Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Technobabble, my granny, and button B

It's my generation, of course, though that shouldn't be an excuse.

Take yesterday. HTML, right? You know what it means, I don't. But I need to. So I Google it. And surprise surprise - the explanation for things technical is so shrouded in more things technical, that I am no wiser. It is like those old safety curtains at the theatre. A screen comes down and on it is written these chilling words. YOU WILL NOT UNDERSTAND THIS.I am frustrated, and very cross with myself. And the screen.

Why can't someone somewhere explain these things. Very. Simply. In. Words. Of. One. Syllable? For people like me?

And then I thought of my granny. Years ago, I tried to get her to use a phone box. Easy. Just put your money in, then press button A if there's a reply, or button B to get your money back. What could be easier?

"Oh no!" said Granny, backing away as from the phone box as though it were some man-eating wild beast "I could never do that!"

At the time, I didn't understand. I do, now. After a lifetime of change, Buttons A and B were a challenge too much. She had had enough.

So have I.

Sorry, Granny. I wish I'd been more understanding at the time.

(PS if anyone understands HTML and can use simple, plain English, please tell me where I can find them.)

21 comments:

  1. I found this
    http://www.jmarshall.com/easy/html/#whatis

    I read the first few bits and I could understand (most of) it and I'm pretty useless so I hope it helps.

    I do know what you mean about your Granny. My mum is the same with her mobile phone and I often feel I'm not that far in front of her. I fear that when I get to her age I'll not cope with the world at all!

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    1. Thanks, Bernadette. I'll give it a try.

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  2. I know what you mean, Frances. I was really impatient with my Mum when she took fright in a photo booth. I explained to her what to do and said I would wait for her right outside. She was still totally confused by the instructions, so I went in and set it all up so all she had to do was sit there and wait for the flash. But she was in a real state of panic and fear, as if a homicidal, axe-wielding maniac would twitch the curtain aside at any moment. Her anguish showed very clearly in the pictures.
    I didn't understand why at the time, but now I think I can identify more with the feeling that the world knows what to do and is perfectly calm about it and I'm the only one grappling in the dark.

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    1. There must be a way of overcoming this generation thing,
      Joanna. But I'm blessed if I know the answer!

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  3. In my family, it was my Mum who had the first computer, the first DVD player and the first mobile phone - she has never been afraid of using anything new, and is very capable of setting up technological gadgets. It is my Dad who only has a mobile phone because my Mum insisted on that after he suffered a stroke (and he is so often all alone at the allotment), and while my Mum sends texts and emails, does Amazon reviews and moderates a cooking forum on the www, my Dad simply can't be bothered with any of it.

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  4. I think I'm fairly savvy with new techi stuff, but try telling that to my daughters and grandkids. They talk to me as if I already have one foot in the nursing home. It's pretty sad (and cute) when my 3-year-old grandson says, "Let me show you how this works, gramma."

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    1. I rely on my grandchildren for everything when looking after them in their own homes. Even th oven defeats me...

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  5. History just keeps repeating itself doesn't it? I wonder what our own grandchildren will be scared to use in 60 years time?

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    1. I suspect nothing, Maggie. It will all have been done/ understood/ invented.

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  6. Isn't it just the code to show how the text displays? Not that I am any expert but I can use it a bit. You can see it by clicking the html tab when posting to the blog.

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    1. What HTML tab, Jenny? ( you see, you really are dealing with an idiot...)

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  7. My mum used to have to go round to turn her granny's electric lights on for her because she was scared to touch the switch.

    Html is computer language - how computers communicate with each other through the web before converting it to language we understand ... I think - I think Jenny put it better :-) x

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    1. That's comforting, Teresa. I'm quite good at turning on the lights.

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  8. You think you have a problem? My blog keeps getting visited by something called googlebot. Here's the Wikipedia explanation of what this is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Googlebot

    I understand very few of the words in this, never mind the sentences.

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    1. Googlebot....what a glorious word! You've cheered me up no end, Tim.

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  9. I feel the techie stuff slipping away... can't remember how I picked up very basic HTML (and never got further than that... Yet!) but www.w3schools.com looks promising, and if you right click on any web page it shows you the source code - I've picked up stuff to copy that way!

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    1. Clare, you are obviously a technical wizard. I'll have a go...

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  10. I know html is computer language and I know which bit to change on blogger if I have an extra space between lines,but that's all I know about it! I'm more techy than my husband so I get to try everything first!

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  11. My husband was at college in the 60's and a girl he knew used to go round putting plugs in all the sockets in case the electricity leaked out!

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