Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Surfer's last wave

A hurricane, driven by my 6 ft 4 in. grandson (see above), has transformed my computer into a lean, serene machine. Boot-up takes about a minute, icons have been scythed from the desktop, impatient programs no longer lurk on the start-up toolbar, the registry (ie, the machine’s DNA) has been re-arranged, temp files trashed, and so on. Opened windows slide effortlessly and buttons depress like those on a Mac. There’s talk of converting the second hard drive – retained so my granddaughter could play Sims without disturbing my part of the computer – into a repository for Linux.

Yet the work included at least one of those circular journeys so typical of computers; a special kind of irony, if you like. I run a website for the local community. Several years ago a feature called FTP Surfer allowed me to look at the website files stored on the server as opposed to those on my machine. This had become defunct and grandson and I worked hard to restore it. We contacted the ISP, changed passwords, permutated the changed passwords and consumed a further hour in general fiddle-faddle. Finally FTP Surfer was restored.

I then showed grandson the workings of Dreamweaver, the complex software with which the website is created and maintained. I revealed, for instance, the many files that go to make up Belmont Rural, plus… Oh no!… all the reflected files on the server. So that’s why I was able to get along without FTP surfer working. Its need had disappeared.

The irony lies in what happened next. In grandson’s purge of unneeded programs, the next casualty was FTP Surfer. Seen as a problem, repaired, and now rushed off to Tyburn.


The Crow said...

I find irony in Grandson's T-shirt motto. Or is this the Bonden Family motto?

HA! verification word is reabl, truncated form or re-able?

Rouchswalwe said...

For me, Dreamweaver is sort of like the brain, i.e. only 5% is utilized. The panel that allows me to manipulate the html code is the only one I have been able to tackle with any kind of success.
Your Grandson is lookin' sharp in his hat. The computer cowboy rides into town and cleans up Dodge. Yee-hah! Beats a surfer boy any day of the week!

Barrett Bonden said...

The Crow: On his rare state visits to Ch. Bonden grandson frequently wears garments printed with messages to all and sundry. I have ceased to ask about their relevance, had not noticed the present (seeming) exhortation and I congratulate you on your sharp eyes, your powers of inference and your knowledge of the US pop market. When taxed with an explanation grandson says that in this case "machine" may be taken metaphorically to mean powerful institutions and/or the establishment. Although grandson is, technically, a member of the family the life he leads sets him so far apart from us that he could be better identified as a visitor from outer space. So, in brief, we are not anti-technology.

RW (zS): Clearly a whole new plateau of conversational exchange is about open up between us. Learning Dreamweaver was as hard a task as I have ever taken on, second only to trying to dress myself in a wetsuit two sizes too small when I was in NZ. I fear your honest reaction to grandson's appearance suffers from the unforgivable sin of enthusiasm. Grandson rejects this idea, preferring always to remain cool. So cool, in fact, that it's occasionally necessary to test for signs of life.

Rouchswalwe said...

Ah, but those gunslingers of yore were the very definition of cool ~ as are the keyboardslingers of our present day. I suppose one has to be cool when normal folk are calling out, "save me!"

Although I have never attempted the wetsuit trick, it must feel exactly how I felt learning Dreamweaver. But on a good day, it is fun! That's when the afterwork ale is extra tasty.

marja-leena said...

Loved the cool cowboy references in this conversation. Lucky to have him riding to the rescue on his white horse, though black-hatted! Meanwhile, not familiar with the workings of Dreamweavers and Surfers, I can only imagine being squeezed into a too small wetsuit :-) PhotoShop is probably the most challenging software I use regularly, of which I still know only a fraction.

Spadoman said...

Lucky you have the personal IT guy around to do those technical thingson the 'puter. I have to rely on "The Geek Squad", and they are just too darned expensive!


Barrett Bonden said...

RW (zS): Although I was alone in the changing cubicle that episode with the wetsuit was an embarrassment as profound as any in a life shot through with embarrassment.

M-L: Reading "New Scientist too, for which he has a subscription.

Spado: Personal IT guy lives over 100 miles away normally. And in any case there's an awful sequel to all this ambitious IT work which I'll be posting about as soon as I've damped down the fire that's in my brain.