At the beginning of my writing career, I used to send a copy of my published ‘middle ’in the popular newspaper to a few of my close relatives by e mail. I used to make sure that the original title was retained (not the one given by the editor) and that all the edited portions were restored. I strongly felt that too stringent an editing (as demanded by the space available) would take away from the continuity of the thought process. Of course, not knowing about the ‘attachment’ technique, my blog would reach them in truncated versions. The local crowd however preferred to read it straight from the newspaper for its better presentation.

Next, I started writing for e magazines but continued sending the original versions by e mail to a bigger circle. Some of the computer savvy readers preferred to read them directly from the e magazine, again for a better presentation.

Then came the stage where the e magazine made every article accessible separately by providing a ‘link’. With attractive pictures accompanying the articles, I thought it would be highly e- glamorous to shoot off the ‘link’ to my readers (the circle was even more wide now) than my drab e-mail. But that’s where my problem started. I being more computer savvy of the two, I could expect no technical help from my counterpart.

Earlier, for any ‘copy’ and ‘paste’ job, I would open the ‘edit’, highlight the required matter, click on ‘copy ’option, go to the next site and click on the ‘paste’ in the ‘edit’. I had never encountered any problem in the process. But now, when I clicked, ‘copy’ and try to highlight my ‘link’, the ‘copy’ would disappear. Both ‘copy’ and highlighting would never come on together. This went on for quite sometime.

So, I started copying the ‘link’ laboriously and sending them to my readers. First, I found the links full of symbols like % and letters, almost like the expressions of profanity in Tintincomics. When I wrote to my editor, she replied that she did not see any percentage symbols on my link. Then one  smart young friend of thecompu-generation enlightened me that I was accessing the article through Face book which gives a long link , but that I should access it directly .But the links were still so long that with the slightest change in copying, say, in date or hyphen, the computer would refuse to  accept it. It was highly embarrassing to see my readers confronted with insulting remarks by the website, like:

OOOPS, WHERE DID YOU GET SUCH A LINK?

SERVER CANNOT LOCATE WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR.

It would even try to cajole the customer: YOU ARE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING THAT IS NOT HERE. YOU CAN ALWAYS TRY DOING A ‘SEARCH’ OR BROWSING THROUGH ‘ARCHIVES’. DON’T LOSE YOUR HOPE YET.

When my readers sent such feedback, I had to assure them that there was nothing wrong with their IQs but that the technical glitch and the rebuke were solely due to my ignorance. I even requested my editor to cut down the length of the ‘link’ but to no avail. The editor could not comprehend my problem. With no free expert technical help (read KIDS) at hand, it was totally a trial and error situation for me. I tried and tried again like the legendary King Bruce. Finally I hit upon the solution in…, where else but the bathroom! ‘Eureka’ I said running out, minimally clad, and switched on the computer. I went to the e-mag site, right clicked the ‘link’. Hey, presto! A lovely menu unfurled on my right, where the command ‘copy’ did not play ‘Hide and Seek’ with my ‘link’.

In sheer triumph I copied and pasted the ‘link’ and e mailed my blog to the now BIG circle of friends and relatives with a click (right) of the mouse!  .

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36 responses »

  1. Varun Reddy says:

    He he he… Being the “kid” w.r.t.most of you, I can surely understand the tech-related issues and how kids are regarded as the technical help by parents. My parents are much simpler in this sense – mom doesn’t care about the computer,and my dad calls me up in case of anything – from booking tickets to checking emails. I oblige wholeheartedly 🙂

    You really ran out minimally clad? Almost had a Archimedes moment there I guess 😀

    But good to know the issue was solved… I also face many issues with technology, and have learnt by experience that Google helps a lot … You just have to search for the right websites to give you the right answers 🙂

  2. Shernaz says:

    Feels great to have so many people in the same boat as you when you thought you alone were floundering! Thanks Vimala, I don’t feel too bad now for being compu-ignorant.

  3. Geetashree Chatterjee says:

    No, I am so sad!!!

  4. vimala ramu says:

    That’s exactly what I meant ,Geetha. BTW, have the books reached you yet?

