After a long day of patching, updating and repairing computers all over town, I got home, dropped my computer tool bag on the floor and flopped into my office chair. I was drained. I wanted to put my feet up on the desk, but they felt too heavy. I flicked the mouse to wake up my computer and noticed an error in my email program. The error code hinted at a connection problem. I sucked my teeth and swatted toward the screen. I didn't feel like figuring it out.
Another error message about my printer popped up a moment later. It was only a nuisance; my printer worked fine -I simply needed to download and install a new driver to make the message go away. I had ignored it for weeks.
Oh, and the fan in my computer's power supply was vibrating louder by the day. I'd been meaning to replace that too so I wouldn't have to drown out the buzzing by cranking up iTunes all the time.
Many of my clients will ask me if I have computer problems, then they laugh hard and elbow me -as if I'm immune. Of course, I have computer problems.
Some people ask what type of computer I use at home. Their faces usually fill with anticipation -as if I'm going to describe a cutting-edge super system with technical jargon they can't understand. Their buzz is killed when I confess that my computer is a plain, non-name-brand system (called a clone). Many of its parts are transplanted from my earlier computers so it's a bit of a Frankenstein creation. (My CD Rom and computer case color don't match, but I happen to think it looks endearing -like a mutt with a face divided by two colors.) My computer isn't particularly fast and is perhaps bogged down with too much software. You might say I'm sort of like the barber with the messy hair.
The point of all this is to clear up a misperception I've sensed from people lately -that "computer geeks" either don't have computer problems, or they sit at home breaking things on their computer for the enjoyment of fixing them. Wrong and wrong.
I hate to fix my own computer. That's fun-less work. If I want to have fun on the computer, my all-time favorite thing to do is to surf for a fantastic new web site, blog or a peek at a gadget few people have yet seen. That's work-less -and you don't have to be a computer geek to enjoy it too.
The trick to finding the coolest web sites is launching your search from a quality source. I have a few sources such as carefully-selected blogs and newsletters. I've decided to share one of them -a real gem that you will enjoy no matter how much you know about technology: www.mikeslist.com. Mike shows some of the most interesting, innovative wacky twists of technology you've ever seen and links to many other sites that can entertain for hours. Take a look. If you like his site, bookmark it and send him a donation like I did.
The buzzing is driving me nuts. I've got to go fix that fan.