Friday, 27 January 2012

Is it Time for a New Relationship? - Andrew Crofts








My computer, who I mistakenly believed was my friend, thought it would be funny the other night to hide all my documents, just so that it could watch my face when I came down in the morning and discovered them gone. When it realised that I was not going to see the funny side of this merry jape it took umbrage and flatly refused to tell me where they were. In the end I had no option but to take it to see a man who is better than me at disciplining recalcitrant machinery and he agreed to spend a couple of days persuading it to reveal where it had hidden my life’s work and to teach it the error of its ways. I handed it over and returned home alone.





Once my fury at its thoughtless behaviour had abated I found myself missing my friend with an almost physical pain. It is, after all, my closest companion. I probably spend more time with it than I do with my wife, (which is food for thought in itself). As I sat, twiddling my thumbs and thinking of all the work I should be doing, all the messages I should be reading and sending, all the interesting things that I must be missing, my eye fell on the iPad which I was given for Christmas a year ago and on which I do most of my book reading. Because of my long-standing relationship with my desktop, I had never got round to using the iPad for other things, (despite having seen the amazing work that David Hockney has been doing on his). I picked it up and began to play around.





When my computer came back a couple of days later, having finally given in to interrogation and returned the missing documents, it immediately sensed that something had happened while it was away. I think it could tell that I had a new friend now, someone who was more fun because they didn’t insist on us always being alone together in one room. My new friend is happy to come out and Google with me on the sofa while I watch television or to sit beside me at meal times and hang out with the children’s iPhones while my desktop sulks in the office. I hope it has learned its lesson. No one is indispensable.





12 comments:

julia jones said...

A month or so before Christmas I broke my leg and my partner went into hospital for a back operation. We then spent many happy days in bed together - no, this is not an 18+ posting -- and we were given an iPad AND a kindle. What happy relationships ensued! The only bone (how I hate that word) of contention being the vastly superior battery life of the kindle -

Jan Needle said...

coming from a naval seaport, i learned the value of a dockyard screwdriver at a very early age. not only does it do most jobs, but it intimidates the most cheeky and recalcitrant piece of kit if it's beginning to feel a bit uppity. leave it by your computer, and very rarely will it go astray. if you're too sooky to use a four-pound lump hammer, even pour encourager les autres, so to speak - why don't you use dropbox. the world's cheapest lifesaver?

Andrew Crofts said...

Sage advice, Jan. I do email my stuff to myself and copy it onto memory sticks, so I wasn't ultimately in too much danger. I'm just used to working on the desktop and need to wean myself off that. Can I just ask, what does "sooky" mean?

Lynne Garner said...

Living with an IT wizard I thankfully don't have to worry about these things - also he does a back up daily which I would urge everyone to do when working on a new piece.

madwippitt said...

Hmm, being unfaithful with an iPad. Maybe counselling is available?

Catherine Czerkawska said...

So funny! And so true. I acquired an Android Phone last week, and now I sit in comfort and play with my apps :-) I can even point it at the sky and look at constellations. And it delivers my gmail as well...It's definitely the new love of my life.

Ann Evans said...

Careful Andrew - don't upset your old faithful computer by making it jealous. A computer scorned and all that...

Jan Needle said...

what does sooky mean? oh god, you've got me there. sort of too soft and wibbly and kind and gentle, i think. none of the sorts of things a four pound hammer would really have much truck with.

but as to dropbox - do you know it? my son matti put me on to it. you can work straight into it, never even need move things to the desktop, and it goes up into the sky and sits there until you call it back again. your computer can get nicked, get blown up, get hit with a dirty big hammer, even. and it's all up there in dropbox waiting to be called down.

as to you sitting and reading, julia - shouldn't you have been doing a bit of splicing? not the mainbrace, obviously...

Catherine Czerkawska said...

Yes, my video game designer son uses dropbox - I'm going to have to try it! And I think I can get that on my beautiful scary phone as well.

Dan Holloway said...

My trusty notebook never behaves so temperamentally :)

Susan Price said...

I'm jealous of the iPads! But I also recommend Dropbox - you can store shedloads of text there for free. And it instantly updates stuff to every computer you put the software on.
I met a composer who was working with musicians and writers all over Europe. They had a shared Dropbox file, so whereever they were, they all had access to the latest version of their shared work.

Catherine Czerkawska said...

I've just signed up to it - sounds excellent. Son used it extensively over Christmas working on a design project with three colleagues - all in different places.