Many years ago when I was fighting to keep a cell tower from being erected on church property directly behind my kids' elementary school, one of the church men called me a troglodyte and a Luddite in the newspaper. I don't know if I was more annoyed that a "good Christian church leader" would be throwing stones at me in a public forum, or, that I had to look up the word Luddite. BTW, here's the meaning, just in case you didn't know: 1. any of the textile workers opposed to mechanization who rioted and organized machine-breaking between 1811 and 1816. 2. any opponent of industrial change or innovation. I wasn't opposed to mechanization, industrial change, or innovation; I was just looking to make sure young children wouldn't be directly in the path of radiation. Although I did "save" the kids I made a lot of enemies, and was sure not to be getting invited to any church picnics, or to any of the PTA mom's homes whose husbands worked in telecommunications. Oh well, it was worth it.
The point of the above paragraph is that Mr. Churchman might have had a point. I am sometimes "afraid" of new, well, new to me at least, technology. It's not that I don't want to be a part of it; it's more that I'm afraid I will screw up whatever device I am attempting to use. I believe this all stems from the year 1987 when I bought my first computer. It was an Amiga and it cost me quite a pretty penny. I think it was almost $2,000 and all it had was 1 mb hard drive! This was before there was internet readily available, and Google, so I had to follow the directions of the manual (remember when you actually got a manual when you bought something?) on how to set it up. The first thing I was instructed to do was back up the system. It used those hard floppy disks which had to be formatted before anything could be written on it. I really had no idea what I was doing and no one else I knew had a computer so I winged it. Well, in short order, I wiped out the entire computer somehow deleting the operating system and everything else that was in it. I brought the monstrosity back and the clerk said he'd never seen that happen before. He re-installed everything, but after that I became gun-shy every time I turned it on.
Since that time I've had quite a few other computers. Believe it or not, the one I bought after the Amiga, in 1995, a Packard Bell, I still use, solely for payroll. The rest of them have not lasted as long. They were all pc's driven by Windows. I've had Windows 95, 98, ME, XP, & Vista. My desktop, where I composed most of my writings, was XP and I never had a problem with it, until Microsoft and all the virus programs I had stopped supporting it. Of course the keyboard was unreadable. The acid in my fingertips rendered the white lettering gone; I had to use white-out on the black keys so I could read at least some of the letters. But I was happy with it, until Microsoft said, "Nope, you're not. It's time for a new computer!" But wait, I still had my laptop with Vista, the keys also unreadable and the letter T and U not functioning any longer, but I remedied that with a $5 keyboard that I hooked up via USB. That was okay for a while but then those damn Microsoft updates started in on me again. I refused to install them. There were well over a hundred, and the laptop took forever to load anything, but I knew once I hit install, that would be the kiss of death, just like it happened on a couple of other laptops that came and went quickly after updates screwed them up.
Meanwhile, my muse was starting to yell at me. Every time I'd sign on to Twitter I'd see #amwriting trending and I would think, damn, are all those authors really writing? The only writing I was doing was maybe a blog post here or there, grocery lists, checks, and notes on index cards. The more I researched, the more notes, the more index cards, the more legal pads, the more xeroxes lined my office walls, the more I began to realize what I am really doing with this book is #amprocrastinating. I had a million excuses, but the most pressing one was, I didn't want to begin the book on the computers I had. So that meant it was time to buy a new computer. For someone who has a hard time finding the perfect pocketbook this would not be an easy task.
Both my kids said, "Leave me outta this!" but then offered their advice. My son said he would only help if I allowed him to build me a computer, but I told him I think I wanted to get a laptop. He couldn't help there. My daughter said I should go Mac. She has one and swears by it. My son, a pc man, poo-pooed her, but did understand my reluctance to go with anything Windows 8 related. "Yeah, it sucks." I listened to the girl last year when I dropped some serious dough on an iPhone, and have to say she was right. Although it took me a while to get it, I really did love my Envy 3, Verizon sort of pushed me to the point that I knew I needed to just drop them and go with Smart Talk. I'm glad I listened to her. I actually love my iPhone and even though it took some getting used to I now feel comfortable with it. So when I said I was afraid to go with a Mac, it was the girl's turn to poo-poo me. "You're not an idiot, but if it'll make you feel better go check out MacBook for Dummies." So that's what I did.
And then it happened. I decided I could no longer wait to get started on this book, so I got out my American Express card and used it on a MacBook Pro. I had it sit in the box on the table for hours and the kids laughed at me. It was like I was afraid to open it before reading up on it. Finally, after my husband started goofing on me, I figured it was time. So I asked my son to disable the old desktop and put it away. I cleaned my desk and raised the chair. I unpacked it, opened it up, and just like that, it was up and running! I was able to hook it up to my wireless router and both printers with ease. Didn't even have to ask for help, other than the password for the wireless account.
I'm still figuring it out, but it's not as daunting as I thought it would be. I still haven't synced my phone to it, but little by little I'm getting more comfortable. In fact, this is my maiden blog post on it. No pics, yet. Unlike my old laptop which sat on the dining room table, this one won't. It will remain in my office which has a door that I can close. I'm going to treat this book as a job, devoting a couple hours each day, starting Monday. And when that door is closed that means I #amwriting, and I #amprocrastinating no more! I hope...