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

Monday, 14 September 2009

Meet my superior alter ego

Without a computer I would be an aspostrophe-ridden bucolic in Adam Bede. I use it to buy books from 13,000 secondhand bookshops round the world (ABE), to buy books in French from French sources (cheaper even with the postage), to write verse aided by a free rhyming dictionary open in an adjacent window, to send cash to grandchildren, to phone US friends for free (Skype), to check equity investments and to update them on a spreadsheet, to produce a quarterly newsheet, to run a local website, to spec a digital camera unavailable locally, to view my house from the air, to download books for my ebook reader, to download my CDs on to my MP3 player, to check routes and driving times to distant parts, to ask tricky questions about website design and DIY of experts, to appear competent in foreign languages, to call up pictures of virtually anything, to store digi-photos and to scan and store optical photos. To blog.

It is vital my computer works well. It must be repaired when bust and incorporate worthwhile computeresque developments. When I arrived in Hereford I had a modified Dell. Over the years parts were replaced until the only originals were the power supply and the case. A new processor and motherboard caused even these items to be ditched and I am now left with the old keyboard. – sweat-stained and definitely unhygienic.

Barrie and Jim, who operate from a converted house on the estate, do my bidding and I have spent several thousand pounds with them. I do not resent this. A slow computer is a contradiction – like a well-equipped car that only travels in reverse. I could buy things cheaper online but with them I discuss what I need before writing the cheque. A vital asset.