Monday, February 27, 2006

With a little help from my friends

When I got my first computer, a Gateway, I knew NOTHING about computers. 

One time I got a message, "This program has performed an illegal operation", and I swear I expected to hear sirens coming up my driveway, and cops with handcuffs waiting to take me away. 

I'd had that first computer a week or so, and skipped one night of attending the revival that was going on at Church to surf the 'Net:  A message popped up on my screen that said, "Aren't you supposed to be in Church tonight?"

I thought God was talking to me on my computer!  Turns out it was my very first instant message, from my daughter-in-law at the time, Kat.

That's how stupid I was.

My son, who was in the Army then, came for a visit and showed me "Windows Explorer" and taught me how to click and drag.  Amazing!

I found the now-defunct Christian Senior chat room on AOL, and made many friends with whom I still keep in touch.  There was a Virginia man there who had made it his life's goal to know everything there was to know about the workings of AOL, and computers in general.  His screen name was Havok.  He patiently answered all the computer questions so many of us "newbies" had.  I don't know what I'd have done without him.

There was another man who frequented that chat room, a Baptist preacher with the most wonderful sense of humor.  His screen name was WESTBILT.  He taught several of us dummies how to defrag our computers and get rid of cookies.  WEST passed away some years ago, but he'll live in my memory forever.

There's my friend Sue, in Virginia.  She's the one who first introduced me to Google, and so very many helpful websites that I still use.

Even now, there's a message board where I can go with any computer question, and get an answer.  It's run by some computer techies who know their stuff.  I've seen them devote eight or ten pages of replies to help someone who's having computer problems.  Free.  Just because they want to help.

I've been having a problem viewing movies I take on my digital camera.  The movies run just fine on the camera, but I'd take them to Windows Movie Maker and they'd totally mess up.  I was afraid I had something wrong with my computer.  So I e-mailed Nancy, an Internet (and real-life) friend in California who has a camera just like mine.  She's a whiz with computer stuff:  If I want an MP3 song turned into a WAV, she knows how to do it. 

I had been complicating something that was actually very simple.  Nance told me what to do, I did it, and I saw my little movie.

To every Internet friend who has helped me get this far, I just want to say, "Thanks!" 

I get by with a little help from my friends.



mumma4evr said...

I am pretty illiterate when it comes to computers...thankfully the kids can help me!

deslily said...

yep, nothing like others willing to help you!  had something like your experience also with my first "hand built" machine... first night on it I met a gentleman who talked to me until 4 in the morning teaching me stuff about the computer!!  Ocassionally I still get in touch with him and that was 10 yrs ago!

am4039 said...

I love those stories, I have met some of the best people so  far on J-land.

robinngabster said...

Don't we all!

ksquester said...

You mean, God doesn't talk to us through our computer?????    Anne

madcobug said...

This entry is so funny. Makes me think of when we got our first one. A preacher friend gave us a bunch of floppy disk which was on the Bible. We didn't know how to use them so we kept them a couple of months and gave them back to him saying we didn't know how to use them. Guess he thought we were too dumb to learn so he never mentioned how to use a floppy disk. We were new so how should we know? We have since figured out a lot about computers. Have a good night and thanks for the good chuckle. Helen

plieck30 said...

"The Complete Idiot's Guide To Windows Me" taught me to defrag and all the little cleaning chores. My daughter and son-in-law hooked mine up, left instructions how to turn it on and off and left to go home three hours away. Its been fun though. Paula

csandhollow said...

Where is the message board withthe answers?

ora4uk said... you that little "message" scared the whatever out of me also LOL...and if it had not been for online friends....well I wouldn't be doing one fourth what I do on here....and I still ask now....where is this message board you were speaking of????? LOL....Hugs...Ora

msecz said...

you are so lucky to have all those wonderful friends. I have had my computer for a long time and don't know some of the things you talked about.... It's nice to have computer friends. We can learn so much about others. Sandra

tonibernadette said...

I've only had my computer for a year now.  (Feb. 20 05) I didnt even know how to turn it on. Or off.  I'm 56 and never thought I could learn as much as I have!!  Toni

amy122389 said...

""Aren't you supposed to be in Church tonight?"

I thought God was talking to me on my computer!"

Good grief, Donna...I dang near choked to death on my drink laughing at that...heee hee hee....  Ah well, ya gotta learn somehow, right?! ;-D


amiragabrielle said...

I always enjoy reading your blog. I laughed so hard tonight. It's good to laugh. May God bless You and Cliff and all your critters there on your country farm.

In Christ,

shayshaydc said...

We all get by with a little help from our friends!!!! LOL...

bnanajm said...

Thanks for the trip down cyber-memory lane.  I ran into Havok in a room not too long ago.  He is still the same.  And dear West....he was the one who dubbed me "Nanner".  I sure do miss that old room.  And were it not for that room, I would not have met you.


marainey1 said...

You are so fortunate in your friends.  I know how to do the basics and of course what I do at work is all on the computer, but I avoid anything new unless I have someone show me.  I'm a hands on learner.  Books don't help like a real live person does.  It's amazing how far we've come in the last 20 years. 'On Ya' - ma

chat2missie said...

How wonderful to have so many internet friends who are willing to help!!

nanlynska said...

MO....we are blessed to know you too. You and your gift with words. That 'old' chat room really did bring some wonderful characters our way didn't it?

Reading your recount of those first days on the computer caused me to reflect a bit. LOL. My my, how did we survive?

But then....I guess you already answered that question in your journal.....FRIENDS ! Thank you my friend for your 'helps' in those early days on the computer.

my78novata said...

oh you bring back memories of my pentium 75 packard bel that I only got just to use as a word processor then one day said heck I ll see wht it will do adn had an aol disk and on I went and emailed my mom from a paper she had given me a joke that had her email on it. that was the beginning now that pentium 75 wont even hold aol lol