Why do we feel foolish when we can’t fix our computers? I certainly feel no guilt when my car acts up. I don’t even pretend to understand the internal combustion engine. I’m happy to let my mechanic figure it out. That’s how life works.
But when my computer nosedives into behaving badly, I feel responsible.
At least part of the blame lies in the HELP tab. I appreciate that the tech guys who created it were genuinely trying to be helpful, but they overestimated my grasp of their lingo. If my “Group Policy Client services” have failed, and I am told to check the “System Event log,” well, far from being helped, I am stumped.
But wait. I have the world at my fingertips: I can do an online search for “System Event log.” That oughtta do it.
However, do you know what one finds when one finally figures out how to open one’s System Event log? One finds statements like: “To view events that have occurred on your computer, select the appropriate source, log or custom view node in the console trees.”
Are you still with me? Because I don’t think that I and the guy who wrote it are using the same vocabulary.
Events? I’m guessing these are inside a microchip, not a banquet hall. Nodes are clearly not the scary little things in your body that swell up when you’re sick. And that console, alas, is not the one that holds CDs and a cool beverage in my car.
Here’s the point where I should get my computer to a pro, yet still I feel I should be able to bend to my will an electronic binary code that I cannot even comprehend. Thinking fast, I initiate an anti-virus scan, which comes up happily clean but does not fix the problem. I am forced to use the last weapon in my arsenal: I shut the computer down, and turn it on again. I look at this as spreading a fresh, clean sheet and fluffing the pillows of my hard drive, and, amazingly, it often works.
If it doesn’t, I’m going to have to see a computer technician, and that is no reason to be ashamed. Doggone it. No reason at all.