Before my engineer husband tries to explain anything technical to me, he says, “I think you might want to get the yellow pad.” He, of course, means an 8x11 lined legal pad which we buy by the kilo, since he also asserts that when I die he’s going to insert a multi-pack of them into my coffin for my use in the hereafter.
In his dream of the hereafter, somebody else is helping me with my technical problems besides him.
Fortunately, I’m trainable. But I need the yellow pad and laboriously detailed instructions. There are no givens in Inga Land. Olof, along with my long-suffering former co-worker, Dave, have tried to maintain that most techno gadgets are designed to be intuitive. You play with it, you figure it out, you don’t need a manual. Hah! Let me rephrase that. HAH! For some of us, there IS no intuitive.
As for my computer, Olof insists I can’t break it. Maybe not, but I can get it to the point where I can’t get it to work again either. In my world, that’s called “broken.” You’re typing along, minding your own business, and suddenly everything on the screen looks different. Sweat breaks out on my forehead.
Olof would also insist that computers are made up of ones and zeros and operate by logical rules, but I know differently. Technical gadgets sense fear and take advantage of it. Sometimes you just have to get the upper hand by threatening the machine into submission. Windows Live Mail only shaped up when it knew I was going to replace it with Outlook.
Turn on power strip on top of desk.
Turn on power button* on computer. The computer is the black box with the white top on the floor to the left of my desk chair and says “Dell” on it. [No snickers please. We also have another box that is called a “firewall” that is NOT the computer, or at least the one that will make my monitor come to life.]
No sound on speakers? Make sure the little green light on the speakers is on and that the Iomega thing isn’t plugged into the power strip instead. Still no sound? The kids may have turned off the volume using the speaker icon-y thing at the very bottom right of my screen . Click on it and slide it back up to the middle of the scale. [Make note to tell kids: don’t ever ever do that to me again! I had no speakers for a week while Olof was out of town! ]
How to open the disk drive: Could they have hidden it any better???? Right below the little slot thingeys (WHAT ARE THEY?) is the disk drive. On its right side, totally un-obviously, is a thing that you push and out pops the disk drive. Would a label have killed them? Unmarked panels that open secret compartments should be left to Nancy Drew books!
I can only hope the hereafter is more user-friendly. Or that they sell yellow legal pads.