You’ve been given the opportunity to send one message to one person you wouldn’t normally have access to (for example: the President. Kim Kardashian. A coffee grower in Ethiopia). Who’s the person you choose, and what’s the message?
Dear Bill, or Mr. Gates
I sometimes feel like this Wasp, lost in a field of wires, not green, but computer wires. I hope you don’t mind me calling you Bill, but over the past ten years or more I feel you have become part of my daily life. Since the day my Commodore computer was plugged in and the impulses began to pour through its circuits, I decided yes, this was it. Kuonis Rift, Whizzball, you name it, I played them all. This was the beginning of a new life and then I discovered Microsoft and Windows.
My life was changed, I was online, but somewhere along the line I seemed to lose it. I remember the days when I would go shopping, come home, cook lunch, sit down and knit a pullover or even socks for my growing children. I was proud of every stitch, every completed row and the colour range I could choose. I knitted striped pullovers, pullovers with patterns according to the fashion and my socks were admired by all. When Mr. Swiss would walk across the living room floor in his new knitted socks they were admired. Admittedly only by myself as he would never wear them outdoors. He felt it did not suit his style.
Sorry Bill, I am drifting. What I really wanted to say was that you changed my life when I discovered the possibilities of Windows. I must admit MS-Dos was a little too complicated for my then undeveloped brain, but I joined in with Windows 95 and have been a faithful follower since. Of course Mr. Swiss was ahead, he was using Windows 3.0 Excel in the office when I was still knitting. My first computer was a share job. It was big, not a laptop and the brain was sitting on the floor. We would switch it on and it would make a summing noise, and lights would flicker. I shared it with Mr. Swiss. That is like letting your husband teach you how to drive a car. It does not work, conflict of ideas.
One day I awoke and broke the news. I want my own computer.
“Oh” I think was the answer, but cannot really remember. It was at the time when we were using NCR in the office and I had been infected. I bought a laptop. What shall I do with this laptop? When Windows 98 arrived I decided it was time to take a course. My company agreed and paid for it. I did it all. Word, Excel, Powerpoint and something called Access which has died in the meanwhile.
By this time we had two laptops at home and our original computer was in another room. So life continued and Mr. Swiss and I even corresponded by e-mail sometimes, although he was only in the next room. Bill, I was always a faithful follower of your developments. Many was the time when I despaired and wanted to throw the computer out of the window, kill it with a hammer. It made too many mistakes and misinterpreted my commands. Stop shaking your head Bill, you were letting it all go to your head. A bad workman does not always blame his tools, especially when they do not realise what you want to do with the tools. I even conquered Vista, although I must admit that my Vista is now sitting alone and ignored in another room. I have been happy with my Windows 7, although I was under the impression that it was made for the people, as we were all asked what we would like before it was released Bill. Your mistake was probably that you did not ask me.
I am now ready for a new computer, I mean the Angloswiss world cannot stand still it must move on. Gone are the sock knitting days and the game plaiying hours of pleasure. It is now a serious business. I discovered the world of blog and Bill, all this would not have been possible if your had not begun to experiment in your garage with a couple of friends and IBM had ignored your visit, but I am sorry to say I must move on.
Windows 8 arrived. I am convinced with my online gift of computer comprehension, I would have mastered this new technology. After all my first steps in life were with pictures and a bilder book computer with touch screen combined is the ultimate despite the finger marks left by eating apple pie garnished with cream when at the computer. Unfortunately I have met many disappointments from other users who find that windows 8 is not their thing, one being my son who is not a happy bunny.
I had to reach a decision. Shall I start knitting socks again? In the meanwhile my children have grown, are older, and I am no longer able to persuade them to wear knitted socks. They question my ideas. Mr. Swiss is approaching the platinum oldie stage where knitted socks might be his thing, but we have floor heating and in the meanwhile I have forgotten to make the turn for the heel of the sock. We are now impatiently waiting for Windows 9. Will this be the ultimate in online business? Will I be able to operate this system by telepathy?
There are many open questions. I am sorry to disappoint you Bill. You have been my colleague throughout my computer life: always there when I needed you, although I did not always understand your logic. We now have a baby Macpad at home and I like it. No problem, a different logic, but very logical. It talks to my iPad and iPhone somewhere in a cloud. Unless your Windows 9 can convince me otherwise, it might be that our paths part.
Remembering you in my happy online memories
Angloswiss, future Pulitzer prize winner for blog.