Clifford Stoll, Isaac Asimov, Reading, Science Fiction Literature, Writing

I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them. Isaac Asimov (1920 – 1992)

I fear I share Isaac’s sentiment. I’ve been using computers in one form or another since the mid 70’s and I’m pretty much hooked on the technology. I’m even more entranced with PCs and the world wide web than my children. Addicted one might say.Clifford Stoll asked “Why is it drug addicts and computer aficionados are both called users?”

Your first question might be who in hell is Clifford Stoll that I should care he asked such a silly question. I know that was one of my first questions. because I had never heard of the man. So I looked him up. And in 30 seconds I had my answer. Ain’t high speed internet access and the web wunnerful (as Lawrence Welk with a champagne cork pop might have put it.) Totally interesting guy. I gave you the Wikipedia link but you should follow the links from there because this dude is cool beans.

Writing longhand or with a typewriter was sheer torture for me given my perfectionist obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Oh hell, they aren’t tendencies, they’re full blown freakazoid weirdnesses. When I write longhand, there are times that if I write one sentence that has an error in it I have to start over and write the whole damn thing over again. You can see how that might interefere with the creative process.

I have Mrs HoffMan in $th grade to thank for that little quirk. She demanded perfection or she would take ten points off of your homework. I had a lot of time for homework since we weren’t allowed to have friends to come to the farm or go anywhere after school. Mrs Hoffman was also a cruel Bitch. She duct taped a kid to her chair because she wouldn’t sit still and I think she might even have duct taped her mouth shut. I know she threatened to.

I have a special place in my heart for dear old Isaac Asimov since I, Robot was the very first adult fiction I ever read  after cleaning out the children’s library in  the grade school  and  the entire children and youth sections of the library  in Clay Center, Nebraska. The uptight librarian wouldn’t actually allow me into the adult stacks because I was only 10 years old but she hand selected I, Robot and Pilgrim’s Progress for me.

I remember being very excited about Pilgrim’s progress because it was a very old book–an original copy which she made me promise to take very good care of. It hadn’t had much traffic. My mother had read it in her teens and her signature was still there on the sign out card. I wish I had my hands on that book now because I’d be rich. Bunyan would still be a dry, overly pious, and boring writer but I would be rich!

What a juxtaposition! I wonder if she did that on purpose? I have to tell ya’, even though I read Pilgrim’s Progress (a very sanctimonious tale of the perilous journey of a beleaguered Christian and his family on their way to heaven), because I would read anything that didn’t get up and walk away from me, I, Robot was one heck of a lot more interesting and thought provoking. I can’t even remember much about old Pilgrim but I still remember Asimov’s plot and even some of the dialogue. I refused to even entertain the thought of going to see the movie they made from the book because I’m never happy with movies made from books I’ve enjoyed. I could never bear to see my first REAL book destroyed by someone else’s imagination It will soon be 50 years since I read that book. I plan to give it to my Grandson for his 10th birthday

Anyway, back to the point of this essay which is that I am once again sans computer. I was totally chopped off at the knees and deprived of internet access about a week and a half ago (maybe two weeks ago, I dunno) after I figured out that I could shut down my firewall and post to my blog, Delphi (which is the forum center I frequent) and send email which I had been doing for about ohhhh… maybe a week and a half. Before that I had only been able to surf the net and read for about two weeks. (I had been writing posts in Word and when I figured out how to get them online, I backdated a whole bunch of them.)

I’ve been too lazy and/or busy to go to the library or Senior Center to use their PCs to write. Or the weather has been bad. One day I had to take the bus to go to see my therapist who is supposed to be helping me figure out what to do about these damn gremlins and it was raining so hard that where ever I was not covered by raincoat and hat I was soaked through to the skin. April Showers. Wait, this is May. In Wisconsin. And we’re an inch short of normal rainfall for this month alone. SHEESH

Or I’ve been in bed moaning and groaning and whining about the weather. I ache all over with these fronts roaring through. I really need to move to the desert but I’d have to disrupt so many people’s lives because they’d all have to come with me and my daughter doesn’t have a desert wardrobe. Or the right kind of shoes. And then she and all of her friends would be whining. Better I should whine.
I’m visiting my son for the weekend and like a moth drawn to the flame of a candle, I’m up here in his den hovering over the green light of his PC while he is downstairs playing Magic with a friend. OK, I know this is wrong all you Magic freaks but I am absolutely bored stiff by this game. Just like I was bored stiff by Dungeeons and Dragons 25 years ago and they keep shushing me every-time I ask a question so I retreated in self defense or before I bopped someone (my son) on the head to liven things up a little. Or maybe stole some foil enhanced card I was forced to admire and oooooh and ahhhhh all over over. I will admit that I found some quoting Wm Blake of the “Tyger, tyger burning bright” fame. Those were at least somewhat interesting for awhile although I couldn’t quite make the connection.

I made him chocolate chip cookies and washed his windows while he was at work. Was that motherly enough? ;^)

So anyway now I’ll have four computers sitting in the closet with mysterious trojans and viruses that no one can figure out. sigh… Meanwhile those of us who signed up for the computer club Richard started are waiting for him to do more than get a list of people who want to be in the club. I’m just about ready to take over and organize. I’m good at that. Taking over from non-starters AND organizing. Jeremy and I want to fix or completely kill one of my PCs by flashing the bios whichever comes first as a demonstration of what a PC club could do. It would be a fun introduction to the inner workings of PCs don’t you think?.

Daryn (my son) says he can get another PC (a little trinket to add to my collection) from work. I love it. They keep destroying them and he keeps bringing them in just about as fast as they knock ’em out. It’s almost as good a slapstick routine as Keystone Cops! I think I will put some real money into security on the next one though. I have a certified copy of Windows now. heee!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s