes to cruising the Internet—sometimes he will, and sometimes he won’t. One moment he’ll send an email just fine, the next he refuses, saying my ISP is “not in my list of service providers.” He’ll refuse to email someone directly, but will allow me to reply when they email me. Internet pages aren’t even close to appearing like how they’re designed to appear, and he won’t open an Internet browser unless it’s Microsoft Explorer, which is so old it’s not even supported anymore. Maybe he picked it up his Internet aversion from the MBC.

Damn computers.

How did I ever exist before Al Gore invented the Internet? (And by the way, a little bit of info for those of you who believe every single thing they hear without bothering to check whether or not it’s true—although Al Gore never said he invented the Internet, he actually had a lot to do with providing the funding and resources to make it happen. The two inventors of the TCP-IP protocol, on which the web is based, said of Gore, “No other elected official, to our knowledge, has made a greater contribution over a longer period of time.” So there. Of course, by now you’ve probably recognized the drawbacks to not voting for the smart guy.)

But back to my original question, the answer would be that I certainly wasn’t trying to produce a publication like this one back in those pre-Internet days. And it’s not easy trying to do so now.

Currently I’m working with a PC/Mac combination, plus two other computers for various tasks, and trying to convince one computer to do what the other ones won’t. Life right now is all about how you can’t get there from here. Sometimes I can make it work, and sometimes I can’t make it work at all. Which is eerily reminiscent of those days when I was raising Misty.

On the bright side, Misty turned out really well. So maybe this oddball computer combination will, too. If nothing else, you’re reading another issue of a magazine produced in spite of all this confusion.

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Author info

Landon Otis

Tagged as:

children, parenting, technology, Misty

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