August 28, 2014 - 6:45 AM
Computers are stupid. The simplest of tasks, tasks that they were specifically designed to perform, can befuddle them completely.
Last night I tried printing something. It said it was printing. I waited in growing frustration while it didn’t print. I tried talking nicely to it. Nothing. Eventually one of those annoying little boxes popped up saying “Printer not found.” I snapped.
“It’s right beside you, you stupid machine!” I yelled. “You’re attached to it by a cable! How can you not find it?” My computer has a little camera, so I pointed it at the printer. “See!!!” I screamed. Nothing.
Summoning reserves of courage I haven’t needed since the war, I entered the murky labyrinth of the Control Panel. After a couple of clicks another box appeared telling me I didn’t have permission and should contact the Administrator. Who is this “Administrator” who has denied me permission to operate my own equipment? Of course: I called my ex-wife.
After she hung up on me I tried repeatedly pressing the “Enter” key assuming that would make it get the point, or at least teach it a lesson. Instead it brought up another box which said an “unknown error” had occurred. Well, that’s helpful, isn’t it? If the computer doesn’t know what the error is, how in Gates’ name am I supposed to?
It even had a little sub-box to click which read “OK”. Well no, it’s not OK, you horrid machine. You’re not OK. In fact you’re ruining my life. I clicked the “X” instead. This made the wretched little arrow thing disappear completely. I think they call it a “curser”. I think I know why.
I decided to Goggle a solution. Since my computer was frozen I had no option but to try and use my phone. “Smart phone” is an oxymoron, like “airline food” or “American intelligence.” Trying to get a computerized phone to do what you want is like trying to get your cat to cook dinner.
Since they are designed for adolescents, the keyboard is far too small for adult fingers, so I used the speaking function and asked: “how do you unfreeze a computer?” It typed out my carefully chosen words thus: “How do two nuns please a commuter?” This is not a question I’d normally think to ask, but with the help of Goggle Images I spent a most instructive, though somewhat disturbing half hour finding out.
But I digress. Goggle, an organization which hitherto appeared to exist solely to disseminate pornography and harvest one’s personal information, has invented a driverless car, operated entirely by computers. Can you begin to imagine what a terrible idea this is? If a computer can’t find a printer it’s attached to, how the hell is it going to find its way home from the pub? If you ask it to “turn right” it will hear “run the light” and if you don’t keep telling it it’s doing OK, it will crash.
Just don’t say you haven’t been warned.
— The Grumpy Old Git is going to hand-write a strongly worded letter to Bill Gates
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014