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Relax, it’s a Computer.

Records of the computer age will be a blank in the future.

Better now we print them all out on vellum, roll them up and put them in a wooden box. Sure as eggs are eggs, our computers will lose them all eventually.

The reliable, safe computer is a myth. We have tampered with nature and gone too far. If you lose a piece of paper in the filing cabinet, maybe it's fallen out of its folder and is lying in the bottom of the drawer. You can find it. If you lose a document in your computer, forget it. Imagine that old filing cabinet had a button on the front, one press of it and the whole contents take a one way trip to oblivion. Would that button be accidentally pressed one day? You can bet your back-up it will. If there were two buttons on the cabinet which had to be pressed in a certain order, would it still happen eventually? Goodbye.

The computer experts, who are professionals in the arcane art, say any problems are all the fault of dopey users. A snooker professional would also think we should be able to put together a break of at least fourteen, but we can’t. The cry of the PC Pro is, ‘A computer can’t make mistakes.’ I wish to advise them that computers are temperamental, infuriating, unpredictable and as difficult to use as a one-wheeled bike. Maybe the top five per-cent of computer users can cosset their particular machine in such a way as not to upset it and give it a grudge against humanity. Normal people can’t. The fact is that a lot of the time spent using a computer must be devoted to it’s wellbeing. E.g defragmenting the hard drive! If I had to defragment my grill as often I would give up toast.

Hard drive! We needed that. A disc of magnetism of unimagineable capacity, going at incredible speeds with a pick-up arm floating a millionth of a hair’s breadth from the surface. I call that soft, an anvils hard. And this robust piece of indestructablity is the heart of it all. Everything saved is gone if it breaks. Have two perhaps? Trust it all to two butterflies wings? You can worry about both then.

I am a law-abiding citizen until I use the computer. Then I commit more illegal acts than the Mafia. I wish it told me ‘Not a good idea.’ Or ‘Whoops.’ Instead of having the quickest, most one sided trial in history and giving the inevitable sentence like Judge Jeffries. And what’s with this ‘fatal error’? Nobody’s died yet.

When all the butterflies wings won’t do anything, for reasons known to no-one, a screen just stays, and all mouse wheeling and key jabbing does nothing. We have to become a shamefaced felon, look over our shoulders, and when the coast is clear, switch it off in a way of which it does not approve.

If it never works again we know it was our fault and it serves us right.

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The following comments are for "Relax It's A Computer!"
by peterperkins

it's true
I know a lot of people who will agree with this. Of course, I'm one of the experts, but computers go wrong for us too - it's just that we can (usually) cope with the inevitable.

As for going back to tried and tested storage mechanisms... well, consider this: the Domesday book was a census of England, written in 1068. It still exists, and can be read by anyone (who understands the somewhat archaic English). By contrast, the 1986 census of the UK was stored on a proprietary-format laser disk, and while the disks still exist, there aren't any working players left, so no-one can read it.
Makes you think, doesn't it?

( Posted by: Spudley [Member] On: March 18, 2003 )

Relax, its a computer!
I heard that same comment just the other day..that computers were at a stand still...if they go wrong what can you email and sites and forum such as this but when computers tear up
we are back to HUMANS at good old fashioned paper....what is wrong with that except that it is somewhat this..peterperkins

( Posted by: larryta4 [Member] On: July 10, 2003 )

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