  5. Geetashree Chatterjee says:

    As Deepika said hit and trial and R&D are the best ways to become computer-savvy. Ask the kids and they snub your curiosity with such a withering look as if you are the most low witted user in the world !!! That’s from my personal-est experience!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. vimala ramu says:

    Thank you, Vimala and Deepika. This saga of trial and error
    seems to encompass quite a few of my friends. More than anything, it requires independence to experiment which a few husbands are not broadminded enough to give it to their wives.

  7. deepika says:

    Trial and error most of the times works. Enjoyed your blog dil se.

  8. vimala madon says:

    great fun reading your blog. The number of readers who have enjoyed it is in direct proportionate to the level of their expertise in comp. technology!

  9. vimala ramu says:

    LThank you,thank you, thank you,Geetha

  10. Geetashree Chatterjee says:

    Enjoyed, enjoyed, enjoyed reading as usual !

  11. vimala ramu says:

    Thank you,Knot2share. So, this blog has managed to expose the insecurities of quite a few apparently ‘computer savvy’ set !

  12. knot2share says:

    hehe! Loved the post. I feel happy that I too have company in this world :-). My next wish is for somebody to write on the challenges faced when using a laptop and that too with the mouse-pad and not the lovely little mouse that sits so comfortably on the side and does exactly what your fingers commands COMMAND it to do! I think laptops have a mind of their own….

  13. vimala ramu says:

    I am amazed at so many adults agreeing with me because the youngsters find these handicaps extremely funny.

  14. Dear Vimala,

    A nice narrative. Yes, this thing happens to many people. All a process of trial and error…..

  15. vimala ramu says:

    Looks like my reply to Isabel and Tanuja are slow in coming.

    • vimala ramu says:

      I believe this process is common between the middle generation and the generation of few oldies who have taken to the computer. That’s indeed a consolation.

  16. Tanuja Chatterjee says:

    Hi Vimaladi!
    Thanx for presenting my situation so well! I’m in the same cumbersome knot, trying to draw a zig-zag diagonal between the two of us, which is both time consuming and hugely frustrating. Your writing with an under current of subtle humour makes me laugh at my situation right now. Extremely encouraging for me who is trying really hard to wipe off the tag of COMPUTER-ILLITERATE.

  17. isabel says:

    I was in almost the same predicament, my friends and cousins would send me a long link to view pictures or anything interesting… I would try to type it letter per letter , but no success it made me so frustrated…so I would e-mail them that the link was broken or something, or pretend I viewed/ saw it ….=))

    Until an intelligent and kind friend of mine finally diagnosed the ”real” problem [ me & my lack of knowledge ]
    Gave me a detailed instruction and voila! it was easy!

  18. Eva Bell says:

    Hi Vimala!
    Glad to know that I’m not the only one who had all those problems. Now that you are computer savvy it must feel great. But I’m still stumbling along with numerous hits and misses.

    • vimala ramu says:

      Thank you Eva. My savvy ness is only limited to my requirements. In the last issue of writespace4iw, I had left you a message after your comment. Hope you have seen it.

  19. vimala ramu says:

    Nadi, I love you for your sweet comments.

  20. nadi says:

    Vimala, whatever the nature of link , please see to it that I always get to read what you write! I have got kind of hooked to it

  21. vimala ramu says:

    Thank you Smitha for reading my blog. It means a lot to me from a great writer such as you.

  22. Smita Luthra says:

    Interesting account of an extremely frustrating problem. 🙂 I especially loved the comparison of the % etc. signs to the profanity in Tintin comics.

  23. vimala ramu says:

    It is a humble effort, though ! More I learn, more I find needing to be learnt.

  24. Kanthi Narayanan says:

    Ha ha !! Congrats on becoming comp-savvy !! More congrats for treating your own situation with great humor ……

  25. beyniaz says:

    Liked your link up in the end. Lovely blog.

  26. vimala ramu says:

    I am certainly not ashamed of my e-half knowledge !

  27. Sonal Shree says:

    Written straight from the heart, direct dil se. My parents face similar problems so I can empathise with you.
    This is a mouse you would love to trap and keep handy forever 🙂

  28. vimala ramu says:

    Thank you,Sneha.

  29. Sneha says:

    Ahaaa !! I see that you took my request into kind consideration…and have mentioned me somewhere (indirectly) in the passage. I was thrilled, honestly 😀
    Well, absolutely humorous and a refreshing take as always, by you.

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