Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Baby Steps

I'm not really what you would call a computer wiz. I can e-mail, shop online, comment on blogs, and occasionally I sync my ipod correctly. Occasionally.

My relationship with technology is based on fear. Fear that I will mess something up...fear that when I call the technical support people, the people I pay to be my friend in my computer time of need, they will laugh at my ignorance and wonder how I managed to get myself in such a predicament.

In 1997 my parents bought me a Gateway laptop for college graduation. 1997 was way back when you used your telephone cord to link the computer to the dial-up internet service and check your e-mail two or three times a week. I think I knew 3 people that had e-mail addresses. The internet was not used by the general population. I'm pretty sure Nasa, Microsoft, and Al Gore were the only ones surfing the web on a regular basis.

The Gateway had a black and white screen. My kids actually gasped when I shared that little fact. They couldn't imagine a computer without color. That laptop served as our family computer until 2005.

And then, in 2005 we bit the proverbial bullet and bought a desktop computer. I began e-mailing more frequently, and after a brief stint with dial-up, we up graded to the mid-level internet connection...which was so much faster than dial-up, I could never envision the day we would need high speed internet.

I started dabbling in on-line bill pay and ordering Christmas presents from stores that only existed on the internet. It blew my mind that there was no department store named Amazon...even in the big cities. It was during this time of experimentation that the blog was born.

I bought the extended warranty and service package and continued to renew it each year, because I am not above paying someone to be at my beck and call when I have a computer issue.

The 2005 model is still serving us well. Dell and I stay in contact a couple of times a year and the problem is always an easy fix. (with the exception of the great computer crash, of which we do not speak)

This past summer, I called Dell to renew our service package, and they delivered the blow. We were no longer eligible to purchase the service package. The computer was just too old. Apparently, computer years go by even faster than dog years.

I knew that we were living on borrowed time. I knew we should start preparing for a future without the 2005.

Honey got the iPad. He loves it, but for me it's just a'ight. I want USB ports, and the ability to run Adobe Flash, and a real keyboard. Because I type, just like Mrs. Galloway taught me in 9th grade.

So, Honey took me to The Electronics Store and we met Patrick, a member of their Computer Wiz Team, and I came home with a new laptop.

I have to's pretty cool to sit in the living room and pay bills, or sit at the breakfast bar and put my Weight Watchers points in, or stand in the kitchen and read a recipe without printing it on paper...because now? They have wireless internet. You can get online without any wires attached to your computer.

Crazy, huh?

We did purchase the service package, because I like having The Computer Wiz Team on my side. Patrick suggested that most people like to just bring their stuff to the store so they can show you how to fix the problem in person. Or so they will have a face to connect to the story when everyone in the break room has a good laugh.

Whatever. Today I feel like the king of the computer world. And after we upgraded to high-speed internet yesterday, I don't think there's much that can stop me.

Except maybe a low battery.


Su said...

The low battery is the bane of my laptop existence... it wasn't that great to begin with, and since I'm currently operating with a 2006 laptop, it's the best I can hope for. :/

Congrats on your new laptop! I've even started doing the take-it-to-the-coffeeshop thing. I hope you have fun. :)

Shelly@Sweet Journey said...

Hey, I moved up to laptop world too. Except I don't have Office on it yet or Outlook, so that is my limiting factor. When I get all tooled up, I'm sure I'll have battery issues too! So do you Skype yet? I've been considering it.

Have I told you lately that I really like your writing style? You do a great job! Love you!

Misty said...

oh, the proverbial low battery...
This post was so stinking adorable! I LOVED it...

and, although we have high speed internet- wirelessly- along with quite a few techy gadgets, I find that what I know to do online is far below average and in this I feel DEEP shame...

valerie in TX said...

Yay for your laptop! I moved to a laptop almost two years ago and I love it. Having a laptop, that is....the actual one I have, um, not so much. grr. But YAY about high speed internet. I have no idea what we have. A step up from dial up, but still slow enough that our instant view Netflix movies stop every 10 minutes to retrieve. Double grr. Maybe we'll move into the present age someday! (and, oh yes, I'm an extended warranty kinda girl, too.)