Thursday, February 12, 2009

Farmer In the Dell

They say you never forget how to ride a bicycle ...

That may be true, but the muscles in your legs forget!

With that reckoning, you do not forget how to use a computer ...

Except when the computer has a different operating system!

As stated in yesterday's post, the hard drive on my old faithful computer was wiped clean! Ever since I began blogging back in January of '05, I have used an HP computer. There have actually been three of them, with Windows '95, '98 and 2000. The first one (the '95) was a hand-me-down from my daughter as she updated to a '98. In time the '95 was becoming out-dated and a loft of software and game sites required '98 or later operating systems. Then I inherited the 2000 when my daughter got married and moved out. That was the one that just died.

Each of those operating systems were a little bit different (improved?) than the previous ones, but the transition to the 'newer' systems was fairly easy.

For a couple of days I have been using an IBM NotePad with Windows XP. Though I'm not comfortable using a laptop, I found the XP system pretty good. It only took me about an hour on the laptop to realize that I could connect the mouse from the departed PC as opposed to running a finger across that mouse pad.

Today, four days before the day itself, my wife surprised me with a brand new computer! We set it up - it took about an hour for all the software to be loaded. Then I spent about another two hours downloading Firefox, CCleaner, AdAware, etc. Then I had to load up my printer/copier/scanner.

I still have some other things to add and to customize my desktop and home page. After about three hours total from the time it was taken out the box, I began to put this post together.

This computer is a Dell and it has about double the memory that the last one had - and of course it is much faster! The operating system is Windows Vista! It seems like everything about it is completely different and alien to me. In time, I'll get used to it though.

One thing I like about the new setup is the 17" flat screen. I can read almost everything without my reading glasses now! It is CD/DVD readable and writable - that might come in handy!

While I'm learning to use this new operating system, I'm reminded of a joke that's been around for some time regarding the gender of a computer:

Are Computers From Mars or Venus?

A language teacher was explaining to her class that in French, nouns unlike their English counterparts, are grammatically designated as masculine or feminine.

"House" in French, is feminine -"la maison," "Pencil" in French, is masculine "le crayon."

One puzzled student asked, "What gender is computer?" The teacher did not know, and the word was not in her French dictionary.

So for fun she split the class into two groups appropriately enough, by gender and asked them to decide whether "computer" should be a masculine or a feminine noun.

Both groups were required to give four reasons for their recommendation.

The men's group decided that computer should definitely be of the feminine gender ("la computer"), because
1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic
2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else
3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later review
4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheque on accessories for it.
The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be masculine "le computer") because:
1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on.
2. They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves
3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem
4. As soon as you commit to one, you realise that if you had waited a little longer you could have gotten a better model.


Skunkfeathers said...

I've been convinced forever that computers are definitely female. How do I know this? Mine is forever prompting me to clean up my hard drive and compress files ;)

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

Bwahahahaha at what Skunkfeathers said.

Congratulations on the new computer. Vista rocks compared to XP.

Loved the joke. I think computers are female.

Have a terrific day. :)

Jack K. said...

Always ready to help solve a problem, I went to my trusty Sherlock to get a translation for you. I typed in the computer and got this response: l'ordinateur. If memory serves me right, the lack of an e or a after the l suggests that it might be masculine.

Glad to know that you have gotten your computer problems solved.

Having used Macs for years, I am not sure about the issues you face. Macs do have their own ideosyncracies.

I am inclined to agree with the skunkman.

Christina said...

Congrats on the new computer. I have finally gotten used to my Mac. I know this because I am now more comfortable working on the Mac than on my old Dell (with windows XP). You'll get used to Vista just fine!

Hale McKay said...


Heh-heh. That's a good analogy fer sure.

Hale McKay said...


I was just getting use to XP on the lap top - but Vista sure is lot different from all the other Windows incarnations of the past.

Hale McKay said...


Thanks for the etymology.

I've never sat down in front of a Mac, so I can't really compare the two systems.

Hale McKay said...


You're right, of course. In time I'll figure out all the bells and whistles of Vista - at least the ones I want and need to use.