Thursday, September 29, 2011

I Hated Computers

Back in the day I hated computers. 'Back in the day' needs some perspective. For at least 3 and a half of my 4.2 decades, I hated computers. For all of that time I could not differentiate between hardware and software (and just what is middleware? Is it like knitwear for the midriff or the middle-aged or both?), it was all just computers.  A conspiracy by those that didn't get out much (at all) against those of us that did!

More perspective:- just as I was leaving the massive comprehensive school I attended, as a disaffected ex-mooted-OxBridge candidate (if there is such a thing), there was a rumour that there was a computer in one of the science labs. But, I never saw it. 

Shortly after leaving said school I had a mate who convinced me to burn the midnight oil playing 'games' on a Sinclair Spectrum for about 18 months - what was all that about? It would be many years later that I would confront computers in a relentless and fruitless battle of wills that would render me consistently questioning my supposed intellect. Apparently me and the mythical two short planks were 'like that'!

Wind forward to my mid-twenties and I've finished aimlessly wandering the globe (avoiding computers because I hated them). I get a small business (a taxi thing) and the conspiracy being what it was I was forced to give away a bunch of my hard earned to someone who could use computers - he was called something like 'a cu...count, er, no, annacon, got it, an accountant! Not to be confused with the modern definition of the word; a customer-focused, free-thinking and forward-thinking individual who wants to do his very best for his clients.

I only spoke to this guy at about the same time each year. With hindsight I imagine cos the rest of the year he was living the life of riley at the expense of a numpty he knew. The privilege of having this guys phone number was pretty darn expensive. Pretty much my biggest outgoing each and every year. But, I paid him because:- 
  • he saved me money! 
  • he kept me in the good books of HMRC and all that 
  • he used computers
So that's two things that computers had taught me:-
  1. I'm thick
  2. I'm worthless
  3. Saving money is bloody expensive 
OK, that's 3 but hey, I'm thick! Remember?

A few years later. I've moved town. I've got married. Work is cool. Though opportunities are limited cos I'm stoopid and computers are ubiquitous. I've even got one of the bloody things in the corner of the living room: where it sits mocking me. I'd lost yet another of those fruitless battle of wills. Sometimes my wife would do something with it; conjure up a CV or write my name in pretty graphics maybe. Sometimes friends would come round and sit on the PC and 'play' Flight Simulator all night while they drank my beer. Oh those were the days!

Then scroll forward a couple more years and BANG. It hits me. My eureka moment if you will. 

So what changed? What happened? How could such a negative, ungiving relationship turn on its head? How? Why? 

Suspense killing you? You won't have to wait too long. 

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