Thursday, 18 August 2011

Technology Rules OK.

Its no secret my technology skills, particularly computer wise are limited. (My daughter Alison reminded me that in the early days I told people I was gradually mastering the use of the frog. Well, I knew it was an animal of some sort!) I'm seventy one, for goodness sake. And reading my 1985 diary I realised I'm in good company when coming to terms with the modern world.

1985 August.
(Mr McGowan was a tenant of Roland Tudge, my uncle.)

'Old Mr McGowan had problems with his television. Clueless on most aspects of life, his lack of a picture in part confused him, at the same time he knew why the picture failed to materialise. His television, he explained to me, was an old black and white set. As all the programmes are now broadcast in colour, he wouldn't be able to get a picture anymore.'

I know the feeling. I haven't a clue regarding this digital changeover thingymagig. Another extract from August 1985.

'My grandmother was similarly ignorant of the modern world. She never really came to terms with 20th century living. She watched television almost grudgingly, though nothing would entice her to change channels; that was a visitor's prerogative. On occasion would appear the testcard instruction, 'Normal Service will be resumed as soon as possible.' 'Little Grannie' would greet its appearance by a visit next door to enquire if their set was similarly afflicted.

Neither was her grasp of modern 'materials' and their fallibility designed to allow her descendants peaceful sleep. Plastics she tolerated, after all they were even around when she was a young women. Unfortunately by the 1970's 'Tupperware' was the choice of food container by those considering themselves sophisticated. (And thus provided for gran by her doting 'brood'.) Gran tested this modern phenomenon by placing it in her oven, containing fresh garden peas and subjected it to normal oven temperatures. The resultant 'gooey' mess took patience and perseverance to remove, whilst the fumes were to be avoided due to possible toxicity.

Gran merely remarked she thought little of this modern rubbish. The possibility of such a demise ought to have been evident. For only weeks previously she had amused but alarmed us by 'testing' the durability of her newly acquired plastic bucket. Clearing the hot coals and ashes from her ancient 'range' she loaded the bucket and proceeeded to carry them, via room and passageway to the dustbin in the yard. The bucket handles and the top half of the bucket were the only parts to survive the journey. Hot coals and smouldering plastic littered the journey, the smell of burning 'rug peg' matting and linoleum could be smelt for days. Again gran pontificated on the imperfections of this 'new fangled' plastic compared to her old, much used enamel buckets.'

I know the feeling. I have stopped passing cars similar to my own to enquire what certain buttons were for. Understandable, not really after four years ownership. I swap computers when I think they're full. Move things, delete things, compact things, HOW! (I have the Dummies Guide, I can't follow it!) I take photos with supposedly the world's most advanced compact and the results have a fascinatingly unpredictability, a form of exciting photographic Russian Roulette. My attempt at drying my hands up the exit of the Durex machine in the pub toilet are legendary. Is it the onset of Alzheimer's? Unlikely, I reckon I've been like this since the age of seven! Is it me; is it hereditary; is it my age. Am I on my own where where modern technology is concerned. What is your achiles heel. You tell me!

10 comments:

the fly in the web said...

For goodness sake..that's my life history you're recounting!
The instructions on a computer are quite beyond me...I rely on Ayak, at Ayak's Turkish Delight to put me right!

Ruth said...

I don't think it has anything to do with age - some people catch on to it and some don't. We each have our own talents and yours is writing. And you've mastered the computer enough to share your writing with all of us lucky folks!

quilterliz said...

G'day Ken. Your grandmother must have been a great woman. I can picture her carring the plastic bucket and cleaning up the mess afterwards. Having recently moved to a new home and getting a few new things for the TV and Internet, I had to get the TV man in to get it all working for me,my brain just couldn't get a grip on it all !!! Take care. Liz...

SueAnn said...

Automatic towel dispensers...!! Ack!! Some look like regular dispensers and it is frustrating the hell out of me!!! I can't tell the the countless battles I have had with this contraptions. Automatic or not! Sigh!!
Good luck on you adventures!
Hugs
SueAnn

Nota Bene said...

Our new oven is beyond me...once you just turned a knob and the food was cooked beautifully. But with the new one I need to push a button, turn a knob, then another, press, hold and then heaven only knows what....

Valerie said...

Grandma and the plastic bucket brought a smile to my face. I knew someone (not elderly) who put a plastic bowl in a hot oven to 'dry out' the contents. She certainly did that.

I agree with Ruth, it has nothing to do with age. Hubby hasn't a clue about technological stuff whereas I do and I'm years older than him. I love technology. Puzzling things out is not only a challenge but it keeps my brain active. Mind you, when I'm called to 'sort this damn thing out' it gets a bit like teaching a spouse to drive.

cheshire wife said...

Anything electrical with a picture I leave to my husband and he leaves the housework to me. I think that he has the better deal.

susan said...

I have demonstrated your blog to a roomful of computer sceptics with the idea that you are a shining example of someone who has mastered computer skills! Mind you you are pretty young really and have years ahead of you to deal with whatever new technology flings at you. it is my 95 year old aunt I have to convince..

Keith said...

I think that you, and me, need to see a trick cyclist and get sorted out.

I filled the kettle up to make a cup of tea and put it in the stove to boil while I went back to sort out why I had just lost an important document (my weekly "meals on wheels" order) on the kompewter.

I went back into the kitchen to make my cuppa, only to find that modern plastic electric kettles dont work very well on a gas stove!

Does anyone know how to get hardened plastic out of the gas jets?

Shammickite said...

YoungerSon persuaded me that I needed to join the 21st century and buy a laptop. So I did. But now, with the birth of his twins, he doesn't have time to teach me to use it. So it languishes collecting dust while I continue to bash away at this ancient monument that he took with him when he started Uni many years ago.....