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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Download/Upload (11/17/11)

TITLE: Learning Computerese
By Mildred Sheldon


Iím technologically challenged and all these new words pertaining to computers are interesting to say the least. Computers did not come into my life until 1984 when I was working for the phone company. I was 44 at the time, and I was given enough information on how my computer worked and how it helped me do my job. I knew how to turn it on, and go to certain screens, but doing anything else with this techno box was out of the question.

True computers made my job easier, and it got done faster then when I used pen and paper. I was told it would get rid of useless paper, because the information would be stored in the computer. That was a laugh. It certainly did not get rid of paper, and as far as I was concerned it did the exact opposite. Reports for this or that and keeping those printers filled with paper; well thatís another matter all together.

I was always downloading new updates for my computer, and when the program didnít work the programmer was always blamed. Everybody at that time always said the programs were as good as the programmer. I didnít deal with uploading data to my computer. Programmers did that. If we ran into problems we called the technical support groups and turned in tickets so they could rectify the problems.

I never thought I would have a computer in my home, because they drove me batty. My husband and I retired in 1994 and moved to Texas in 1995. We were offered early retirement and we took advantage of it. My husband was a little more savvy with using computers and he took to them like a duck takes to water. He bought our first PC in 1997. I didnít really use this electronic marvel until 2004, and I found it can be addictive, and fun to use. I still donít know all the ins and outs of this ingenious machine, but I know how to navigate from one program to another. I still screw up quite a bit, but thatís all part of my wacky world.

Since this piece of technology has come into my life Iím getting an education in the introduction of new words to my vocabulary. I also found old words such as spam and ram has different meanings. Who would have thought spam (some piece of alien material) would become junk mail for my computer. Spam is also meat in a can. Ram is the male counterpart of female sheep, but RAM is: Random Access Memory for a computer. Time marches on and I keep learning all kinds of useful ways to enjoy my idiot box.

Whoever said you canít teach an old dog new tricks apparently lived before the introduction of computers. FYI: That particular idiom was coined in 1534 actually pertaining to teaching old dogs new tricks and has since been equated to older people such as myself. Life is interesting to say the least, and the longer I live I pray I never stop growing, and learning new and marvelous things that God has given man. Man in his own arrogance doesnít always equate new technology to the creator of the universe, but I do, and I always will.

Today children in grade school know more about using a computer then I ever will, and the language of the computer is second nature to them.

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Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 12/01/11
Nicely done. I enjoyed this entry. You made a very good point in terms of man and his arrogance with this comment:
"Man in his own arrogance doesnít always equate new technology to the creator of the universe, but I do, and I always will."

Good job - God Bless~

Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/03/11
I could definitely identify with the MC. At times, it seems the computer is more of a nemesis than a friend.

I noticed in one paragraph you used the phrase True computer. At first I thought you meant computers that are real. A simple comma totally Changes the meaning of True, computers...

You did a nice job of covering the topic and you left me smiling. Nicely done.
Jenna Dawn12/03/11
This was an interesting read. I'm guessing based on your actual experiences?

There were a handful of basic grammatical errors. If you don't have a buddy group, you might consider joining one, as they probably would have pointed them out.

"True computers made my job easier ... " Without a comma after "true". it sounds like the "true kind of computers" make your job easier ... as opposed to the false one?! :)

" ... words such as spam and ram has different meanings." The word "has" should be "have".

Your last sentence does not fit at the end. It should be somewhere else in the piece, if anywhere at all (though I do like it). Ending with the previous paragraph is a much stronger ending.

All in all, this was a nice read. New technology can be difficult for someone used to living without it. My grandmother, to this day, refuses to get an answering machine. Of course, that's old news anyway. So now she refuses to have voicemail (let alone a computer, email, cell phone, etc.) I'm 42 and get frustrated every time facebook changes or my computer is upgraded and things don't work quite the same way they used to!

Nice job! God bless. :)
Hiram Claudio12/12/11
I very enjoyable read and I appreciate you sharing your journey into "Techno-Land." It reminded me of how technology, when used properly, really can provide opportunities for learning that might not otherwise exist.

Thanks for the piece ... keep writing!