You haven’t heard from me in a while, because I’ve been preoccupied with the tools of writing, rather than writing. This post is going to be a rant against Microsoft. My computer guru, Lee, told me about a year ago that I was going to have to give up my Windows XP lap top and learn to love Windows 7. Yeah, yeah, I thought. Lee just wants me to buy a new computer. I was very happy with my little XP lap top. I was comfortable with the commands, and I learned to live with its limitations. I would deal with it if it really happened. Then a few days before April 8, my computer shouted an alert message to me each time I booted it up. Windows XP would no longer be supported after midnight on April 8. It was on the 6:00 news, so it must be true, I thought. I didn’t understand exactly what that meant, but I was getting the message that if I didn’t switch to Windows 7, bad things would happen to my computer, and it wouldn’t be able to talk to other computers. Being completely addicted to email, and to this blog, I knew I was going to lose this battle. Off we went to the computer store, where I spent way too much money for something I didn’t want, didn’t like, and didn’t need. I mean, this computer is way more complicated to operate than my nice little net book was. Because I have to do everything with the keyboard, and not the mouse, I have to learn a new keyboard in addition to new commands. This is a jazzy little lap top, but I’m frustrated every time I turn it on, because it won’t do what I need it to do, like recognize my contacts. This is huge for me. I remember going through this kind of transition blues when I had to give up Word Perfect. Now I can’t imagine going back to that. Maybe someday, I’ll feel that way about Windows XP.
When I was at the computer store, I ran into a friend who was there for the same reason I was. It just seems wrong to force millions of people to go out and buy new computers. It’s like making everybody go buy brand new cars, because the old cars will no longer run, and you won’t be able to buy parts for them, and don’t even think about buying a used car. It’s just plain wrong. Of course, I could simply say I quit. I’m getting out of the whole communications craze. But I can’t stand to think that I might be missing something, so I’ll soldier on. It’s going to be difficult. If I were a veteran, a student, or a person seeking employment, or trying to stay employed, the state would pay for instruction for me. But I have to depend on the kindness of other blind computer users to get me through this crisis. The next challenge is to find that “somebody” to help me.