Thursday, November 05, 2009

Byte Me -- You Gotta Love Them Computers

Can we talk? The odds are pretty good that if you’re reading this entry in my blog that you own a computer. It might be a top-of-the-line computers or one of the lower priced E models that you can get at Wal-Mart – but it’s a computer. The odds are also pretty good that no matter how much you paid for your computer – it has done something to piss you off. Whether its froze up on you and you had to reboot the damn thing to get it to work again or you hit the wrong button and you lost whatever you were working on in the ether of your computer or somewhere in the vastness of the world-wide web – your computer at one time or another has pissed you off.

I was literally tied to a computer when I wrote commercials and handled the production department for a group of five stations in Michigan. The computer made my job a little easier – instead of having to get my fat ass up and in the production room to get commercials recorded and in the studios – I could pretty much do everything from my office desk with a fresh cup of coffee by my side. It was nice – but there were those times when you wished that these damn computers never existed – like when your system crashes and you have to retrace your steps because everything that you had done that day is lost.

Computers – they’re not the most reliable invention ever made – yet we have accepted and embraced them and have made them a vital part of our life.

Now, imagine paying top dollar for an automobile that decides that it is only going to let you drive no faster than 30 mph on that day that you have to get that throbbing tooth yanked out of your mouth at the dentist office. On other days this car could run fast enough to qualify for the Indy 500 -- but on this day it's 30 mph and no fast – I’m sure you would get a little pissed. You want that tooth out now and this expensive car is making you wait a little longer.

At that point, you would probably take this car back to the dealership and say, “What gives?”

But what if he said to you, “Hey, they do that sometimes. All you have to do is turn off the car and restart it again – you know – reboot your car – and the car will work the way you want it to.” You would be so angry they would probably have to put you in restraints to prevent you from driving that car though the display room windows.

Why is it that we can accept a computer that occasionally freezes up or a computer that runs slow – even though you have a decent internet provider? We wouldn't accept a car (or any other product) that we had to reboot to get it to run the way it should – but with a computer – we embrace (and tolerate) all of their imperfections and we cherish those days when our computers run the way that they’re suppose to, because we know that tomorrow our computer can make our life a living hell.

Why am I writing all of this now? The answer is pretty simple. My computer is taking a break today from running slow, freezing up and popping up with messages about my installation and allowing me to share this with you – and tomorrow might be another story.

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