Customise This…

fingerWell it’s 11.49 and I’ve so far piddled away the morning trying to fix a glitch on my computer. I figured I might as well carry on piddling till lunch time (we eat early in this house.) and do a blog post.  On days like today I actually feel nostalgic for my old manual typewriter and the manila envelopes in which I used to mail my copy.

The first task before me this morning was to file a piece with the Daily Mail. The practicalities of life can be such a doddle for writers now. You type the article, edit it and polish it a hundred times more than one would have done in the days of Tippex, then attach it to an email to your editor and ping! It’s on its way. Leaving you free to get on with the laundry, the shopping or even writing a novel. But no. My laptop, recently resuscitated from sudden death, has lost the ability or the will to attach files. It just sits there, spinning its wheels.

I’m quite a logical person. I like solving problems in a systematic way. I could have been an electrician or a plumber and some days, believe me, I wish I was. But computers are beyond me. They belong to a world that moves too fast for this old bird. I tried my best this morning. Followed the check list. Updated my browser, disabled a few add-ons, cleared my cache (a procedure that sounds faintly gynaecological). Still no joy. The more remedies I tried, the more suggestions popped up. It was as though they were breeding.

Get more out of Bing! Customise your tool bar!

It was only when I got up from my desk to take a break and bang my head against the nearest wall that the red haze lifted and I remembered: I just bought a back-up computer. A nifty little reconditioned machine that came with good old Windows 7 and so sidestepped the universally loathed Windows 8 that masquerades as progress.  It’s been sitting in its case ever since it arrived, awaiting its moment. And that moment was just now, when it booted up nicely, said hello and attached that file without a murmur.

I really don’t know what my senior computer’s problem is but it may just like to consider, we are none of us irreplaceable.

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