Wednesday, May 22, 2019

I Guess The Dog Was A Laptop Model, Too

We used to have the cutest dog. When she was a puppy, we took her out to the river in case she wanted to swim. She didn't want to swim. She'd never even seen water. Her ancestry had led her to want to jam her face into holes in the ground and bother rodents with it, not swim.

But we were curious, so Dave picked her up and walked into the water with her. The most amazing thing happened. Suspended above the water but still dry as a bone, she began paddling with all fours for all she was worth. All Dave had to do was lower her into the water and she shot off like a toy boat with a rubber-band motor.

That is some freakishly specific brand of smart. I'm a little higher up the evolutionary tree, and if you'd suspended me over the water, I'd have hollered and scratched and bit and dropped to the bottom of the lake like a plumb-bob.

So the problem I have with my computer is I don't know if it's more like me or my old dog.

I do like my laptop. It replaced a massive antique Dell that looked like an old-fashioned TV set. That one started getting creaky and after a while I was afraid Everything I'd Ever Written would disappear one day and Columbo and the Murder She Wrote lady would have to climb out of the screen and go looking for it.

Remarkably, the transition went seamlessly. Everything I'd Ever Written fit on a one-inch thumb drive--I don't know how to feel about that--and showed up unscathed on my laptop. I thought I was home free.

But one thing about the new-fashioned computers: they're curious. This one wanted to know all sorts of things. It's like pudding: you have to know a lot just to get it to set up. There were keychains. Passwords. Suitcases to bring to the Cloud. Extra underwear. It wanted to see my previous computer's birth certificate and tax returns. If I answered stuff wrong, it basically rolled its little eye at me. I think I might have contributed a password full of pet names and numbers, but it kept asking more and more questions, and then I just gave up. I'm still not on the Cloud.

But regular as shit, the darn thing wants me to update stuff. Asks me every day: do you want to install this? The furthest it will put me off is "Remind me tomorrow." I already know what I'm going to say tomorrow, but apparently, as smart as it thinks it is, it can't anticipate. And sometimes it wants to change absolutely everything. It wants to upgrade me to a new operating system. The Mac operating systems were named after jungle cats for a long time, and now they're geological wonders. I don't know what OS we're up to now: Saber-Toothed Tiger On Top Of Old Smoky?

I have no wish to do any of this. If I do an update, the next day will be a slog of all the old questions before I can play. It will want me to authenticate all of the crap I never quite authenticated before. I still won't be on the Cloud. And if I upgrade my operating system?

I don't know if Everything I Ever Wrote will be dog-paddling above the machine ready to scoot along or if it will drop like a plumb-bob.

35 comments:

  1. For a long while, I didn't upgrade to El Capitan from whatever the previous one was because everything was different: it scrolled the other way. The e-mail was set up with just icons instead of icons AND actual words. Stuff like that. But when they stopped updating my old system, I sometimes wouldn't be able to access sites I wanted, and I also worried about not getting patches for all the new viruses.

    So I bought one of those "Dummies" books for El Capitan. I read it scrupulously before I updated anything. And I found out that I didn't have to change anything when I updated. They had "classic" options that one could change to in the settings. I was so pleased about that, as change, though inevitable, is a great big pain in the ass. So I changed the e-mail to the original lay-out with words as well as icons (For some reason, I have trouble deciphering what icons are supposed to mean. I know they try to design it to look obvious, but it may as well be Egyptian hieroglyphics to me.) I set the scrolling in what I consider the proper direction. All is well. I totally recommend these books, even though the title may be off-putting to one's ego.

    Because not all of us have access to a 12-year old child.

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    1. If I see a book that says Anything Computery For Dummies, I'm not offended at all. I think: That there is for me.

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    2. I am so with you on the icons v words. On the computer, on laundry, on road signs. I have changed my gmail back to words too and it saves me plenty of time. I know at a glance what it is instead of having to look at it and interpret it. Same goes for road signs where it really matters that you recognize it quickly.

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    3. I guess the icon thing is a horror I have yet to see on my computer. Yay?

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  2. Our cutie pie doggo, a Sheltie, dislikes getting wet. Coaxing or carrying him into the pool has never produced any reaction other than his utter incredulity. Twice he fell in by accident. Both times I grabbed him by the scruff and swam him over to the steps, so he'd know how to climb out.

    Now his vet has suggested I enroll him in canine hydrotherapy to strengthen his failing hips and legs. No doubt well meant, but she hasn't seen his face when he's going in.

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    1. As much as Boom Boom hated water, she once swam out quite a distance into the Columbia River where we were standing (you didn't think I'D be over my head?) and when she got about a yard away from us she turned around and paddled back. This way! she was saying. Safety is this way! We were real impressed.

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  3. I made the mistake a few months ago of getting a Chromebook.....it now sits gathering dust in a corner. It's slower than my first laptop, circa 96, and won't even load some things. What i really dislike is both smartphones (think I have America's last flip-top), and those damn google and similar devices that one can put on a shelf and ask questions of, and have turn on lights, set alarms. If one of my household objects starts talking to me, it's off to the target range.

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    1. The Hubs and I still have flip-phones. Fear not; you are not alone.

      Both smartphones and "smart homes" listen in on you. A friend was once speculating about hiring a limo to attend a bachelorette party while her phone was around. Suddenly limo ads started turning up in her e-mail. I don't really want someone to listen to me THAT well!

