I know a little about computers. Sometimes, that seems to be very, very little. I’ve been working them for over 25 years. I should know better.
The first two things that I ever learned are the ones that have always stayed with me and still hold true: The reason hardware designers put blinking lights on computers (when they do) is to entertain the idiots. People will watch for hours thinking something really important is going on and it keeps wayward hands off the buttons. Second, what actually makes the computer work is the FM (a.k.a the "F***ing Magic" ). When the FM goes, so does your computer; nothing anyone can do about it.
The things that frustrate me are the little unexplained hiccups in the FM. It takes 2 seconds for ‘whatever’ to happen and 2 weeks to sort it all out and get back to normal. Awhile back my processor came to the conclusion, on its own, that it had made a mistake in installing my keyboard. I carried this keyboard carefully back from the U.S. with me so I would have a QWERTY. I installed it and it worked. I was happy. I was happy for over a year. But, alas, I regularly update my software (some would say this is a foolish thing to do). At some point my processor, realizing that, in fact, it was resting on French soil converted my keyboard to an AZERTY. It could not exert its influence to actually re-label the keys, so it had to be content with simply converting the output. My name became Kqtiew. Did you know that if you can’t find the "q" you can’t get out of some programs?
Shortly after that I decided that I should get serious about my proficiency in my new language; i.e. learn to speak French. I have a lot of French computer courses. I keep buying them thinking that, somehow, because I’ve spent actual money I will actually learn – through osmosis. Wrong, one must actually use them. So, in an excess of good intentions (road to hell, and all that) I dutifully loaded them all on to my computer. Coincidentally, the bank statement came in the post that day. As a break from my studying I thought I would treat myself to something fun: balance the bank account. I pulled up the spreadsheet and started inputting data. My numbers all became alpha ‘words’ rather than numeric numbers and they looked like this: 1.526,00 (Euro style) rather than this: 1,526.00 (U.S. style). The software (American) couldn’t read the new punctuation and the keyboard wouldn’t let me change it. F’ing FM! Solution: Uninstall ALL of the software, rebooting after each uninstall (I never do that – naturally, I know better! LOL) and reinstall all of the software rebooting after each reinstall and checking the spreadsheet each time. Did I fix the problem? Yes! Do I know which program caused it? Not a clue!
The latest bit was last weekend. It was such a simple thing: a little card reader for the photo card in my camera. Install the software, plug it in and go. ‘It’ didn’t like the way my desktop was arranged (you know, the one on your computer screen). I, like most people, have the icons arranged the way I like them. I know where they are (games on top, work on bottom), the groupings make sense and I can find things (games) quickly. ‘It’ rearranged them every time I did something – putting them all into alpha order by first word. I would put them back….Bam, back in alphabetical order. After several hours of fighting I conceded defeat. I gently unplugged the offending device and calmly uninstalled the software. It was while I was on my knees inspecting the USB port for damage (the one I had so carefully pulled the cable from) that I noticed some funny little slots…. My computer came with built in photo/memory card readers…no software required. Who would’ve thought?
Did I mention that my operating system is in French? That makes it sooooo much easier to sort out the little diffuculties….