What does it take to communicate with your computer?

I have a degree in Speech Communication and over 25 years of experience since then.  I have been able to communicate successfully with people of all ages, including those who have vastly different beliefs.  I speak English, a little Spanish, a wee bit of ASL and I'm conversational in whining and Gibberish.  What I cannot communicate with is my computer. Computers have a language and a logic all their own!  I'll go into this in more detail later this week, but to give you a background (in order that you might appreciate the conclusions I will draw on Wednesday), I'd like to share with you the Tragic (though comedic) Tale of Techie Trouble with the computer formerly known as Zippy. Zippy is less than two years old.  We bought him when my previous computer, Methuselah, was given only a few days to live...or was that me after starring in a Lifetime Movie called "Some Like it NOT."  After rehearsing Methuselah's death scene, we set up The Zippster and I breathed a sigh of relief knowing that my days of Techie Troubles were over. Unfortunately, I got an offer I couldn't refuse, and believe me I tried, to do the sequel, "Scream TOO" which began filiming several weeks ago while preparing for our Art of Eloquence Birthday Bash.  What went wrong you ask? 1. My old website had a nervous breakdown and my new website wasn't programabale quite the way it was supposed to causing delays and fits of frustrated terror. 2. Firefox slowed to a snail's pace and began hiding the words I typed until, well...it felt like showing them.  By that time, I had tried to backspace and, "I'm so happy today" came out, "Isoppy toy" until I had wanted to type, "I want to throw Zippy out the window!" 3. Blog posts I spent hours preparing disappeared.... 4. Windows Movie Maker began to play hide and seek with my videos. 5. Firefox, Windows Movie Maker and Outlook would freeze and shut down unexpectedly. 6. My virus software took a mental vacation. 7. Our coupon code inexlicably didn't work during the Birthday Bash. 8. Our coupon code inexplicably started to work correctly a few hours AFTER the Birthday Bash was over. 9. Firefox began using too much memory, or so my new virus sotfware told me. 10. I dumped Firefox and spent two or three hours setting up all my passwords and bookmarks in IE. 11. IE began using too much memory according to my new virus software. And those are only SOME of the techie troubles I've had in the last several weeks.  It's all I can remember because, very soon afterward, my brain had the blue screen of death and I got fitted for my funny white coat with the sleeves that tie in the back! Why?  Why can't computers behave like human beings?  Why can't we just talk to our computer and clear up any misunderstandings we might have?  How is it that I can be doing the very same things to operate it day after day and then, without warning, everything changes?  I thought about that as I was screaming into my non techie, old fashioned pillow and I realized that some of the behavoir of computers IS simlar to human beings, but some just isn't. Have you ever been talking to someone for years in a particular way and then one day he lets you know in no uncertain terms that he doesn't appreciate it?  You're left wondering, where did THAT come from?  If he didn't like talking about this or doing that, why not just tell me so three years ago? The difference is that if you have a misunderstanding (human version of a techie issue), you can always communicate with him and work it out.  You can ask him what's wrong, what he'd like you to do in the future, and you can apologize and move on.  With computers, you can't do that.  Oh you try!  Sometimes in words and sometimes threatening an inanimate object with bodily harm!  Either way, he doesn't answer you and you're left with the undeniable feeling that you're in this ALONE! So here I sit today with these Techie Troubles daring me to make a move.  What's the right one?  What is the consequence for making the wrong move?  I've changed my virus software, updated malware protection, changed browsers, run disk cleanup and defrag...I've done everything I can think of short of exorcism to debug my computer which is driving me buggy.   I'll draw some more conclusions for you about some things I've learned while attempting effective communication with my computer...on Wednesday.


  • JoJo

    I beleve that if you don’t have anything positive to say, at least make it sound like fun!

  • Carla

    To quote Bill Clinton. . . “Ah feel your pain!” I’m sitting here trying not to laugh after seriously thinking about going into a Catholic Church and lighting a candle to the Saint Who Starts Computers. SIGH As you know, those techie troubles are invading my space, too. I hit the switch in the morning while attempting to close my ears so I don’t hear those strange noises that every diagnostic scan in existence tells me don’t exist. If I don’t hear them, I breathe a sigh of relief. Next prayer: PLEASE LET ME SEE THE WINDOWS OPENING SCREEN!!!!!!!! If I get that far, I MIGHT be home free. And on and on it goes. I’ve been making jokes about this whole thing, too, while mentally trying to compute how to get a new computer with money I don’t have. Nobody puts it quite the way you do, though, JoJo! Thanks for making me giggle this morning after my stomach jumped down out of my throat when this #)(*&$)($#&)(@&$)(@$ thing started up!

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