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

Friday, 12 August 2011

When it comes to Microsoft, don't dither

Not so much technology, more human nature.

Years ago, as a bumper birthday present, Mrs BB (working in secret with her techno-advisers) bought me a Logitech wireless mouse. Then, wireless was the coming thing and it cost an eye-watering £75. Weighed a ton, worked a treat. I’m hard on mouses and eventually it wore out. Bought and tried two more wireless mouses but both were inadequate. Cast them aside in anger and made do with a £10 cheapo conventional mouse – with a tail.

Here’s where human nature enters the story. As I write (ie, word process) my hand perspires, an inevitable outcome of seeking le mot juste. To the cognoscenti I am the Flaubert of the Marches. Perspiration builds up on the mouse and a solid deposit eventually gums up the works. One reason of several why my social circle is so circumscribed. I needed another cheapo mouse.

Conventional mouses at PC Retail come in two price bands: £10 (made in Nepal, utterly unheralded) and £15 (same thing, branded Microsoft). For minutes I dithered over this piffling difference, hating to be suckered into big-brand pusillanimity. In the end I went MS and:

Oh the difference in me.

That’s a quote by the way. The sensuous pleasure in that delicate yet positive click, quite quite superior to the previous cheapo. I’d have paid millions willingly. As we should for things we use every day of our lives. Forget the luxuries. Moral: I’ve absolutely no idea.

NOTE: The word “mouses” is used deliberately to stir up pedants.

NOVEL Original wordage (119,154) now down to 117,208 after first-pass editing of seven-and-a half chapters.


Lucy said...

'That’s a quote by the way'

Hah, teach your grandmother. I was weaned on it and blame old WW for my consequent tendency to melancholy reclusiveness and inescapable nature imagery.

Never used a mouse to speak of, only ever a laptop touchpad. And I vote for 'mouses'.

Barrett Bonden said...

Lucy: "Quote". Oh c'mon, that was a tease. However it was only when I checked the full reference I realised why you got involved.

Intoxicated by the thought that Works Well had been influential (even for the negative reasons you mention) I re-read your comment and realised you were talking about World War - probably the second. Appreciate the support for "mouses".

The Crow said...

Only the four-legged, furry mammal/rodent is mice in plural.

I mean, if I had more than one house, the term for both wouldn't be 'hice,' would it? Of course not. Since the electronic device only resembles a mouse because of its tail-like cord, it is a non-living object like a house or a keyboard. Here's another example where the plural for an animal doesn't transfer over to another situation: the pest louse becomes lice in the plural, but the human louse becomes louses in the plural. Mouse, mice, meeces. (Honest to gawd, there is real logic in this somewhere, but it escapes me.) Also, seems to me that if it has no 'tail' it isn't even a mouse anymore.

I'm in line behind Lucy on this one.

Plutarch said...

A quote was it? Lucy has a vested interest meanwhile. Too late I see you have already made the point.
Mouses of course. Mice have different agenda.

Julia said...

I thought World War II too at first. But after a bit of reflection on nature imagery and tanks, decided Lucy must mean Wordsworth.

My mouse has a tail. I had a wireless mouse but it chewed threw batteries at an alarming rate of one every two weeks. Do tell if yours eats them at a gentler pace.

Barrett Bonden said...

Plutarch: Mouses - everyone seems agreed.

Julia: The sharp eyes (and brain) of the Prague Polymath! Of course it is and I am a veritable innocent when I get mixed up with poems. I had subsequently come up with Willie Whitelaw the former chairman of the Conservative party (Mrs Thatcher once paid him a dubious compliment: Every prime minister needs a Willie. Couldn't understand why everyone laughed.) But I doubted (rather hoped against) his influence on Lucy.

Mouse. My cheapo doesn't have batteries, at least I hope not. It's powered by the PC. I finally introduced Mrs BB to computers via a laptop. But when I was asked in to rectify matters from time to time, I couldn't get on with the pad. So I bought the laptop a mouse which Mrs BB gratefully and quickly grew to like.

Lucy said...

Dear oh dear confusion worse confounded course I meant Wordsworth under the circs world wars always have a number could have been Walt Whitman in the same field I suppose but hardly.

There I eschewed commas for thy sake BB.

In fact I just checked the quote and it is, as I thought 'to me'. Sorry BB, I almost hate putting you straight because of your propensity to self-flagellation at the drop of the smallest hat.

I fear I might even have taken to the nurturing and generous medium of blogging to escape the destiny of there being 'none to praise' since in this sphere someone somewhere will surely say something nice about one...

Barrett Bonden said...

Lucy: There's a choice - self-flagellation or flagellating the commenter. In fact I have a talent for extreme excoriation which I've more or less restrained in Works Well. On the couple of occasions I've let it out diplomatic relations have been broken off, terminally. Hence you see The Man on the Wire (a great movie, by the way).