Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Darned PC Ghost!

Many people are impressed by my 75-year old mother's tech-savviness. She has been using the computer for years for work, email and games (in the reverse order of importance and time spent), and is a proud owner and an avid user of an iPad. However, only some people know of her deeper connection to PCs. You see, she personally knows a PC ghost!

Earlier this week, she decided to download hundreds of pictures of her latest Singapore trip from her camera onto her PC. She was at her desk for hours at a stretch, because she not only downloads the pictures, but views each of them carefully as they are downloaded, calls whoever is around to see them, and discusses the finer points of the picture and any related incident that happened that day in great detail. In the last couple of hours, I had been summoned several times to see this or that, and to nod when she ooh'd and aah'd at some picture.

Puja, Puja, see this one, isn't it just superb? Just look at the detail in this one! Where else did we go on this day?  How different Aloka is looking here. This is the pitcher plant. What was the name of the restaurant? Wow look at the fantastic colors! See this one you took and look how nice it's come out! Etc...

By the time she called me again, I was at the end of my extra-elongated tether. I just pretended to not hear her and kept doing what I was doing i.e. sun bathing in the veranda. So she sought me out! She looked particularly upset. According to her, she had spent hours arranging her downloaded photographs in carefully named folders and suddenly three of the folders had vanished! I wish I could somehow capture her actions and words as she described the process of arranging the pictures in folders- how she selected each picture ("I made each picture name blue"), then dragged it (arm stretched high above her head), and dropped it into the folder (arm reaching down). 

I told her that folders do not vanish and that it must be somewhere in her computer. She says there is nothing anywhere cause she has searched for it using the search assistant already. Then she adds a baffling statement "It asked me if I wanted to send something to the recycle bin and I said yes"!  She had not clue what she had send to the recycle bin, but never mind that, my tech-savvy mom had already searched the recycle bin as well and not found anything. Not wanting to get up from my sunny perch, I asked her to download the pictures again from the camera, but dear mom had been super organized for once and had deleted the photos from the camera as soon as they were downloaded. Even that didn't move me. Then came a statement that finally forced me to go inside to her PC. "It's vanished. All my effort of all morning lost. It's all the work of this ghost that wants to trouble me"!!!

I first tried looking visually for the folder names on the desktop. There were hundreds of file icons on the desktop- all the photos that she hadn't yet organized were sitting on the darn desktop. I am telling you I haven't seen anything like that in my life. It was mind boggling. So I decided to search for folders using the folder name she had used (Atreyas passing out parade). Nothing. I changed the search keyword to Atreya and still nothing. Not wanting to be spooked, I opened the explorer window and looked at the file names instead of the icons. And bingo! There it was! I called her over and showed it to her. And also showed her why the search couldn't find it- she had spelled Atreya's names as Atryea while naming the folder!

I then asked her if she can now stop blaming the PC ghost for all her troubles. But she refused point blank saying - "It is all because of that darn ghost that the name was typed wrong"!!!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Puja 3.0

Puja 1.0 was fluttering leaf and a butterfly. She was driven by youth and dreams. She stumbled and fell but got up easily. She was foolish. She was callous. She didn't know enough of the world to know much fear. She was all about instinct.

Puja 2.0 was phoenix. She rose from the ashes driven by a strong need to retain her dignity and pride. She made fewer mistakes as she grew wiser and learned more about herself. Having felt raw fear and utter helplessness, she strived to bring stability and harmony in her life. She was all about courage.

Puja 3.0 has just started. She has shed her old avatar and stepped into a new world. She values harmony and peace more than anything else, but knows that reinventing oneself requires disharmony and chaos. Having known what it means to be courageous, she is terrified by the new fears surfacing inside her. What she is about- is yet to be seen.