Rage Against the Machine

You might have noticed this is the first post in three days. I’m no Luddite, but there are times when I really get fed up with machines and technology. Two nights ago the computer and the printer decided to have joint hissy fits. A simple job of setting up some new business cards (done it several times before) and then printing them should have taken perhaps half an hour tops. Instead we were still battling the confounded machines nearly three hours after we started.

The old opinion that “insanity is doing the same thing over and over when it obviously doesn’t work” was totally ignored and we battled on in a combination of ignorance and brute insistence. It wasn’t exactly that we beat the machines into submission; more likely they just got tired of the joke. Do I believe there are evil little green meanies hiding in the back niches of machines and appliances? Damn right, I do! I don’t think they’re as ‘at home’ in Apples as they are in PCs, but they’ve certainly also managed to colonise Steve Jobs’ little toys.

Back in the day when we acquired our first computer, it was a PC. Through several generations, and at least one complete re-build, I struggled to do anything at all without having the whole system crash on me. I’m sure I was a candidate for entry in the Guinness Book of Records for the idiot who managed to crash a computer every time I sat down to the keyboard. Without the very able assistance of my wife, and later on my daughters, I would probably have petrified before the VDU before ever figuring out how to make the viciously recalcitrant gadget work.

There came the moment when it was necessary to buy a new computer, the old one having finally worn itself out in its constant campaign to thwart any attempt by me to make effective, productive use of the thing. In desperation I accepted someone’s opinion that Apples are much more user friendly. (By this time I think I had come to believe the moon is made of green cheese; all basis for rationality had disappeared from my universe.) So we got ourselves our first Apple computer, a bench-top iMac. And suddenly I entered a new world, one in which most of the time I could get the result I desired from a session with a computer! However, as Monday night demonstrated, I may have entered a new world, but not yet paradise. There are enough of the green meanies hanging about that my efforts can still be seriously sabotaged.

I must reconfigure my mind and focus on more positive things. Let’s try this poem for a change of view.

Poem for the New Day

The sun rises from the dark earth
Light seeps slowly across the land
Birdsong cracks the sky in joyful sound
Children drift from caverns of dreams
To the hours of rowdy frivolity
Everything fits its purposed design
And we can be, just be, one more day.

Ruari Jack Hughes

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