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.