I’ve just spent an entire day (Saturday, of course) stuffing up my computer, panicking, doing serious damage to my blood pressure, panicking, having a nervous breakdown, and finally weaselling enough access to find a way of restoring it to the way it was before I started. By which time it was beer o’clock (or coffee, in my case) and far too late to do anything but dump my shattered self into a chair for a few soothing hours of mindless telly.
And all this was because…? Because I tried to do the right thing and install an external hard drive designed to run continuous backup. Plug and play, they said it was, to which I say Ha-di-ha-ha – or at least that’s the printable bit.
Now yes, I am old, and yes, I did come to computers late, but when I press the button for English as my preferred language, I do expect to get English, and not some rarefied computerese gobbledegook incomprehensible to anyone who didn’t slurp it up with his or her Farex. I mean, “powercycle the device”? If you mean unplug the thing, count to ten and plug it back in, why can’t you say so? Although I guess if it takes you 77 A4 pages of online users’ manual to say “plug and play” (I kid you not) then every word counts. Numerically, if not intelligibly.
I still don’t know what monumental blunder I committed to set this whole process going, but I do know I won’t be touching the “device” again with anything less than a barge pole. I shall take it to Sydney along with my computer (both travelling in the boot lest it contaminate the auto-electronics) and hand the lot over to my dear, kind son-in-law, who’s a whizz with computers and still manages to speak English.
If I were that way inclined, I might say that this was all a conspiracy owing its origins to that highly productive financial concept, Big fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite ‘em, and little fleas have smaller fleas and so ad infinitum; every computer spawns additional equipment, and every piece of equipment needs a bell or a whistle (or both) to make it work properly, and if all else fails, call your friendly IT man who might at least understand the manual – for double time on a Saturday. But sadly, conspiracy theories are far too simplistic in this instance.
The truth is that this is just another example of history repeating itself. Technology now has its head so firmly wedged in its own – “devices” – that its aristocracy has lost sight of the peasants.