The following is an attempt to shed a little light on the finer intricacies of the homo-computer relationship. I have had a lot of experience in both the PC and Mac platforms. I make my living with a computer, and currently own a Mac G4 tower, a G4 Cube, a G3 desktop, a G3 Powerbook, a PC tower, and a Toshiba laptop. Three of the Macs are connected to a LAN (Local Area Network) and share three 60-gigabyte external hard drives and a cable Internet connection. My work involves extensive use of a wide variety of software for graphics, archival printing, web design, animation, digital film editing, script writing, scanning, music notation, digital audio recording, CD burning, legal documents, spreadsheets, word processing, desktop and web publishing, labeling, font design, genealogy, and HTML. Contrary to the majority of the population, I am not the average plug-in-and-go kind of guy who resorts to RTDM (Read The Damn Manual) only as a last resort. Instead of wasting a lot of time by diving into the bottomless pit of software hell, I actually try to learn something from the literature first. Hours of blind attempts at guessing how to accomplish a simple task can be avoided with some knowledge gained through a little preparation beforehand.

Yet, in spite of all my attempts to enlighten myself, things don’t always go the way I had hoped. I could swear I was doing so-and-so and something wasn't working the way it should have been, when all along I missed one crucial keystroke. I was blaming the blankety-blank program and the idiot dolt-face jerks who wrote the stupid piece of blankety-blank, and was one step away from throwing the entire CPU, monitor, mouse, keyboard, printer, modem, and scanner into the car and driving to the Santa Monica pier to chuck the whole frigging, miserable pile of worthless junk into the surf, when my wife, in her precious naiveté and limitless wisdom, hears my cursing, gnashing of teeth, and rending of clothes, and suggests, “Did you try this-and-such?” And of course it then works, and I discover that I was not doing one simple step that only an imbecile (whose I.Q. is dwarfed only by that of a sand flea that resides in the anal hair follicles of a Tibetan yak) would miss, and then everything is peachy, the world is perfect, my computer is truly an amazing piece of machinery, and I bless the geniuses who had the vision and know-how to create it. So there.

Beyond an incompatibility, or corrupted extension that may lock-up the application and crash the computer, I haven’t yet found the fault to be other than my own. Asleep at the wheel, dolt at the helm—call it what you will—it’s usually impossible to be guilt-free in the face of a very logic-based machine. The computer will always know that 1+1=2. That is the absolute answer, unless one is human and is thinking of something else, such as dessert, or sex, or commercial cod fishing off Chesapeake Bay and answers erroneously without thinking. On a Christian level 1+1=1, but not even an Intel™ chip would ever admit to that.

I hope this has helped your comprehension of just where one stands with a computer. “I didn’t inhale” or “I assumed that...” doesn’t wash with a CPU. In this relationship (as with most victims in a one-sided, domineering marriage) you are always guilty. The problem invariably lies with the idiot in front of the monitor. Double-check the necessary steps to get from A to Z. I am sure you will find that at least 6 steps will have been omitted and, if rearranged, those steps will spell-out “S-T-U-P-I-D.”

Your humble reporter, S-T-U-A-R-T

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