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Author Bernice Root
© Copyright 2000
I am usually a creature of habit, well, up to a point. When I find something that works for me, I am reluctant to change. When I was school nurse and they were giving us electric typewriters as a perk, I refused for two years. I couldn't see anything wrong with my trusty manual typewriter. Finally, I reluctantly agreed. Have to say it was really nice after I learned to stop making lines of ssssssssssssss or eeeeeeeeeee or whatever I had my finger on. Lost count of how many times I swatted the air trying to hit the carriage return. Now, tell me how I became so involved with computers.
I was really intimidated by the fact all young kids were so computer literate and I was almost too dumb, or scared, to turn one on. Finally my son gave me one of his old Vic20's and helped me learn a little but I didn't absorb much. I think this was the one that had cassettes so I could play a few games. I graduated to a Commodore 64-and a little yellow book that was printed for kids. Learned a little more. To open the word processor, I had to click on a busy little bee. Then I got one of his extra 128's. Then I learned enough to help him copy microfilm material from the old Cedar County newspapers. Never did learn how to double space and a number of other things. How do you indent for a paragraph? Five clicks on the space bar was my way. How did I double space? Two clicks on the return key. I found out later that wasn't such a good idea. Then he let me have a laptop he wasn't using. I read and read and none of it made much sense. I did try a lot of things though and lost a bunch of things I was trying to save, but it primed me to want to know more. I still don't know why computer terms seem totally backward to me. I thought default was not a good thing and now it is a very good thing.
When I got the laptop, Bob thought I would spend my time playing solitaire and writing letters and stories. I found that my first challenge. My second challenge was wanting to know just how everything worked. The third was wanting to show my son I was not too old to learn something new.
The laptop began to have troubles, so I bought a used computer, a printer and about six months after that I bought a scanner. Have I had fun and trouble but a whole new world had opened for me. I picked up anything I could from anyone who would talk to me. I learned to do several things but had no idea how to explain what I was doing. I didn't even know how to ask questions. I had my own computer language. I typed and filed instead of "saving". I didn't know which bar was tool, task etc. I was expected to send a story I was writing in Rich Text and I had no idea what that was. Terry Roberts taught the first class I took with ICON and I found Rich Text. But I get ahead of myself and need to go back a bit.
In October, l999 my son was home and took me to an ICON meeting. He wanted me to learn the correct terminology for the few things I was already doing. I joined, afraid all I would be able to do was profit from the Newsletter because I wasn't driving much at that time. As fate would have it, a cousin was having much the same type computer problems I was having and she started driving me. She joined ICON and we have only missed one meeting since. We've taken Terry and Charles Roberts' classes (twice) and learned a great deal. The SIG meetings are very informative and fun. You ICON people are so kind, and understanding and above all--you have so much patience.
I still need help. Can anyone teach me how to program my VCR!!!
Thank You, firstname.lastname@example.org
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