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November 11 2014

The day I have been dreading from the bottom of my heart is quickly approaching.   I can no longer pretend it doesn’t terrify me. I can no longer push it aside brusquely as unnecessary and I can no longer admit that I am utterly clueless. I need a new computer. I must bite the bullet and bravely venture forth into the land of high tech. (or in my case, medium tech.)

1024px-FortranCardPROJ039.agr[1] I am not entirely sure why the procurement of a new computer sends me into hyper panic. After all, I did graduate with a dual degree in Management Information Systems and Marketing. Never mind that my degree was obtained in the Stone Ages when we fed punch cards into a massive main frame computer and returned the next morning for a readout printed onto a ream of paper.   My graduating class was one of the first groups of students who was trained on “desktop” computers – which were the diminutive size of a Fiat 500; revolutionary at the time I may add.

I’ve stayed relatively current with technology. I have never gasped or shaken my head at the production of smarter and smaller information systems and I have barely blinked as the highways of technology have gone into warp drive.   I can navigate new software with a relatively low learning curve and I use technology at least a zillion times daily for work and entertainment. (Sidebar: This does not count the TV remote. I have never figured out how to use that thing.) I own a smart phone. I have not programmed it with 1,000 apps that keep me appraised of everything from Beyonce’s weight fluctuation to when to clip my fingernails, but I am perfectly capable of using it for the essentials: text, phone, email, Words With Friends gaming and, under duress, navigation.   I can even “Spotify” so that I can rock out while I work.

So why do I break out in a cold sweat and feel like I am a mindless old lady when faced with the purchase of a new computing system?   My old relic of a desktop still runs on Windows Vista – which my offspring snort and laugh at like a dog trying to catch butterflies with a cone on its head. I hold my head high and point out “It still WORKS and that it is not necessary to always have the latest and fastest version of every technology and that staying simple is how we pay for SOMEONE to go to University and SOMEONE else to golf.”

As I preach this Mom lesson of “not having to keep up with the Joneses” to the prodigal sons, I do not remind anyone of the horrific crash of 2011 in which I lost all my photos and contacts. Nor do I admit to my weekly hissy fits at frozen computers and the frequent foray into my desktop history to restore settings I suspect are magically transformed by Severus Snape.   I have justified my antiquated operating system on a regular basis because the thought of venturing into the retail world and trying to hold an intelligent conversation about Gigglebytes and Ramrods and Operating Theatres and now Cumulus Clouds are enough to send me directly back into hiding under my desk.   I would stay there longer but the dust bunnies’ and I fight for space and they usually win.

640px-Bound_computer_printout.agr[1]Heavy Sigh. Time is marching on and my business is expanding, my patience is waning and the inevitability of technology is smacking me directly in the forehead.   The day is here so I am pulling up my big girl panties and charging full speed into the foray of Samsungs, Macbooks, Dells, Asus and Lenovos.  But God help me – if a pimply faced young sales person rolls their eyes one time at my naiveté I am going to beat them over the head with my pile of punch cards and them wrap them up with a ream of paper output and leave them right there on the sales floor.

PS – Big shout on Veteran’s Day to my Dad, brother, all of my Uncles and the countless persons who are noble and selfless and enable us to live in a place where I live without fear and have hope on a daily basis. I am humbled by you.

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