Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Decision Headaches and The Rule of Electronics

I logged in today to upload pictures that have been sitting on my desktop cluttering it up for weeks now.  Now I can put those photos in their regular storage place and get them off the desktop.  

However, when I logged in, I discovered that Blogger had lots of updated features, which is great if you have tons of time.  I work in an IT department and am constantly faced with updates both soft and hard.  When using Microsoft Word, for example, I have to remember not to click in the place I used to for a specific command - no, Microsoft has moved it around, changed the look, redistributed pretty much the same features in an "updated" package which must be repurchased.   We duly repurchase and prepare to retrain our poor employees on the changes to the software they just got used to using.  Hey - I guess it's job security, but when I come home and want to have a little leisure time on my own home computer, I find the same thing.  

Blogger changed the look of the "dashboard" - it was fine before, but someone wanted to change the look.  Ad Sense has been updated - the old one won't work as well.  Then there's Google Analytics, which instructions, for the life of me, I can't figure out.  I need software that is intuitive, i.e., it can be figured out by "playing around" for a little while.  So I said to heck with Google Analytics until I can devote the brain power to understanding their directions - which will probably be never, and by then, it will be called something else and work differently, anyway.

It's getting to the point where I have to prioritize my online choices.  Do I want to spend 2 hours trying to get some add on to work on my blog.....or do I just want to blog?

I'm a sucker for bells and whistles, that's the problem.  The bigger, faster, better, brighter, more colorful, more choices available, the more I usually like it.  But this growth phenomenon has morphed into a monster that I don't have the energy to combat.  If I had my druthers, I'd have every feature available on my blog and I'd become rich, of course, from the ad revenue.  But I need a secretary to do that and I haven't got one.  I also don't have a maid to clean my house or care for my four cats and two birds and one husband.  Time is at a premium and it flies even if you're not having fun.

I think I'll just blog.  If someone reads me, great.  If they don't, great too.  I'm going to forget about ads and linking to ads and BlogHer and other fancy dan things - and just Keep It Simple Stupid.

I've gotten to the point with a lot of many-choice items where I can eliminate the extraneous quickly.  A selection of 22 styles of drinking glasses in 14 designer colors?  Within about 30 seconds I can narrow it down to what I like and if there is more than one, another 30 seconds will decide the final winner.  But the world of computers is just too varied, changing and complicated for me to make really educated choices.

The hardware is changing all the time.  What was a fabulous processor two years ago is now totally passe.  Computers usually have a practical and useful life of about five years before it's "too slow", "too outdated", etc. 

There are new hardware inventions constantly.  Every year there is a new iteration of IPhone, then there are competitors who up the ante.  Then there is the IPad and all it's siblings fighting for first place.

How about the social sites?  There is Facebook, Twitter and a whole host of other similar sites for people to report their latest activity, like burping.

Has anyone figured out Google +???  It is an only-by-invitation Facebook competitor which makes heady claims.  Limiting access to only those "invited" is a come-on for those computer users who want to be first on the bandwagon.  I finally was able to get an "invite" and signed up.  I haven't been back.  I find it off putting that this is "invitation only", and it's no better than Facebook, which I (mostly) know how to use.  I watch younger people than myself whip through all the possibilities like posting pictures, "tagging" someone, accessing Facebook and all it's features through their phones, etc. and I just want to scream!!  There's too much to learn and I'll never have the proficiency that so many users have.

My mother always bragged about how smart I was, what a high IQ I had, etc. and now I often feel dumb as a stump, outshone by computer users who have a very shaky command of correct grammar or historical facts, but can whip through HTML and scripts and setup options like Einstein on speed.


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