I am old and somewhat set in my ways. Okay, I’m old and a creature of habit, rooted in my rut, not terribly thrilled with innovation. Each new thing demands I learn about it or relearn something or worse still unlearn what I already know and then learn anew.

A typewriter, for those who have never seen one.

For example, when I first learned to use a keyboard, it was attached to a typewriter and not a computer. There was one font choice, one size choice, and no italics or bold. You could, however, underline. Strikethrough was a real thing to erase a mistake since there was no backspace or delete. On a fancy typewriter, you might also have half the ribbon dyed red, giving you a choice of two colors.

The other thing about a typewriter, or at least the kinds I used, was that they did not have proportional fonts. The letter m took up more space than the letter n and there was something real called an em space and an en space. Speaking of space, the spacebar had one size of space and it was the same each time touched. So after a period, one hit the spacebar twice to create more space before the next sentence.

When I began using a computer, I did the same thing. When I went back to college, I started losing points on assignments because of this habit. So I had to learn to space only once after a period, which doesn’t sound so bad. Except that meant I had to actually unlearn hitting the spacebar twice which was a habit I had grown used to in the 20-30 years I had been typing.

The other reminder to stop this double space routine was that older versions of Word would not automatically capitalize the first letter after the double space. So with both negative and positive consequences to the whole problem, I soon relearned the technique and only tapped the spacebar once.

I didn’t like it. I hate having to change. I believe that is part of the human condition. We like our routines even if our routines are chaos.

I receive a daily mail from a humor site. I enjoy the mailing as it has quotes, jokes, pictures, a silly news item, and a letter (usually tech related) answered by the e-zine’s author. He is, apparently, some tech/geek guy who knows stuff. He is, by the looks of his picture, about my age.

From the above two facts, I am going to guess he learned about computers long ago in the distant past. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn he can program in Fortran and C without the plus. I’m sure he knows DOS and UNIX. He is quite handy with lots of technical questions.

I also know he hates everything Microsoft. He hates Windows 7 and hated Vista. I believe he at one time hated XP, but that is now allowable since it is all most of us doofuses have left after the other two Operating Systems are denied. He hates Outlook in either the full version or Express version.

He is not an Apple devotee but rather just a disliker off all things Microsoft. He uses UNIX for his own server systems and probably has denigrated himself and uses Microsoft XP if he doesn’t have access to Linux.

I do understand that Microsoft isn’t the world’s best thing since sliced bread. But it is the world’s most popular stuff – it has market share. Each new Operating System has more crap I don’t use and uses more resources to run. Fortunately, each new computer I buy has more of the resources for cheaper than the first clunky thing we bought back in the early 1990s at a cost of thousands of dollars.

Each time the man goes on a rant about Microsoft, I want to scream. We use it because it is easy to use, part of our routine, and something we are comfortable with. I can make an Apple do most of what I want, but I hate having to do everything backwards and go on a hunt to find whatever I need on the unfamiliar system.

The one thing I know about all computer issues is that if someone claims something is “intuitive” it means I’m not going to be able to work it.

But I suppose, given time, I can learn the quirks of all the tools I have that are supposed to help me and make my life easier. Just remember – one space is all that is needed now.

 

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