All I want is a computer that will work with me and not against me, pleads Rona Cant

As I go about my work I am increasingly aware – as I am sure you are – that more and more ‘tasks’ are now being carried out by computers and other gadgets so we humans are supposedly freeing up our time to indulge in other activities.  I am not sure how you feel about this but I am happy to deal with the ‘tasks’ that our computers and other gadgets are now capable of accomplishing.

I would really prefer them to deal with the issues I would rather not deal with as those tasks are mundane, tedious … I could go on but you know what I mean.

Years ago the news was that ‘Big Brother is watching you!’  We all know that is a given wherever we are, whatever we are doing.  I sometimes wonder when I am watching the News on TV whether the newscaster is going to suddenly tap on the screen and say ‘Rona, will you concentrate on us!’

There are many people in this world rejoicing in the way technology is going.  They look forward to the next innovation and can’t wait to get their hands on the ‘new’ whatever it is. I applaud them, no – I envy them, as technology and I are not good bed-fellows – in fact I think I would be nearer the truth if I were to say that we are at war.  I want my computer to do something simple and it makes my life difficult because it has decided that I want X but in actual fact I want Y.  Now with all due respect I bought the computer, I did what was needed to be done so that I could use it. I put on the programmes I wanted and I use it and save numerous documents on it.  However, that is as far as it goes.  I have a desktop and a laptop and I daresay you have the same, if not more – your phone?

I consider myself to be very easy to please, I like a black coffee (preferably a cafetiere) at about 11am.; a glass of water with my lunch, a cup of green tea at 4pm …etc. Simple requirements that go a long way to keeping me happy.

However, have you noticed that when you use your computer it decides what you want to say?  How often do you write something only to find that there are different words on the screen?  You look around the room – but only you are in it.  So where is the person that wrote those words?  It is a nuisance as you have to keep an eye open to see when Mr. Computer has transgressed, then you have to rectify it which takes time.  Time you have not got as there are deadlines to meet.

I have one now and whilst I am writing this I have to keep one eye searching for any misdemeanours the computer has inserted.  It stops the words that are racing around in my head from coming to the fore and helping me accomplish my goal. Check and check again – in days of yesteryear I could have written three articles by the time I have written one now.

I started writing this on my laptop which has suddenly taken on a life of its own and opened various parts of a programme that are not required but which refuse to be closed.  Has it no respect?  I spend time deciding what I am going to write about and I hope that I am touching a chord with my readers.  All I want is a computer that will work with me and not against me.

To be honest I did not realise quite how advanced computers have become.  The other day I was writing an email to someone who is going through a pretty tough time.  I wanted to cheer them up so at the end of the email I wrote ‘there are hugs attached to this email for you.’

I was just about to click send when a message came up on my screen ‘no hugs attached’!

Rona Cant is an explorer, international speaker and author. Once an unexceptional, middle-aged single parent she became a round-the-world yachtswoman by competing in the BT Global Challenge Round the World Yacht Race (the toughest yacht race in the world ... (Read More)

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