Computer World.

I grew up in a time before the reality of the desktop computer. And before you ask, no, I didn’t grow up before the invention of the steam engine, although I may have some difficulty in convincing my kids of that fact.  Until I was about 16 they simply didn’t exist except as cobbled together kits assembled by the most severely socially inept. Indeed, my school of 1,500 had four of the very earliest Macintoshes and they were only available to those students who were enrolled in the Advanced Maths class that went beyond the usual curriculum ( think AP).

The first desktop I ever owned was a 486/66 that was the fastest and most powerful one we could find, and had a massive 16 Gigs of RAM. Wow!  So as you can see, I don’t have the technical background that my kids have. I manage to install updates, games and the suchlike but beyond that I am lost which is why I turn to my son for tech support. Just to give you an example: I bought a printer about 18 months ago, installed the driver and plugged the computer in to it as I didn’t want to mess with wireless set up when it sat just four feet from the computer. I tried, and failed miserably to get my laptop to connect wirelessly and just decided to give up. Of course, my son took one look at it and fixed the issue in about five minutes and I’ve never looked back. I haven’t the heart to tell him that I’ve never needed to print from the laptop but that’s not the point. However, seeing as he configured the wifi network in my new house he has more than earned his corn.

Things chugged along nicely after that apart from the frustration of trying to watch the English football on Saturday mornings ( See “Football Crazy and “World Cup Willie”) with all the attendant problems of dropped feeds and delays. By the start of this year both my desktop and laptop were six years old and sorely in need of replacement, especially as the failing backlight on the desktop screen threatened to induce a Grand Mal seizure every time I switched on. Both were duly replaced with new models of significantly greater power which were unpacked and powered up before I reached my first and much anticipated stumbling block; transferring over my old data and files. Naturally my son was very excited at the prospect of being in charge of such a task, so I handed over my new 1.5 Tb external hard drive and set him running.

Of course,everything went smoothly and he was very happy that I was willing to step aside and rely on his innate expertise. There was only one minor drawback in that the desktop wouldn’t display on the T.V. despite our best efforts – well, his best and my worst.( The reason for this is that my laptop has a display port rather than and HDMI port so the sound doesn’t transfer and requires me to plug external speakers into the laptop.) In these situations I usually put it down to user incompetence, but seeing as my very own tech guru couldn’t work it out I steeled my nerves and called HP online support. I spent over an hour texting with a very nice chap somewhere in Bangalore who after much investigation informed me that my computer lacked a dedicated video card and hence simply wouldn’t do what I wanted it to. ( I’ve had girlfriends like that, but that’s a different story).  Ah well, lesson learned.

On the upside however, the desktop has the capacity to run newer games, so I indulged myself by buying the five most recent releases in the “Call Of Duty” franchise that my old machine just couldn’t handle. Oh, if you know of anyone who’s in need of a heavy duty 50 foot nylon coated HDMI cable let me know as I know where they can get one at a very reasonable price – “Never fired, only dropped once” as the old joke goes.

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