Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Fun with Computers

Mamacita wrote about a senior citizens class in her college, and how she helped them improve their computer skills. A few stories sprang to mind. Keep in mind, we are a family of programmers, so we don’t usually let our computers go completely to seed. (Because we are a family of programmers, each of us has a computer. It just somehow worked out this way). Well, except for K9, who didn’t inherit the programming gene. he tends to download all kinds of crap, and then when said crap takes over his computer, he doesn’t know what to do with it. Still, sometimes even the best of us screw up. Here are a few examples.

Example One. When I12 got his first computer (I think he was nine or ten at the time), he happily used it for a few weeks. Then one day, I come into his room and see the tower, monitor, etc. sitting on the floor in a corner. “This computer is bad. It doesn’t work anymore,” explained I12. Turned out, the little genius decided that he needed to free up some space on his hard drive. He blew away a lot of things, including: most of Program Files directory; the entire Windows directory; and everything in C:\ root. The smart child then proceeded to empty the recycle bin. Mr. Goldie saved the day by reinstalling Windows from scratch.

Example Two. Last year, two weeks after I opened a brand-new yahoo email account, K9 came across an offer for a free Nintendo DS. He nagged and whined until I gave in and agreed to fill out an application. In what was possibly a blonde moment, I gave my new yahoo account as my email address. Oh well, at least I gave them my work mailing address. I was then told that, to get a free DS, I had to accept six offers from the sponsors. You probably know what those were – half of the offers involved buying stuff I didn’t need, and the other half required that I give my Social Security number. I canceled when I was halfway through. Minutes later, my new account started getting junk mail. To this day, I get hundreds of spam mail every day. They don’t really bother me, plus they serve as a reminder not to sign up for any more free stuff.

Example Three. A year or two ago, when I was bored, I took a free IQ test. First off, I was informed that I could get detailed results for only fifteen bucks. Excuse me, but I am smarter than that – your test results said so. Last week, I get an email from them: “this is about our free IQ test you took two years ago. Because your test results are so high, we will send you your detailed results for free”. I click on the link, and sure enough it says: “we will send you the FREE information as soon as you review this offer from our sponsors”. Excuse me, but NO. I wonder if they send this email out to everyone – “you scored 80 on our IQ test last year, your test results are unusually high compared to most of the population (insert Bush joke of your choice here), so we will send you…” and so on and so on. I actually think this was very smart marketing!

So, what about you? Do you have computer stories to tell?

In other news, Michele has touched upon an eternal dilemma - drivers vs. cyclists. This should be an all-out food fight interesting exchange. I have already posted my rant, but I’ll stay tuned.

The Goldie has spoken at 10:06 AM

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