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Friday 13 November 2009

One step at a time

"All arms and legs in a muddle", by AB, 2007, aged 10

I have just bought myself a netbook

Steps one, two and three
Wishing, informing and growing computer confidence

I have been considering buying a netbook for sometime now, ever since Laci and I played with his over the road in the Caffé Fatal. I wanted one just to make blogging a bit easier for me, but me being me and unsure of my computing skills, and wary about spending my money, I had to wait until I really knew a bit more of what they are all about. I have been asking around and surfing and googling, and generally collecting information for months.

Step four
Deciding to buy

The waiting probably saved me some money as the computers get cheaper and cheaper by the hour.

Today on my way to work on the other side of town I found a paper on the train advertising them in every colour under the sun. As these rainbow-coloured creations were all on sale at a shop very near to my flat I decided that the time was right and I was ready to take a big step now.

On my way back across town to the next work appointment in Boxdorf I called in very excited and hoping very much that I would at last be making my purchase.

Small steps and big steps each in the same direction. Eventually after several months I have reached my destination. Now begins the next stage of the journey of discovery, with my new little friend called "Ees". I shall call him Es for short, as that is what my Mum called me.

I really wanted a little netbook so that I can carry it to work with me on my bike or on the tram, or even use it on longer journeys on the train. I wanted something compact to take with me to the UK without having to pay excess baggage in these days of very strict regulations. I really just wanted to have an up-to-date piece of technology instead of an out-dated heavyweight laptop.

My aim is to save time and write my texts for blogs straight into the computer, instead of storing unpublished blogs in my old-fashioned "real" notebooks for weeks on end. I want to prevent "That was the week that was" turning into "That was the month that was" or even into "That was the year that was"!

Of course I shall still use my notebook and pencil, I cannot be without it. I need it for my doodling and for just having the feel of a pencil between my fingers. But now I can type up my ideas wherever I am, in any spare moments that I may have. The idea is that when I get home all I have to do is transfer my work onto a USB stick and Bob's-your-uncle, there is the blog posting just looking for a photograph to complete it. Let us see, when I have finished writing this whether the next step is so easy and whether I can do the transfer with the same ease.

It is hard to believe but I went computer-shopping all on my own. I found a young man with lots of patience. He spent a whole hour showing me one netbook after the other, until I decided on the price in the middle and compromised with the colour. I now have a very snazzy white one instead of the pink one that I had set my heart on. Slowly but surely, as it does what I ask of it, I am falling in love with it!

I think that I made a good choice

I have no idea how I have got the thing turned on and working but I have. I have no idea whether I have got all the settings right and I am waiting for some technical advice before I go any further and attempt to go online. But I am writing and when I have finished writing I will see whether I can save it on to my USB stick, get this into the bigger computer and post it.

One step at a time seems to be working! Just as we conductors know it always does.

Step five
Using it

It is actually making me feel quite clever and I am impressed, not by my skills but my bravery.
I haven’t started to panic yet. The only problem that I have come across so far is that I can’t find the spell check. That really will be a disaster if there isn’t one! I apologize beforehand and hope that I find it soon.

I have discovered that I can if I wish change my keyboard to a qwerty but I am so used to using a German qwertz that I am sticking to it now. I have never had an English computer anyway so having one now would just be one problem-to-solve too many. I have, however, always had an English spell check but that may have changed now so I may have to learn to spell at last.

It is going to take me months to work out all I can do on this tiny machine but I think after just an hour of fiddling I have done quite well in writing a short blog.

The next step?

That will be to go online in the Caffé Fatal. I may need a technical advisor for that. Laci, if you are reading this, thanks for the encouragement and take note that any advice will be greatly received.

It appears to have worked. I posted it!

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