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Unread 07-31-2016, 03:55 AM
Ann Drysdale's Avatar
Ann Drysdale Ann Drysdale is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Old South Wales (UK)
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I sing of the joy of the Great Discovery; the moment when something suddenly makes itself known. Like my first day at school, when the teacher called me to the front of the class, introduced me and then said "a little bird told me you can read". I can recall the terror - I'd always been told that school was where you learned to read. Then she handed me a little card, buff-coloured with scruffy corners and a two-tone illustration - "can you tell me what that says?"...

Mo-ther see kit-ty. Kit-ty can play ball. I can play ball too. See me play ball with kit-ty.

And she smiled "Good girl! You can read really well."

I can still feel the clunk of the epiphany. Reading was only another word for "telling a grown-up what it says" - like the label on the sauce bottle, like the headlines in the Daily Herald... who knew?

And last night it happened again. A new laptop. Thin as a crisp and already agog with Windows 10. Switched on - to be confronted with an empty screen and a sniffy exhortation to wait while the system was being updated, to expect switchings off-and-on and not to interrupt. I didn't.

Then, when that was all over, I found a desktop screen that bore no resemblance to anything I had ever seen before and no apparent way of getting at any of the stuff that it had assured me was there. There was a link on the toolbar to something called Cantona or Cantata or something (I don't know for sure because I accidentally killed it) but no way of finding the programmes I had had installed by the local expert. Audacity? Auslogics?

I clicked and clicked, getting lists of things like Amazon and Booking.com and ways to access x-boxes and online solitaire. I clicked again and again on the pale approximation of the Windows logo and nothing suggested access to my programmes, never mind creating desktop shortcuts. Then, right at the bottom, I saw, and clicked "all Apps" - and there they were!

I know technology has to advance and I am grateful for what it can do, but why tinker with the established language? When did programmes become Apps? And - hey! - have Apps really only been programmes all along? Aha!

I've still got to find a way to make shortcuts and how to prime its innards with flash-driven history, but for now, rejoice with me! I have found that which was lost!