Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Computers 101

You know what they say, "you can't operate in today's world if you don't know how to use a computer." They're everywhere, and they touch all facets of our lives.
Many people communicate strictly by email.
One in 4 people in the world have a Facebook account.
If you go to the airport, using the computerized self check in is the norm these days.
And talk about easy, bill paying on line.
Many jobs require computer literacy. Mine included.

I'm here to tell you, you can operate in today's world without even knowing how to turn one on.
I found this out this past week.

Mike, our 52 year old deckhand called me at home when we were off the boat, and asked if I could show him how to use his lap top if he brought it back to the boat this time. Of course, I said it would be my pleasure.
I assumed he was having difficulty with the Internet or something.

When we arrived on the boat, he asked for my help. I asked, what do you need help with?
He growled, "I can't even turn the *#&^ing thing on." I laughed, surely he was kidding.
I told him to go set it up on my desk and turn it on, that I would be there in a moment.

Guess what? He wasn't kidding, HE DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO TURN IT ON!
I don't know of anyone under the age of 70 who hasn't used a computer.

I fired his new laptop up. When his desktop appeared, he says "Whats that," pointing to the 3 lonely icons that were there. I explained it to him.

He had a disc with photos on it he brought from home, he heard it was possible to put the photos on the computer. I slowly walked him through that, and when we clicked on one to blow it up, "Wow" was his reaction. He now thinks I'm Bill Gates. He was blown away.

We went through some basic things, and my only criticism was this. I said, "Mike, you need to master the art of the one handed mouse operation. That 2 handed action you have going is killing me."
He said he would practice.

Over the last few days everyone on the boat has pitched in showing Mike the intricacies of the computer. He has come a long way. Our goal was to get him comfortable with email, so our office can send him his flight information at his home. Previously, they had to call him on the phone. I think now he can.

The other day he excitedly ran up to me and with the enthusiasm of a 16 year old getting his first car, said, " I Googled last night." He couldn't believe what he could do on Google.
The rest of us have had a good laugh watching Mike's reaction every time he learns something else. It's not that we're laughing at him...well, ok, we're laughing at him. He's hilarious.

I thought I'd blow his mind and introduce him to Google Earth. When we started flying around he thought I just performed a miracle. I'm sure he expected me to speak in tongues at any minute.
We took a trip to his little town and visited his address. When we zoomed on his house and we could see his Harley Davidson sitting out front, he got really pissed because he was sure he put it in the garage before he left for the boat. Talk about funny.

So it's been quite a journey for Mike.
I was about to put him on some endangered species list, but he's coming around.

There's a whole new world out there for him.


slommler said...

Oh how fun!! But you are so right. Nowadays you have to be able to work a computer!! If my network goes down I have serious withdrawal!! Ha!
My mom, bless her heart, doesn't even own a cell phone!! She had one but let it go...she said all she used it for was long distance. Sigh! We could never reach her because she had her phone off! She was saving the battery! Ha!
Glad he is enjoying his new found freedom online.

Karen said...

Ummm.. can I laugh at Mike too? I'de really like to see that two-handed mouse operating trick.

Google earth hasn't updated our home yet since This Old House was re-done. She still looks like the sad sack she was before we took her over - and a friend from HS apparently googled my address and then got back to me with "Wow.. well... your house is.. interesting."

beth said...

OMG....i laughed through this whole post !!!
mike is just like my dad.....and he's 69. so he IS on the endangered list with no hope of being moved off of it....
thank god my mom knows what she's doing :)

NOW mike needs a blog :)

dcpeg said...

You are braver by far than me, agreeing to teach someone how to use a pc. Spouse is struggling and I just can't seem to get him into a "pc-mindset". The kids get it, but it's still hard to teach an old dog new tricks. Mike is lucky!

Jerral Miles said...

Hey, Teacher... good show, and I don't mean just the Texas sunset (WOW! that...) Those people on your boat are fortunate to have you there. If I don't solve a problem with an external hard drive by calling the tech expert at Western Digital Support Service, I'm getting in touch with you.

Marilyn said...

This is so funny! I do know a few that still refuse to use the computer. I remember a day long ago when I was required to start using the computer at work. Oh did I fight it. When I finally gave in, I couldn't believe all that was available for me. I couldn't live without a computer now. My mother-in-law doesn't understand why her grandchildren don't write to her. I just tell her if she learn how to use email she would hear from them often. She doesn't get it.

Megan said...

love it!
Charlie's great grandpa who is 85 spent 2010 learning how to use the internet. I believe he's even been to Ebay now. He spent the last 6 months of 2009 learning how to play solitare on a computer without internet. :)