We got a new computer in December, since the laptop we had been using for a year and a half wouldn't turn on. We got a desktop computer, with Windows 8. There were so many negative reviews about Windows 8, I contemplated spending several hundred more dollars on a computer with Windows 7. My cheapness won out. We don't do anything too exciting with our computer--internet, photos, a few games, and music is about as exciting as we get. That is worth a few hundred to do, but not a lot of hundreds.
Despite dire predictions, Windows 8 is fine. You get used to the differences pretty quickly. But then, I am not technologically minded. In Windows 8, when you open a program it generally goes full screen. And when you want to shut it, you go up to the right hand corner and suddenly an "x" pops out and you shut it. A month or so ago, the "x" function disappeared. We had to use the windows button on the keyboard to navigate around. Then last night, the "x" started to appear again. To the technologically minded, this would be a mystery to ferret out and solve, probably resulting in more negative views of Windows 8 or this particular computer. I, on the other hand, am delighted, as though the computer just played a fun magic trick. I know there are solid, logical reasons for all the things computers do, but I can't help being amazed and consigning all parts of computer reasoning that I can't (or won't) wrap my brain around, to the realm of fairy tales. And really, they aren't far off. Awhile ago, we saw an Amazon promotion for something called the Echo. It is a speaker you plop somewhere in your house and it will do things for you. You call it Alexa and whenever you say Alexa, it will do what you tell it after the word Alexa. "Alexa, add peanuts to the shopping list." "Alexa, play kids songs." "Alexa, what is the weather in Timbuctoo?" "Alexa, wash the floor." (Ha! If that thing did house work, it would be firmly installed in our house.) All that is pretty magical. But also slightly creepy. Since I think of it all as magical, I never trust any of it. The Echo is scanning everything you say, all the time, to listen for the word Alexa. Some freaky little obedient speaker is listening to everything you say. Weird. People that understand how these things work, probably understand all the non-hacking things they included and it isn't weird. But as for me and my house, we will stick with a paper and pencil. Or a smartphone. (But not siri, who is sort of like the Echo. I can look up my own weather, random facts, and start my own music, thanks just the same.)
And then these smart watches. Ow! You can check your email, text, pay for things, get directions, monitor your activity, travel to the moon, and even tell time, all from your wrist.
I already feel myself becoming a fuddy dud. In ten years, my kids will be rolling their eyes at my amazement and incomprehension.
And since we are talking about computers, here is a picture of me staring vacantly at a computer screen, courtesy of one of my kids, that I discovered on my phone. Not the most flattering picture, but it seemed pertinent. And I had no other picture to put with this post. And what good is a post without a picture?
And now I need to get off the computer, so this is not how my kids remember me. "Mom? Oh, you mean that lady who sat very still, with a slightly blue face?"