{ Tuesday, February 27, 2007 }


A couple of things, real quick.


Tonight we had a little fiesta of sorts in our apartment. It consisted of Gilmore Girls, Veronica Mars, Girl Scout Cookies (Thin Mints, Samoas and Do-Si-Dos) and a bottle of champagne. It was awesome.


I just read the article that Tiff linked to today. It got me to thinking about the things which I wish were taught in basic computing classes...

I'm sure everyone who isn't one of these people has a rant or two in their heads on the computer basics topic. But, let's be serious and forget the aforementioned champagne for just a minute.

Can we please all agree that before you teach the We Teach You to Work Office classes at the Computer Learning ForProfit that everyone MUST MUST MUST learn about how you do not actually save a file in Word? You left the file somewhere. I am willing to believe that you did actually save it, if for no other reason than the simple fact that the program makes it hard for you to get away with not saving it. Word is an editor of documents. It is not a storage device.

I know. It's a tired sentiment, but, especially at the last place where I worked, I am used to hearing "I saved it in Word." on a really regular basis. YOU DID NOT! You used Word to save the file and now it's somewhere. I don't know where. Did you save it on the network or locally? Yeah, that's what I thought.

I am completely serious when I say that people need to learn about Save and Save As. Particularly they need to learn about saving email attachments locally. Also about saving things on shared network drives. Because this? This is not rocket science. (And Drew, reading this at his desk at work tomorrow morning, just immediately countered in his head that rocket science is actually kinda simple. That might be true, I don't know anything about rocket science, but Save As? Is not hard.)

Okay, one more point we all got tired of hearing about three to five years ago. Unless, of course, you're one of the people who "doesn't get computers" and you just... I don't know how you came to be reading this.

If I know you in real life and you don't know this stuff, I promise if you confess your ignorance I'll teach you all about the wonders of Save As. I don't socialize with anyone who isn't capable of learning this stuff, promise. I used to be in charge of the "shooting things" program at a summer camp. If I can get twelve nine year-old boys not to actually injure each other with archery and riflery equipment -- hell, especially since I can get sixteen year old boys to manage to put BB guns in the hands of several dozen sets of elementary school aged children on a daily basis and, still, no one shot each other -- then I can teach you, my friend, to Save As.

ANYWAY, my other point. There are multiple ways to do common things on the computer. Don't look at me like I just made your puppy disappear when I use the control keys. I spent part of the late nineties with no mouse. I learned to do without. Because somehow I ended up with Depression Values and if it breaks and it can't be rigged back up to almost-work, then you learn to do without it. (See also: my year without a "J" key. The other keys worked fine, and J isn't that common. I copied a J and I just pasted when I needed one, unless I was feeling lazy, in which case I just skipped them. People found that every bit as charmingly quirky as you think they did.)

Lots of ways to do things. Really. I wouldn't have a blog if I weren't all about oversharing. Be prepared to hear about all the various ways you *could* copy that information if you're really asking me about how to copy and paste ("I am not good at cut and paste and prefer not too" as one, now infamous, email to me put it).

One more thing and then I am going to see if there's any more champagne in Drew's glass and if he'll let me drink it... THE COMPUTER IS NOT SCARY.

PS: Yeah, I was an information systems major. I do not now, nor have I ever, actually been classified as IT personnel (okay, I worked in the computer lab in college a million years ago). I "push paper" for a living. And thusfar, no one at the new job has asked me to locate a file that they think they saved in Word. That little rant up there was just leftover from the prior jobs. I'm off to see a boy about some liquor now.

posted by mary ann 10:09 PM