My computer is seven years old (I think). Which means that in computer terms it is at least as old as I am. And like those of us the young Brits call ‘wrinklies,’ is crochety, slow, and sometimes loses its mind. I know I should go buy another one, but the thought of going through the initial three months or so it takes to get back to where I am now, problems and all, is daunting. Everyone I know feels the same way. A new computer should be a joyful thing. Faster, smarter, able to do more things more intelligently, able to foresee and head off the stupid user tricks that we all come up with.
Not so. First of all, probably none of the programs which currently run on my computer will work on a new one. When I try to bring them up, I will get some kind of horse manure about their ‘no longer being supported.’ Well, why not? A new computer should add on new programs to the old faithfuls, not screw them up. Given my druthers, I would still like to be able to use Pagemaker and Freehand and at least a dozen others I can think of. I have wonderful old Filemaker folders I can’t open any longer. Everything becomes more complex.
I do have sense enough to take my present (old) computer down to the Apple store, hand it over to them and tell them to transfer everything over to my new computer, whatever it is, and to tell me explicitly what I need that doesn’t come with it any longer. Like a video/cd player. What’s that all about? I have operas on video I like to run while I work. I also have three printers hooked up. What are the odds that they and a new computer will find one another properly? Probably not much better than the odds of winning the lottery.
And the internet? Will it work properly? Probably not. It never has on any computer transfer I’ve ever made.
My dear computer savvy son-in-law (call his name blessed) worked on my old baby for a couple of hours last week, got rid of all sorts of malware and hidden stuff that I didn’t know was there. He did speed up the computer significantly. For a little while. It is getting creepy again, however,
Computer makers should realize that most of us qualify as end-users. I, for one, may qualify as an idiot, but not, heaven knows, an Idiot Savant. I don’t savant much of anything computery. We don’t hack or intrude or try to do weird stuff. I write fiction and pay my bills mostly. I seldom write letters. Tacky, I know, but most of us text. Which means that future generations will not have the benefit of correspondence by the greats. How much Sam Johnson would Boswell have lost to Twitter?
And what, for heaven’s sake, is this ‘dark web’ that all the television shows are talking about? And how do you access it? I was under the impression that the web is the web. Now I discover that it has an evil twin. Who knew?