Technology is a tough nut to crack. I have always had a really hard time figuring out this gadget or that and usually I somehow survive, even if I fail to get it down. However, as I dive deeper into the world of blogging, some things are just imperative to understand and know how to use in order to succeed. What is a girl to do? here are some examples of my overall struggles, concluded by what I am now in search of answers for.
Entertainment and Household Appliances
I have always had someone around to hook up and connect televisions, VCR, DVD players, and stereos, so I have been fortunate (except, to this day, I still could not get any of those things working on my own). Luckily for me, toasters, microwaves, coffee makers, and blenders all just plug-in and then you push a button. That I could do. He-he…
Then along comes the cell phone. I just had to have one. I started with a simple, load the minutes as you go, cheap brand and used it strictly for making and receiving calls, and eventually I learned how to text. When I upgraded myself to an actual phone plan, a friend and I got the same phone; a Blackberry Pearl. She was able to show me how to use it, though I had to call her several times a day to have her go over certain features for me, one more time. I upgraded to the Curve and learned that it was essentially the same, only bigger. A year later, when it was time to upgrade again, I decided to get a different phone, this one made by Motorola and featuring Microsoft on the go: Word, Power Point, and Excel. Within a week, I returned the phone and replaced it with another Blackberry. I couldn’t figure out how to work the Motorola.
For Christmas one year, my sister gave me a digital camera. First, I thought I was taking pictures, but it turned out that I wasn’t. Once I discovered what I was doing wrong there, I would take the pictures , but then couldn’t find them on the camera to view them. Instead, what I was doing was deleting them. And knowing where to plug-in cords and memory cards into someone’s computer to download the few pictures that escaped the disappearing act, was for me, impossible. I ended up giving the camera to my boys and continuing to use the one on my Blackberry, as I knew how to use that one.
My son gave me my first ever MP3 player. He even showed me how to load it up with music (which for the life of me, I cannot remember what I did). This is a really cool unit because it is waterproof and comes with a set of headphones that can be worn in the pool or the shower. How exciting is that? Except I don’t know how to turn it on. I am pretty sure it is charged, but there are just two buttons to operate the whole thing. Push the left button for two full seconds to do this, push the right button twice, rapidly to do that, or push both buttons to…? It still sits in my desk drawer. Thank God for YouTube!
Various Miscellaneous Devices
Once when I tried to quit smoking, I thought the perfect thing to help me get there was to switch to the eCigarette, which is an electronic cigarette that takes cartridges and has to be charged…on a computer! I could not get the little things to work. The first time, I thought I had bought a defective one, so I bought another. When I couldn’t get that one to “smoke” either, I decided, like an idiot, to try one more time and bought an expensive one that was more marketed. No luck.
I gave up. I have recently bought a voice activated, digital recording pen so I could record my ideas easily when I wasn’t near my computer or didn’t have pen and paper handy. It also has just a couple of buttons that when pushed for different lengths of time do different things. Even with a timer, I do not get the timing right and it is in the drawer next to my MP3 player.
The latest gadget I bought was a mini-projector, so I could project photos I had taken, and wanted to paint, to a larger size. Knowing my luck with electronic machines, I have yet to remove the it from the box it came in. I am sure I will eventually venture to check it out, and from what I read, it should be easy to operate. But, this is me we are talking about. Ugh!
In 2007, I started college. Guess what? Every single assignment has to be typed and formatted neatly and correctly. The only computer experience I had at that point was to Google and click. That’s it! I, of course, had to begin with a Beginner’s Keyboarding class just to learn how to type. Next I took an Introduction to Microsoft Office class, followed by Beginning and Intermediate Word and Excel, and a PowerPoint class. I still didn’t feel like I knew enough to feel comfortable on a computer, so I continued classes such as Computer Science, Quickbooks, and Payroll Accounting. It sounds like I should know a lot, and really I should, considering I received an A in every one of those classes, but now that I have started a blog, I am learning just how much I do not know.
For instance, as I search the blogging site, it warns of posting images and not citing them, giving the creator of the image due credit. A lot of the images I post with my writing I have found on Google. I just type in a few words and then click on images, find the one I want, save it to my desk top, and then upload it my media file on my blog. I am pretty certain that Google is not the proper citing, but then who is? Most of these images are posted on other sites, but they, too, have uploaded from somewhere else. How does a person go about finding the originator? I also, on occasion, find images that have been posted on the walls of friend’s on my Facebook, which have been reposted so many times by the time I see it, it is impossible to know who it really belongs to. Or is it?
The most recent technological snag I hit has to do with plug-ins. In reading the blogs of others, and clicking on sites that contain related articles, I found an online magazine that invites guest writers to submit work for publication, so I figured, why not? I set out to fill out the form to request consideration, attaching my story, and giving all the information they were asking for, and when I got to the bottom, it had a security screening box. You know, one of those “type the letters you see” into the box situations; however, in order to be given the letters to type, I had to have a specific plug-in, which they provided a link to. I went to the link, clicked on download, and then I got stuck. I see the file on my hard drive, but I cannot figure out how to install it. I search and search and search for instructions or some kind of idea on how to install and activate this plug-in, but nothing worked. I still have no idea how to do it. So, I was unable to submit my article. I am not amused.
As you may well have guessed, I am the green blogger in search of a yellow brick road—to a little understanding of the world of electronics, or more specifically, the different tasks that are necessary to become a better, more advanced blogger. Think of me as the scarecrow, on the hunt for an electronically inclined brain. I am open to as many suggestions as possible. I will try it all, especially if very clear, step-by-step instructions are provided.