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"A Brave, New Computer Word!"

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Alas and Alack...What To Do in This 'brave' new world?

From a very good and trusted friend I just heard that he has crashed his computer and is counting on a warranty from the retailer - now going out of business. Yes, Circuit City, and, I am told, also Best Buy seems not long for this world.

My friend has always been more adept at all technical, computer matters than me. But it seems that even he these days is scratching his head and contemplating where to go from here...

I've had sage advice all along the way. My nephew and godson, Michael works as a LAN specialist for a major firm in entertainment on the west coast. But,in the end, I'm left with little recourse but instruction by trial and error. Ah, well... It's not like I haven't been here before!

When Windows 3.0 came out, I had someone who could even delve into DOS to coach me in what to do to save my computer. Saving? Is that all that is left to the end-service consumers like myself? Afraid so, buddy - or sissy. That's how it is - how it's come down in the end!

I've seen my articles I've written published almost miraculously in South America in Brazilian Portuguese and Argentinian, Castellano Spanish. That was a really BIG thrill. But now I'm more concerned with brass tacks. If my helpers can't solve their own technical problems, then how shall I, computer dilettante that I am, ever finally get to the point that everything is up and running?

"VISTA!" Oh my, how my body still quakes at the mere mention of that word or the term "OS." Yes, I understand what it means. But it seems not even the creators at Bill Gates' company haven't a clue as to what a monster they've unleashed! I insert a disc, which is meant to be installed and not to be written to. The system asks me if I'd like to copy it?  Then it suggests that I might "write over it! Yes, of course. So I "select" the best choice, by means of dragging or dropping, or the "organize" tab on the the bar at the top of where I'm working.

Then, I'm scared from here to be-Jesus when it wants to write it to the same disc I'm copying from! Who the hell is managing the damn computer store in my small home studio and office? It ain't me, apparently! If it were me, "Charles in charge," as if in the the TV series, I'd know better and do better!

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But I seem to be not at all in command of anything technical, wherever I turn. Never have I thought myself to be a whiz kid of technology, but I do have two university degrees to my names, and citations for honors, including "Who's Who Among American College and University Students, 1975." When the profs offered me that little gem for dressing up my resumè, I doubt they thought it could all come to this!

If you think I'm scratching my head, then trust me - it is literally true! Anything that worked in the past seems to have abandoned me. A file structure in a form I couold understand as in DOS up through 6.0? Forget it!

Instead, the friendly people at Microsoft have replaced it with "recent places," and other such innocuous and non-specific terms! I grasp at proverbial, or worse yet, pro-technical straws! And, at the end of a long night of deleting unwanted email, and trying to end my nocturnal saga, Iam left mostly, at my wit's end,and with a headache.

Sound familiar?

Sure. You've seen the same debates on nation-wide television between Mr. PC and Mr. Mac.

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I may not have thought so before, but now I'm confronted by the obvious and horridly unavoidable conclusion that the tube has it right, and maybe I bet on the wrong horse in this techno-race.

Ah yes, you're saying, "Been there - done that!" But, wherever we've been, and whatever we've done, NOTHING has readied us for this paricular battle. It's out of my league.  Out of our ken.  Beyond Shakespeare and defying Einstein! A LAN specialist cannot seem to help me. Nor a God-loving, Roman Catholic deacon with a knack for technical applications.

This is applied technology in a way that totally befuddles me. So, Elmer Fudd that I am, I just have to sign off. After all, I have my bed to get back to.  Please.  Soon! And at the cyber-world rainbow's end, I'm simply not sure that there's a rainbow at all for me...

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