these kids today

i had my first exposure to computers at a relatively young age. i remember going to my mom’s work & seeing the room with the big tall machines & the spinning tape drives, hoffmann la roche was up on their technology in the late 60’s, early 70’s. i remember playing with eliza at the lawrence livermore labs on a field trip. the first PC i ever played with was a TRS80 model III with 2 5?” floppies & 64 whole K of memory.

i always had kind of an intuitive learning process with computer related stuff, but it pales in comparison with my son. he’s always been fascinated by the computer, & being four, he has no idea that these machines cause so much consternation in older generations that came upon them later in life.

today, he got a little mini CD-ROM game in a burger king kids meal. after he ate, he went into the kitchen & put the CD in the drive. i long ago turned off the auto-run feature on the cd drives because he learned to put CDs in long before he really understood what they did, i didn’t want him installing stuff when i wasn’t looking. to make life a little easier for me, i put a shortcut to the CD drive on the desktop.

the next thing i know i’m hearing the game start up. he’d found the CD icon, double clicked it, & ran the game from the windows explorer window that popped up. this is something that would have taken ten, maybe twenty minutes of not-so-patient phone tech support to explain to my parents. ok, i’m exaggerating just a little. but really, i did once spend a full half hour trying to get them to find one file i’d left on their computer & mail it to me. i never did succeed.

it’s frustrating when you know so much more about something than your parents do. i hope my son is patient with me when i’m needing his help…

12 thoughts on “these kids today

  1. So true, so true. I’m an impatient trainer, too. Impatient with people working for me is bad enough; impatient with my parent makes me feel like an absolute jerk.

  2. especially when they call you & you’re at the grocery store & you’re walking up & down the aisles shouting (because they’re not so good of hearing) OK. TYPE A, COLON. THE COLON IS THE TWO DOTS. THEN A BACKSLASH. YOU KNOW, A BACKSLASH. A BACKWARDS SLASH. IT GOES FROM THE RIGHT SIDE TO THE LEFT. etc, etc.

    my parents got a pretty nice computer, but you know, even the nicest computers do crash. so pretty much every time it would freeze up on them they’d be dragging it back to the store. i had to explain to them that it’s not like a toaster or a washer, you just buy it & expect it to work all the time.

    they’re doing ok now, though. but it’s still something best learned young.

  3. kd, you got any of that wine left? I forgot to buy a bottle while I was out and now I’m thirsting for some. As for parents and computers, I will soon know of what you speak. I’m buying one for my mom so she’ll have something to do from bed when she comes home to recuperate, and as far as I know she knows nothing at all about ’em. I let you know how much fun I have teaching her.

  4. actually my dad went through cancer surgery in february, really soon after they got the computer. i think the puter played a good part in his recovery, because you know how annoying computers can be, & it gave him something to focus on besides his illness.

  5. My father would have enjoyed a computer. He liked to know the way things work-
    My Mom was not allowed to read when she was a child-she just told me this the other day-she can read magazines, newspapers.
    She was not allowed to read a book. Reading was considered recreational in her family. She had to clean, clean, clean, and sew, sew, sew, and cook, cook, cook.
    She also had to give up her bedroom in the summer, so my grandparents could rent her room to vacationers to the NJ Shore..
    That is how it was then. You had children to help you when you were young, and as you got older.
    Selfish? Maybe…but you did what you did to survive. Sad? yep…

  6. my 7 year old doesn’t even ask me what to do on the computer anymore. She’s had her own email addy since she was 4. Weird. I don’t think I’d even heard of computers at age 7.

  7. lol…. i’m probably older than anyone here, except maybe linkmeister (gentle dig ;), and i’ve been messing with computers since about 1978. before that i programmed calculators to do surveying calculations as part of my job. it’ll be an interesting day when my kids come and fix my computer! :> anyway, my youngest is a machine intuitive and he’s going to make great use of them. good thoughts… thanks for sharing.

  8. heh…if something happened to the computer while I was at college, they would wait until I would come home for break to fix it…sometimes that would be months! LOL

  9. I’ve had to drive 4 hours’ round-trip to fix something on my parents’ computer because they weren’t following what I was telling them to do on the phone, even though I was trying to explain it to them in the most rudimentary of terms — and they use an iMac! It doesn’t get much simpler than that! However, we are talking about the same people who called me long-distance after I left for college to ask me how to program the VCR for timer recording.

  10. I set my parent’s computer up with Win2K (no crashing) and then made desktop icons for all kinds of things. Now I just need to fly up there and get the digicam and printer I bought them for Christmas set up. What was I thinking?

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