March 16, 2005


Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 6:35 pm

It should come as no surprise to those who visit here with some regularity that I am a techno-dope. Unlike some who can change templates and blogging software with the ease of changing socks, I am delighted when I can successfully add something uncomplicated to the sidebar.

Perhaps a part of the reason that I am a techno-dope is that I am a techno-chicken. The non-techno-chickens go through life without fear of pushing every button, flipping every switch and clicking on every available option to see what happens, and this is true for everything from appliances to computer stuff. They have absolutely no concern that their pushing, flipping and clicking might result in a techno-disaster. Of course, by doing this they learn how things work and avoid becoming techno-dopes.

Unlike those techno-swashbucklers, I have never been a pusher, flipper or clicker just for the purpose of seeing what will happen. I tend to want to know what will happen before I push, flip or click. As such, I often find myself spending an inordinate amount of time reading “instructions” that quite often don’t even come close to addressing the concerns of a serious techno-chicken. “Computer instructions” pose an even greater problem because they tend to be written in a language that only vaguely resembles English, and even in the portions in which some of the “English” is understandable, the understandable bits are rendered useless because they have been polluted with liberal amounts of Geekspeak.

For the most part, I have learned to live with being a techno-chicken and, thereby having become a techno-dope, but sometimes, I’m confronted with a forehead-slapping example of my profound techno-dipshittery. The most recent instance involved the “Back” button on the Internet Explorer browser.

I have been using Internet Explorer for something like 12 years, both at home and at work, and as such I have 12 years of web-surfing experience. For twelve years, when following links left me five or six screens away from where I started, here was the drill to get back to where I started:

Click “Back” arrow in upper left of screen … wait for the previous page to load…

Click “Back” arrow in upper left of screen … wait for the previous page to load…

Click “Back” arrow in upper left of screen … wait for the previous page to load…

Click “Back” arrow in upper left of screen … wait for the previous page to load…

Click “Back” arrow in upper left of screen … wait for the previous page to load…

Then, one day last week I decided to click on the little downward pointing black triangle to the right of the “Back” button.
back icon.jpg

Holy crap!!! Before me appeared all the places I had recently visited, and at the bottom of the list was the “History” icon. Giddy with the joy of discovery, I clicked the icon, and, holy crap!!! There were all the sites that I had been to since I sat down at the computer.

I figure that I must have lost a total of about a month of my life clicking on the “Back” button and waiting…clicking and waiting…clicking and waiting. Pathetic, I know.

Look, it isn’t easy to admit to myself, much less to the world, to being such a techno-maroon, but I hope that this exercise will prevent me from having to seek techno-chicken therapy.

I suppose that being a techno-chicken is a good idea around firearms, explosives and airplane cockpits where pressing buttons, flipping switches and clicking on things without knowing what will happen can lead to really bad things, but I damned well shouldn’t have waited twelve years to click on that little, black, downward pointing, black farookin’ triangle.

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