      Also, how lazy does one have to be to need a device to turn lights on and off or tell you that you need to order milk? When the Zombie Apocalypse finally happens, these will be the first people who get eaten.

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    2. I don't know. I sure don't have one of those smart devices--I do have a "smart" phone but it's one of the dumber ones, and the operator is dumber yet, so it doesn't get much of a workout, or even a ride in the pocket. I wouldn't mind a device I could ask to fetch me a blanket and tuck it under my chin.

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    3. I just re-read my comment...what next, will I start sitting on the porch yelling at passer-bys to 'get offa my lawn!'?

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    4. I will admit that was the first thing I thought of!

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  4. Sometimes (quite often) I think that my computer and the phone are not only smarter than me, but they also have a malevolent edge.

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    1. Everything's an IQ test and they're not giving me an essay portion. I always do better with an essay portion.

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  5. Other than the doggie part this is pretty much a horror story for me. I may not sleep very well tonight.

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  6. I just locked us all out of our non-networked photo computer because I “wrongly” typed in my password three times. We need a password disk to unlock it. Of course we never heard of such a thing. Our tech support guy says he will hack into it for us. Seriously? It has turned malevolent for no good reason.

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  7. I don't know anything about Macs, but surely you don't have to install everything it offers? Doesn't it have a "no" option? And you can set it for automatic updates probably so it doesn't bother you with reminders. Maybe. I don't know. All I know is my Toshiba laptop, occasionally when I switch her off there is an option to update-and-shut-down or update-and-restart. I always choose update and shut down because I'm usually going to bed by then; next morning she starts up as always with a very occasional "installing updates", so I go and make coffee while that happens.
    I don't know anything about the cloud and don't want to, but I have stuff on there, it just goes automatically. Some of the songs I deleted from my i-tunes aren't fully gone, there is a tint cloud symbol next to them on the list, but they are still there on the list, just won't play. I find that annoying, when I delete songs I want them to disappear.
    I back up everything a couple of times a year to an external hard drive, but I'm thinking a good sized flash drive might be better, I've got a couple of 64GB ones just sitting around doing nothing.

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    1. I don't know what options I have! I just kept answering questions until I ran out of answers but the questions kept coming. I wonder if I can take it in to the geeks and have an exorcism.

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  8. That is the CUTEST damn dog I've ever seen! I don't even like Benji type dogs, but this one, wooo. Dang. I am operating on Snow Leopard. Yep. I took my perfectly running old Mac in to see a Genius and he kind of whispered, "If I were you, I would NOT update anything. I'd just keep tiptoeing along until you have to buy a new computer." And that, my dear Genius, is what I'm doing. It's possible. And I get lots of reminders...tomorrow. xoxo jz

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    1. Oh YAY!

      We got Boom Boom when Dave said "Have you seen the puppy down the street? Cutest puppy ever." I said hey, let's go look. We walked down the street. The women were sitting on the front porch. Dave said he was there to see the puppy. They fetched the puppy and said "Ya wann it?" Dave turns to me with the Ruffles Potato Chip grin and I said okay. Her mommy was a straight-out Chihuahua.

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    2. I made the error of updating. I advised Jim not to do it. We both have circa 2011 macs.

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  9. I am not au fait with modern technology.Not even oy vey!
    When "someone" mucked-up the tv remote control functions, I gave up.We now use an old remote unit, held together by a rubber band (to stop its battery falling out) and have to adjust the vol. \/ and /\ because the mute button is exactly that.And the neighbour's kid who used to bale me out is now doing a computer sciences degree hundreds of miles away.

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    1. That's what we have a rental house for. Tech support.

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  10. Pootie looks a bit like Boom Boom. How do you choose your pets’ names? Tater, Boom Boom, Pootie...not a Rex or Prince or Lord Ashgrove of Quinborough among them.

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    1. Dave named the cats. Larry and Tater. Boomer had a few nicknames. For instance, in the above photos, she was Baby Boomer, but when we wound her up to go outside and hunt Cheep Cheeps, and she WOOOOed at the back door and went out barking, she was the Stealth Boomer.

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  11. My next animal might be Archie Windsor.

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  12. All I can add is that we've tried out about 5 different external hard drives for automatic backup, and each one of them has either crapped out or never worked right. On the other hand, I love thumb drives, but I have no rational explanation for it. As far as keeping up with ever-changing, overly-inquisitive technology...well gosh, it gets harder to do so every year....but I have the constant fear of *turning into our parents* who at the end of their lives were comically out of touch with how the world works. Picture Dad Downs in 2010, with his hardwired dial telephone -- quizzically asking me what it meant to "press 1 for immediate assistance"....

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    1. Awww. Now I'm remembering going in the liberry when the card catalog had disappeared and helpful libarians were trying to teach old people how to look things up on the computer. And they'd poke away for a few minutes and leave in despair. It was very sad.

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  13. That is such a sweet pupper :) Good luck with the computer things. I only want to play on the computer, too - repairs and maintenance are horrifying jobs which I pass off to the husband.

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    1. I ask so little of my computer and phone. I think the complicated stuff is for more complicated people than I.

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  14. Judging by comments your post has touched a nerve. Elderly nerves anyway. I used to like Apple for reasons that have now gone to the wayside. I was being forced to use the cloud in order to put photos on my new iPad which doesn’t work like the old one. Then they told me $10 a month because I have so many photos. Uh uh, no ya don’t.

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    1. You would think an Old Foggy could get on the Cloud.

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