ICT Procrastinationitis pt 3

I was going to go on about the 1980s brave new world of word processors. I was going to explain how I started off full of enthusiasm until I discovered the horrors of learning how to use things like the um… Philips 5something or other and the Canon something else. How on one system, hitting F6 would reformat the paragraphs and on another systerm F6 would reformat your hard disc. How you had to memorise a series of ctrl + commands which kept changing. How incredibly easy it was to wipe everything you\’d just spent all day working on. How you used 5 inch floppy disks which smelled weird and have now succumbed to mould.
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I ended up learning to use a Vydec which was about the size of Spock\’s station on Star Trek and had green letters on a black screen. It is now so totally forgotten, there isn\’t even a mention on Wikipedia. This was latest technology at an American lawyers firm in the City. I spent most of my time typing and retyping the specs for a new battletank engine (based, I think, on an enlarged two-stroke motorbike engine) for the senior partner who was utterly unable to string more than three words together without having to correct four of them. I don\’t think he liked me generously offering to just write the damned thing for him. I\’ve no idea whether he was a better engineer than lawyer, but he was not happy in the law. Eventually they fired me – after being a lot more patient with me than I would have been – and I never touched a Vydec again.
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So Steve Jobs was certainly a genius but my experience of ICT is utterly different from that of most youngsters who start using computers in kindergarten and usually win. This means that when I\’m offered a list of choices I have no idea what to choose and I panic if I don\’t find the thing I want where it\’s supposed to be on the screen. This is because I\’m subconsciously convinced that I only have to hit F6 the wrong way and I\’ll nuke the Western world.
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Be patient with me. I would much rather write books than learn how to handle WordPress and set up an ebook. Maybe I should do a website translating Computerish words and try and give better instructions than the ones I\’m finding at the moment which assume blandly that you already know what a WYSIWYG is.
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Obviously it\’s a kind of poisonous insect found in New Zealand. Everybody knows that.

2 thoughts on “ICT Procrastinationitis pt 3

  1. Feb 2012 what a WYSIWYG is.
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    Obviously it’s a kind of poisonous insect found in New Zealand. Everybody knows that.

    New Zealand must be a euphemism for end of the world or antipodes. ‘In geography, the antipodes of any place on Earth is the point on the Earth’s surface which is diametrically opposite to it. Two points that are antipodal …’cribbed from Wikipedia . So thats you to me!

    After falling in love with Robin I even downloaded the Carey memoirs – aint google wonderful!

    But I remember reading your gulls & crows books best and being impressed back then that someone my age had (re)created that world. Am now chasing up copies of them like a leisurely treasure hunt.
    I dont do Amazon – no credit card and just as well now you tell me they are tax dodgers.

    And in the meantime am amused with your blog – great evening reading! Doing the animals first.
    Thanks from Pat in NZ

  2. Yes of course that’s what I meant. I was thinking of Weta actually – isn’t that some kind of ant thingy?
    Sorry. Entomology/geography not my strong point.
    I’m glad you’re enjoying my books – tell everyone you know, please!

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