Friday, August 17, 2012

Getting my Tech On

I have spent the past couple of days in front of computers – yes, plural.

My workspace 
We have doubled our staff this week at the Breastfeeding Centre – it is now myself three days plus three casuals covering two of those days (we are closed Monday and Friday). Kint has dropped her hours from 6 to 4 to fit in her other paid job and the time came to stop relying on her personal laptop as the second office computer. And though my laptop is only a year old, it has struggled to cope with the extra needs of me taking on the coordination of our annual calendar, leaving me lagging with little memory and no storage (in the computer that is!)

So, with our financial committee acquiescing to my pleas, I did what I always do and headed to Dell online. This must be the third or fourth time I have bought online from them and I cannot fault them – easy to buy, fantastic delivery service and great after-care. Even though my son sighs and shakes his head.

Yes, my son. You see my life has been one of tech immersion across generations. My father was not only a renowned radio ham but an innovative electronics engineer who had his two daughters soldering “circus boards” when we were barely out of nappies. We still call them that, even though you might know them as circuit boards J My childhood was surrounded not only by tech gear but a never-ending chain of techie friends of my fathers, who would come to visit their guru. 

When I was 15, I introduced a new techy onto the scene, one who went on to become my husband! To seal his fate, he even commenced his apprenticeship working with my father before moving into servicing televisions and some new household tech items, VCRs and microwave ovens! Years later, he moved in computer service in a tertiary education facility and eventually into his current work with medical imaging equipment. (For many years, our viewing was on hand-me-down TVs/VCRs, then we moved onto hand-me-down computers and peripherals. But, despite having MS and associated MRI scans every few years, I put my foot down about unwanted Xray machines etc!)

The next link in the chain was my son whose interest in computers started at the breast (fatally pushing reset as I finished a document while feeding him, back in the days of Wordperfect and before auto-save.) Thankfully, he grasped the opportunity and as a 1991 baby, spent only his early months in a home without computers and has embraced them so much that I sometimes think it would be easiest to mainline him to the internet and be done with it! His two years tertiary study was on computer subjects and he has become my go-to guy for all tech support. Of course, all his mates are also techies and although they ridicule my use of mainstream software and hardware, at least we have something to talk about!

Needless to say, this has all given me a good comprehension of the world of electronics and my own speciality in the software side of things. Despite never having done ANY classes or even book-learning, I can turn my hand to most things computer and end up being tech support myself! Which makes me the IT department in our office as well.

So, there I was with two new laptops to set up, plus an older one to strip down and set up afresh. All networked and sharing, synced and online, with multiple back-ups and shared files.  And – amazingly – it all went well!

Now that glorious stage, like when you empty a room to repaint and carefully replace only that which you want in that space, solemnly promising yourself it will all stay neat and orderly. LOL. I wonder how long until I am cursing the lack of space and slow speed, threatening to throw it out the window and muttering as I crawl under the desk trying to find the right cable for the right plug? But today - all is perfect!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Early days of radio were exciting times.Without electricity a car battery was used and power was used up very quickly. During the war listening to the news was the most important.There were radio serials and Dad and Dave gave us all a laugh.A cousin liked to make his own radio. As a child it was great to have a birthday call from the local radio station.