Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Roadkill on the Information Superhighway

That's what my sister used to call herself, anyway, and I'm afraid that some of that computer intolerance trickled down my genetic branch as well. In college, my brother would come by to fix my printer only to discover that I hadn't installed it, hadn't updated my software at any point during the year, or had a paper jam that went back four months (I kid you not. Hard to fake like it's not happening when your desk jet starts printing out Christmas cards just before Easter.).
That said, I've come to terms with my computer illiteracy, facing it head-on by taking a paying, full-time, non-imaginary job at a food and recipe website. As a programmer. Ha! Granted, that only means that instead of staying on the phone with the Geek Squad, I can now reach out to my trained team of technicians anytime day or night that we keep in-house. Keep your enemies close, right?

So I called my sister last night and learned that she'd just purchased a new computer and was now having to load Microsoft Office onto the machine. How Mac gets away with selling you a machine worth a mortgage payment that does nothing from the get-go amazes me. She had already conferred with our brother (the one who fixed my college snafus) and her husband (definitely computer literate) when she asked me a question.

I used to laugh at these questions (Seriously? You're asking me?), but now that I'm gainfully employed at a website, I don't have much excuse not to help. Here's how it went...

K: The boys agree, but I need to ask the masses. It [the computer start-up window] wants me to delete all older versions of Microsoft Office. I've already clicked delete to put it in the trash, but now it wants me to empty the trash.

Me: That's ok. What you don't know about these things is that they don't really want you to read them, they just want you to keep clicking "yes" or "ok." Mac forgets that there are people like you and me that stress over those little blue flashing boxes.

K: So if I delete it, I won't be locked out from opening all my old files?

Me: Look at it this way, even if you are, when you try to open the file, your Mac will link you to a webpage prompting you to download a patch that will let you open your old files.

K (to her husband): She said it might make me wear a patch.

Me: No, not you, your Office.

K: See? They send you home with this stuff saying, "Any dummy can do this," but what they haven't seen is a picture of me sitting in front of my locked word documents wearing a patch and clicking ok.

Me: You're right, they definitely have not seen that.

1 comment:

Z said...

you know who you ought to call for mac problems, don't you? there's a real live lead mac genius in my family! and he's totally cute too!! better that what you'll get if you go into the apple store...