Fiddler on the computer

In 1988, I enrolled in a Word Processing class. I was excited until I realized it entailed all kinds of codes and convoluted manipulations of the computer keyboard, to accomplish the simplest task. It was so confusing that I didn’t bother to take the exam. Yet, I didn’t lose my fascination with the computer and the desire to learn to use it.

I learned to master the computer for my favorite functions by fiddling. As an obsessive follow-the-manual person, fiddling was difficult but I learned to enjoy it over time. I developed a dogged persistence that helped me to decipher Internet speak and make my way through the maze of blogs, social media, researching and surfing.

Whenever a window appeared on the screen, warning me of something, I didn’t even bother to read the whole message. I ‘d call out in a panic for my husband or son to fix it. That’s their thing – troubleshooting problems. I just wanted to use the computer to get things done and it must simply work.

Fast track to 2011 and I have a desktop PC, a laptop and Netbook. On any given day, all three are up and running, networked, fully synchronized and ready to go when I am. Some days, although all three are plugged in and switched on, I do the bulk of my writing and editing on just one.

The work horse
The Netbook went from being the computer for writing on the porch, to being the computer for writing in bed. It stays on the floor or the side table. I work there for a couple hours in the morning and it’s proving to be a very productive time. My laptop goes from the living room to the kitchen table and serves me well when I’m cooking and doing laundry. 

The desktop remains the real work horse for working at night.

I still call for help at the first sign of technical problems, but usually, I can fiddle my way through software and Internet issues.

I may have made a fearful start in 1988, but I learned to fiddle my way from the old school Word Processing student to a computer and Internet savvy writer.


2 thoughts on “Fiddler on the computer

  1. Sometimes there's nothing like just jumping in and getting our feet wet to learn. My first “computer” was a portable word processor that showed 4 lines of text on the screen. I can't even fathom that now. It's funny how once we acclimate to technology, we take the advancements with it in stride, and actually embrace it.


  2. Joanne,
    4 lines of text huh? How ancient. But we've traveled far learned much.

    Isn't technology just the most wonderful, adventurous thing? Look at us for example – online friends and kindred souls in some respects.

    All because we jumped in, even when it was difficult and fiddled our way through the basics, rode the wave of its advancements and embraced it as we embraced the friends we found along the way.


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