Only an artistic type could have the relationship with a computer, not just a computer but an Apple, a Steve Jobs jobbie, that I have. It’s a love hate thing. It’s the partner who is irrational and complicated and irritating, but you love them anyway even when you hate them and you wonder why you love them. When I first got this thing at the persuading of many friends, I was intimidated and frustrated. It did nothing that my PC did and it didn’t make sense. I thought I’d just give it back, but they said ‘wait’, you’ll fall in love.
My life before South Africa didn’t involve computers. I went to secretarial school straight after Lucy Clayton where I learnt to be a lady, but that was in the Golf Ball era. It was considered a good idea for a young lady to have typing skills so that she could sustain her life style and fashion essentials, and type university papers herself, and get holiday jobs during vacations from uni. There were, naturally, people at St James’s Secretarial School in South Kensington who really did want to be secretaries. There was one girl who’s surname was De’ath. I mean it’s ‘death’ really, isn’t it? She must have come from a long line of executioners. Anyway she had come down from Oxford University because she decided that she didn’t like studying and wanted to be a PA. I don’ t know why I remember her. She was really good at shorthand. Most of us, however, were on our way to University and a few months of typing and shorthand was going to help us earn the money that would make the gap year fun, fun, fun. We learnt on a Golf Ball typewriter. Are my 50 years showing?
In 1995 or so I went to USA with a South African tv show. It was called Wish You Were Here. It was a travel show and I was the presenter. The producer, when we got to New York, was all a flutter because she had to get a new CD Romm. “What’s a CD Romm”? I asked. She looked at me as if dissecting to see if I could possibly be an alien hiding in a human body. “What do you mean ‘what’s a CD Romm’? The thing was, I’d never sat behind a computer. I was an actor, ‘Actoor’!
What did computers have to do with me? My life was The Stage. In my world we didn’t talk about computers, we talked about higher things which involved almost exclusively the artistic and the esoteric. We were well versed in those. This producer tried to explain to me what a CD Romm was, but though her description was intricate she may as well have been describing the inner geography of the engine of the Star Ship Enterprise.
I was ‘between jobs’, as they say, when I went to work for an event management company in Joburg. They sat me down behind a computer and gave me the task of writing a concept for the launch of something. No problem. I was theatrical and had a good imagination and I came up with some really good concepts for them, but, eish! The computer. There’s an ad on the telly where a guy in the computer class uses the CD Romm (see how I know exactly what that is) as a cup holder. Yep! That was me. But I learnt, and look at me now. Master of the Steve Jobs jobbie.
I went to Apple class when I first got it. It was too frustrating not to. At first it was Apple class with the same Apple Guy who moved everything from the PC onto the Apple, but that guy was a bit unreliable and I can’t stand that, so I went to Apple class at The Apple Store in Sandton. Apple class was great. I learnt much, but I didn’t learn everything. Some I have had to just figure out through trial and error. The thing about trial and error is that one sometimes reaches a goal and then forgets what one did to get there. At least, that’s me. I figure it out and then I forget how I figured it out because, well I don’t know what the ‘because’ is actually.
I find that if I ask the question on facebook then my fantastic, wonderful, tech savvy fb friends help me out. Sometimes they’re describing the geography of the engine of the Star Ship Enterprise, sometimes they’re describing the mechanics behind being beamed up by Scotty, but often I get it and I amaze myself by matching my brilliance to theirs in a techno song of geeky jargon that almost makes rhythmic sense. It’s marvellous.
Today I face another Jobs jobbie conundrum. Why does my file of picture, that I have spent a couple of hours arranging in perfect order in a file on the desktop with intense trial and supreme error mess up its order when I move it to iphoto? And is there a way that I can avoid the tedium of doing it all over again in iphoto or can someone just do it for me? No, I know, I must do it all over again, but why……….? Never mind. I must just do it. Divine trial and ambrosial error, here we go again.