The monies belonging to the state’s library system has been largely filched by the powers that be for “more important, more immediate situations.” Books that had been easily obtained were no longer obtainable, yet another glitch in the economy. Leslie is trying to stop starting a sentence with, “Years ago . . .” or “When I was a girl . . .”
But hark! This is about computing.
In 1983, Leslie’s husband-the-writer announced he wanted a computer, and that she must have one, as well. The two computers with a daisy wheel printer cost about $6,000. Some years later, the original Word Perfect arrived along with a heady creation called floppy disks. Imagine! A way to save what had been written. And then there was the modem. Goodness! It wasn’t until much later that they even heard of a modem, asking, “A what?”
In the years following, there were frequent technicians to keep the couple’s computers and their accoutrements running - and to replace too much of this and that. Told to leave the computers on, it wasn’t until Leslie was on her own that she learned differently: To shut down was better, much better. Was that incorrect information a device made for the purchase of new equipment?
Enter Lauren, the elder of Leslie’s extraordinary daughters. Lauren is one of those hip computer persons, and self-taught. She loves techie material the way her mother loves books, music and yarn. She and her equally techie husband put everything to rights less than two months later when they drove north to Leslie’s home and through the night from the Deep South. For the next few days, they worked for hours sorting and cleaning what had been left in the abandoned house. As well, they set up Leslie’s computer system whereupon it was discovered that a new system was required. How fortunate to have help - trustworthy, expert, help. Two hours later, the couple duetted, “All set!”
Lauren wasn’t finished: “Mom? How’d you like to be connected to my system? That way I can access your computer whenever you have a problem - within reason. If you need a new computer, I can have it sent to you, but someone else has to set it up.”
Leslie clapped her hands, crying, “Buona fortuna!”
Phil raised his eyebrows. As Lauren picked up the phone to call the local server, she laughed, “Just ignore her. She does that sort of thing in several languages.”
For the next two hours, Leslie sat listening to one-side of a number of telephone conversations. Lauren kept at it, trying to get her point across when no one understood or refused to understand. The problem was arranging for a static IP* address. Weeks later, she arranged everything long distance. At last, mother and daughter were in business. Case in point: During a drive out-of-town to visit friends over a weekend, Leslie suddenly remembered that she had not shut down. She phoned Lauren.
Something to ponder: How do some technicians think those who are connected world-wide are able to do that, to be connected? Magic? In a way.
Compute this! Lauren has saved her mother $2-3000 by entering her computer system via LogMeIn. So long as Leslie’s system is on, it’s available to Lauren. What others take in stride retains some of that magic for Leslie who is not sufficiently interested in anything having to do with computers except writing and the internet (now that she no longer has information found in books).
This morning, as Leslie fetched a New Word Document, she saw that it was up to its old tricks: Very large print. She IM’d Lauren who got on it immediately. Leslie watched Lauren access View where she immediately demanded 100% and nothing larger, thank-you-very-much.
When Leslie kvetches about today’s difficulties (most of them the result of humans), she continues to appreciate, to be grateful, for the marvels of communication all over the world. She leaves contacting far out galaxies to others who have experienced skies with unknown creatures from yet to be determined places. She trusts Shirley MacLaine and other hunters of unknown flying objects to keep the rest of us informed.
(Note: The word galaxy honors Gaea/Gaia/Galatea - different names for Mother Earth and defined as Milk-giving Goddess - thus the Milky Way.)
*IP: Internet protocol (I looked it up on the internet.)