Friday, April 12, 2013

The Limits of a Digital Immigrant &

My wife is a teacher who is using Apple Computers and iPads in her classroom and has had much interaction with Apple Inc. itself. There is an interesting concept out there that states our kids, at least those born in the 80's and later, are digital natives. That is, they have never lived in a world that didn't have computers at home.  Us old farts, that is the rest of us, are digital immigrants. We started using computers when we were nearly or were adults. They aren't "native" to us as they are to our kids. I grew up with TV, they grew up with computers.

I can remember my first computer. It was a Texas Instruments TI-99. It wasn't really very sophisticated and you had to hook it up to a TV for a screen but it was, along with the Commodore 64, one of the first affordable computers for the masses. I used it to write letters, keep our finances and when my son got old enough, maybe 3?, he played games on it. Soon though, he became more skilled at it than me.

There was a progression. Next came a used Apple IIc, then I had the use of my mother-in-laws Powerbook 170, where I learned to use QuarkXpress 3.1, then I saved up to buy a PowerPC 6100 the week they came out. You have to laugh. My iPhone 5 has about a thousand times more power than that PowerPC but it was built like a tank and when I gave it away, it still was going strong.

I did take classes to learn Quark but the rest of programs that I would use when I started my own graphic design business were self taught. I used on a daily basis Quark, PhotoShop, Illustrator, Word and eventually did a few web sites using Dreamweaver, surely one of the worst programs ever designed. If Quark and desktop publishing acted like Dreamweaver we would still be printing using cold type, hot wax guns and Xacto knives. It was a struggle but I managed to get those pages up and maintain them.

I have been retired about 5 years now and while still doing some graphics work with old clients and a few new ones, I have thankfully given up doing web pages. Well, that is until now. I friend thought that since I had an Etsy store, I also might want to increase my web presence with my own web site. He is right. Most of the sellers on Etsy have both.

I've noticed that geeky things I could easily do as a kid and younger adult have become harder to do, let alone understand. I could hook up a hi-fi system at the drop of a hat. I was able to connect all kinds of things to my first computers and usually, if there was a problem, find the answer. Not anymore.

Since I signed up with GoDaddy, I realized I've reached my digital limit. I can barely even get on my web site and haven't a clue on how to go behind the screen that says it is under construction. When a friend offered to help me and in fact called GoDaddy to get the passwords, pins and all the rest sorted out, we in fact WERE able to access the web site. However, when I logged out and tried to get back in it again, I was back to square one. An hour shot. He couldn't believe it either.

I just don't get it. So here I am, frustrated and in a sense betrayed. If its that hard to use, let alone understand, I will gladly let the younger generation deal with it and continue what I enjoy, can understand and get satisfaction from. As to GoDaddy and their web site, adios!

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