Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Computer Woes



As a Baby Boomer, I consider myself fairly computer literate for my age. During our recent 40th high school reunion committee meetings, I was picked to be the web master for our web site because I was the only person who knew anything about the Internet. Setting up and maintaining the site was one most satisfying things I did in 2007. However, I was amazed at how few from our class knew how to access the web site. Few dared update their information, add photos or biographies. I didn't mind scanning photos and adding them to the site, nor did I mind typing in all the bio info. I just wish more of the 600+ classmates knew how to view the results!


I also created my first ever PowerPoint presentation, shown at the reunion. It was a slide show about the 1960s, our high school, our class and past reunions--set to '60s music: The Who, The Beach Boys and The Beatles. It was great fun putting it together and the crowd found it amusing and nostalgic.


As a research genealogist, I've been writing research reports on the computer (first in WordPerfect, now in Word) and using the Internet for research purposes since 1985 and I've had my share of run-ins with computers. Files that got lost. Programs that were incomprehensible. Hardware that failed. I yelled. I screamed and cried while self-publishing family histories.


Once I wrote a twenty page report on Ted Turner's ancestry on our office computer. I saved it on the hard-drive, but not onto a floppy (this was in the old days when we still used floppy disks). When the company secretary tried to retrieve the file, which to go into a published history, the file would not open. After using several software retrieval programs, only a small fragmented portion of the report was recovered! It was a do over.


Another time I was at home on the Internet on my laptop and had a couple other windows open. The phone rang. I got up to get it, leaving my computer open. When I returned my dog had taken her turn on the laptop. Her efforts made everything FREEZE. Rebooting didn't help. I called DELL who connected me to tech support someplace in Pakistan. After a couple hours and $250, my computer was running again.


Even with experience, I am a Blogging novice, making loads of mistakes as I learn.I've been reading an amazing Blog since June 2007. http://travelinoma.blogspot.com/ It is an ideal I'll never meet, but one I will aspire to emulate. Travelinoma was a childhood friend whom I haven't seen in forty years. I've been awed and inspired reading about her life, family, travels, and seeing what a wise and accomplished woman she has become. She's a wonderful writer who has an astonishing memory. Marty Rocks!


Therefore, my blogging begins--even while experiencing an adapter-cord crisis on my laptop. Still with all of their problems, computers are totally awesome. I would be lost without mine.

1 comment:

Marty said...

I'm so excited you've started a blog. I have to say I loved the OHS website and checked it regularly all last year. I wish I could have seen the powerpoint. I have to do a powerpoint presentation in May and I've never done it before. I'm very nervous about it.

Thanks for the flattering comments about my blog. I'll be reading yours regularly.