Behind the “8” Ball

Computers are useless.  They can only give you answers.
Pablo Picasso Spanish Artist

I suspect old Pablo was being a wee bit cynical when he made the above statement, or maybe not.  Since he died in 1970, I have to question what kind of computer he was referring to since the highly touted Commodore 64 was not even introduced until 1982. I suspect he was more of an observer then a participant.

Whatever the circumstances, I have to take exception to the finality of his remark.  The computer, as I know it, besides giving answers, (often prefaced with Error Msg) also gives us something much more profound.  That would be the silent treatment.  Yup, you sit there talking to yourself and it doesn’t even acknowledge your existence.

Last week, I had the misfortune of turning on my computer to find a black screen, at which point I applied all of my acquired computer skills, i.e. rebooting, cursing, and banging the keyboard, all to no avail.   Bummer.  So I put it into the car and drove to Staples where the service tech (about 12 years old with a Bluetooth device in his ear) informed me that it was a sealed unit.  In layman’s terms this equated to factory repair starting around $350.  I decided that I did not want to do that, so for a few shillings more, I bought a new one.  I opted not to get the one with the touch screen as I already leave enough fingerprints around the house without even trying. When I unpacked it, I’ll have to admit, I felt the ripple of excitement I always experience whenever I buy  something new, before I actually try to set it up or use it.

Let me digress for just a moment.  I try to be a good friend and neighbor and not offend anyone.  I give to charities, volunteer, lend a helping hand where possible, and do not anger easily.  All this of course is to embellish my resume for the day when I have to apply for a vacancy in heaven.  So, it was a little unusual that shortly after turning it on, I began to experience the first signs of hostility. I have heard that the Lord will never give you more then you can handle, but I think that was before the advent of Windows 8.

I knew going in that I was in for a battle, what with reinstalling a plethora of programs, reentering license codes and registration numbers.  I had done this all too many times before.  But what I didn’t plan for was the scavenger hunt that developed, the paramount question being “where did everything go”?  Having been through multiple previous versions of Windows,  I was pretty comfortable with the format.  Unfortunately, it no longer exists.  Instead there is a screen with a lot of pictures on it which I suspect hides everything I am looking for.  Well, most of it anyway.

I am fortunate in that we have always backed everything up on an external drive, so I knew all my files were safe.  What I didn’t know is that the drive was not compatible with, yup, you guessed it, Windows 8.  So after two days of going out on the internet and asking a lot of questions, I learned how to run the PC as the administrator and successfully captured all my files.  I say successfully, but that is subjective in as much as I DON’T KNOW WHERE THE HELL THEY ARE!!!  They, like everything else, got sucked into the void and were digested in some obscure location mascarading as a picture.

This morning I found some photos.  It was akin to watching the debris of a shipwreck wash up on the shore.  I suspect if I hang around long enough, more will hit the beach so to speak.  Then I will be free to move on to phase 2.  Finding My Pictures, My Documents, My Computer, etc.  They are probably sitting right there behind one of those damned pictures, waiting for my next round of show and tell.  Wish me luck.

P.S.  I am sending this from my good old Windows 7 laptop, or as I call it, Chicken Soup for my soul.

About oldmainer

I am a retired manager living in Southern Maine and a would be writer of poetry, narratives, short stories, and random opinions, and that's how Oldmainer was born. Recently, I decided to try an experiment. I added photography to the mix, using only a cheap cell phone with a limited camera and the editing software that came with it, and added the blog site Inklings at to showcase the results. So, feel free to use whatever you find interesting or worthy, but please honor the terms of my copyright when and if you do. They may not be much, but they are still a piece of me. I appreciate your checking me out and hope that you find something that will encourage a return visit. Thanks for stopping by.
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13 Responses to Behind the “8” Ball

  1. It is quite easy to use Windows 8 computers from the desktop. Pin program to desktop seems to sort it out. The only time mine goes back to all those tiles now is after looking at emails – or the Kindle app perhaps. Sue


  2. Austin says:

    Greetings from Bangor!


  3. quiall says:

    I just purchased an iMac and I can relate!!!!!!


  4. msmcword says:

    This confirms my suspicion in regard to computers: it is not us-the users-who are in control; it is the computers. Scary, isn’t it!


  5. when in college in the 60s I operated computers on the night shift for an insurance company – IBM and Univac systems, each one taking up hundreds of square feet for its integrated components, with only a fraction of the processing power of today’s smart phones


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