Given that this whole influx of postings today are due to the IFA tech trade show, I figured that a wonderfully funny column by Bruce Cameron about Life with Technology was a perfect fit.
(Depending on what order you read this website, that last sentence might make zero sense -- but it will when you come to the "From the Management" posting below." Feel free to skip to that now. We'll hold your place until you get back...)
A few years ago, my brother sent me a newspaper clipping from a column that he thought I'd like, as somebody who occasionally writes about tech and therefore he knew is often asked to give assistance. (To be clear, no tech whiz am I. I understand some things, but mainly I know enough to ask the right questions and can explain the answers reasonably well.)
The column was hilarious. Some local guy who had a regular column in the local Wisconsin paper, describing the convoluted adventure of trying to explain how to use a DVR to his parents. I've sent the column to a lot of people over time, and thought it would be fun to post a link to it here. Unfortunately, I only have a PDF file of it, that I send around, so I searched online to try and track the column down. All I had to go on was the guy's name, Bruce Cameron, and the text.
Well, I not only found it, but also discovered that Bruce Cameron is no local guy, but appears to have a syndicated column. And more than that, one of his columns he turned into a book -- Eight Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. Which became the TV series. He's subsequently written other books and sold some screenplays.
Once I got past the embarrassment of, "Oh, okay, that's who Bruce Cameron is, and why he's so," I placated myself on having fine taste.
Here's the opening of the article, and then I'll link to the rest.
Tech Support for Mom
by Bruce Cameron
When my mother calls and says, "Do you have just a second?" I know I'd better find a comfortable chair because this is going to take awhile.
"Your dad and I want to watch a DVD, and I can't remember how to make it work," she says.
"OK," I say. "Is the DVD player on?"
"Should I turn it on?"
"Yes, that would probably help."
"OK. Do I use the DVD remote or the TV remote?"
"The DVD remote."
"Or, what's this? This is the cable remote."
"The DVD remote."
"Is this ... there's another one here, what's this one?"
"Use the DVD remote."
"OK. The DVD remote. What button do I push?"
"The one that says power."
"OK, I pushed it."
"The lights went out on the DVD player."
"Oh, OK, that means it was already on. Push the button again."
"I don't remember turning it on."
"Push the button again."
* * *
Trust me, there's more. A lot more. This is only the preamble. You can find the rest of the column here.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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