Friday, April 13, 2007
The Day My Mouse Died
As a graphic artist and writer most of my business and communications are done via my computer. Many of those years I suffered from the tug of war syndrome commonly known as ‘too short mouse cord’. This is a very aggravating condition as I am sure you can attest. Ask any graphic artist, the graphic pen is a handy tool but needs much improvement to be totally reliable and useful. Besides which it isn’t really for typing or navigation.
For this reason when they came out with the wireless mouse I thought I had found my nirvana. Freedom was mine at last. With the insertion of two tiny little AA-batteries my quest was complete, or so I thought. I found out after a very short while that the major flaw my little piece of heaven had was that the life of a wireless mouse battery is short lived. The redeeming factor is that it warns you when the batteries are getting low. My frugal spouse insisted from the start that we should use re-chargeable batteries and being the loving and obedient wife, I agreed.
Herein lies the problem. One busy afternoon I was working away running five or six programs, updating clients information files, and in the midst of two instant messenger (IM) chats when my first warning went. I informed my frugal spouse of my need and the ever prepared Boy Scout that he is not; he had no replacement batteries in the charger. I held my breath, trusting the mouse to live just twenty minutes longer. But as you have already guessed my luck did not hold out. Moments later the two IM messages went unanswered and I sat frustrated staring at my monitor unable to tab my way to anything meaningful or helpful.
With nothing left to do but get up and walk away I was left lost and frustrated. I could only hope my clients would understand when I told them later why I suddenly began to ignore their messages. Unable to get anything else done I was quickly reminded of the days not so long ago before the invention of the computer.
There is a whole generation that can’t recall these times while my generation can recall pre-word processors and even television. Imagine that. No TV! Not even a VCR let alone a CD/DVD player! It is interesting how different our lives were with out these conveniences. The old typewriter with the correction tape built in was a real asset to the administrative professional (called a secretary back then). Now if we make a mistake we just back up and type it over again. Fingers in the wrong place on the keyboard delete the whole thing and start again. No muss, no fuss, no wasted paper or ink.
No matter how heavily we rely on technology, when it fails we know it is but an inconvenient hiccup. Wouldn’t you agree? We’d rather have to deal with the hiccups than traverse the road of life without our conveniences.