Monday, June 25, 2012

Technology and the Older Woman

The last time I really got excited about a technological advance was the introduction of the IBM Selectric typewriter.  For many years I happily used first one Selectric and then a second.  It was the perfect typing machine.

Then came, of course, computers.  I liked computers immediately for their editing functions and they taught me to spell. Yes, by pointing out my errors in a nonjudgmental way (if a red underline is nonjudgmental) and showing me the correct spelling they accomplished an educational feat which a college Comp 101 teacher had suggested I might never accomplish because, maybe I was dyslexic.  No, I'm not dyslexic and now I can spell.

For years I worked on a PC and when my office upgraded, on a couple of occasions, I was given one of the outmoded machines. I didn't need the bells and whistles of the new ones, all I really wanted to do was write and edit what I wrote. But along the way I heard again and again how much better Macs were than PCs and what enthusiastic and downright lovable people Mac users were. Eventually I became a Mac user too. I found the Apple stores in NYC, where I lived, full of enthusiastic young people who did not condescend to older people when I took introductory classes or on the occasions when I went to the "Genius Bar" for advice or trouble shooting. 

I'm not in NYC any more but there's a Mac store in my town. They have mature sales people and a back room with, probably, a few "geniuses" and they gave very good classes.  I like the atmosphere. But, being a white haired woman (although I don't think I'd be called a "little old lady") who is obviously not young, I hesitate to take my small problems in to the store.  But today I went in with my two latest problems.  I knew there would be embarrassingly simple solutions so I was prepared to  be firm in stating that when they did a "spring cleaning" on the machine not long ago two settings got changed and I didn't know how to change them back. 

Happily a 40ish man I'd never seen before was polite and, indeed, the problems were easily resolved, in one case as simple as moving an indicator from off to on.  (But I didn't know how to even get to that sub-screen).  The exchange took five minutes; I was treated courteously and I am not in the employ or pay of Apple.  But I do tell friends who are often even less computer literate than I to buy a Mac and NOT, absolutely NOT, from Best Buy.  Mac people are nice people.  Even to white haired ladies who aren't little and don't think they're old.


Elaine of Kalilily said...

I started out with IBM Selectrics as well, but I'm still a PC user. My son is a MAC lover and keeps trying to convince me to convert. But I have all of my programs and know how to use them, so I guess I'll just stick with what I know. (I do have an iphone, however.)btw, how come you don't have an option to sign into comments with an email and url address?

June Calender said...

Thanks for commenting Elaine. I don't make changes easily either, when something works for me, why do something different.

The answer to your question is that Blogger has just make a bunch of changes and I've not really caught up with them.

Ladydy5 aka: Diane Yates said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ladydy5 aka: Diane Yates said...

I bought a Mac because so many told me it was the best for a laptop so I bought it and it better be good at over $1,000 at that time. I was frightened of it as it was so different from what I have been using since 1998, so I took it back, had to pay a $100 restock fee after two weeks. But my children recently bought me the new generation Ipad and I love it, takes time to learn it though. You can teach an old dog new tricks if you want to learn.


June -- So many folks love Macs. I use a Dell and love it. Computers were invented to stump folks. They do a good job of carrying out this task. But, how could can we live without them? -- barbara

June Calender said...

Yes, Di, I remember you were not able to like the Mac. My daughter was just given an IPad and totally loves it, too.

You're lucky if you're happy with your Dell, Barbara, it seems to work well for you. I had a bad Dell experience before the Mac.

To both, yes, old dogs can learn new tricks. And I, for one, don't want to try to do without.