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Hood’s Winks – Computers – blessing or curse?

By Ralph Hood

Hard to believe, but I managed to graduate from Clemson without ever seeing a computer. Supposedly, Clemson did own and operate a computer, but we never saw it.

Later—when I actually did see a computer—it was huge.

Son Kevin—at about the age of 10—took me into a Kmart to see a little computer on sale. I carefully explained to him that it was way too small to be a real computer. Shortly thereafter I saw a room full of small desktop Apple computers in a local business office. Amazing!

Then Kevin’s grammar school let him bring a computer home to show us the program he had written for it.

We bought him a computer when he was 12 and we haven’t been able to talk to him ever since. He is a computer wizard and has traveled over much of the world.

Now all of our children and our only grandchild use computers.

I use them too, but still haven’t figured them out.

Research is great on a computer. Look up anything you ever wanted to know. ZAP, there it is. Email is even better. We have become so accustomed to sending messages all over the world that we take it for granted.

Writing is wonderful on a computer.

Ah, but on the other hand….

Computers are vile, detestable creatures! I hate them.

It seems obvious to me that Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and other dastardly computer wizards get together once a week to decide how they will enter my computer and cause it to do evil and cruel things to me.

That is why I can be typing away and the entire screen will erase itself. In fact—and I swear this is true—it just happened as I typed this piece. %(*#@!$!!!!!

Other times I will be typing like mad, and look up to find a page filled not with what I was writing, but with detailed explanations of what I had done wrong, what I should have done, and how I can fix it. I scream for wife Gail and she fixes it.

One new and growing problem is growing and booming.

I look at news on the computer several times daily. It used to be quick and easy. Now the news is constantly interrupted with advertising leaping on top of what I’m trying to read. It is terrible.

Yes, folks, I do realize that magazines and newspapers advertise too. But the ads are off to the side of the page, not covering up what I’m reading.

That’s all I can…. This is Ralph’s wife Gail. I don’t know what happened; he tore out of the room muttering something about “those ****** computers.” I hope he’ll be back. He’s got my credit card.

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