I know nothing of the mystic ways of computers. I tried to take a quiz last week to see how much of a geek I was. It turns out that I am so ungeeky that I couldn’t even understand the questions. (Terminals? What do I look like, an airport?) All I know how to do is work my simple little bloggy software. If it gets any more complicated than that then either Ken handles it, or there is a struggle of epic proportions between the computer and I while I writhe slowly up the learning curve. It’s never pretty – or successful, for that matter.

That’s why, when Joe announced last night that he was “Upgrading” our operating system, I knew what he meant. I’m not a dummy. I’ve been around the block. I know what “Upgrade” means. “Upgrade” means Joe is going to do something to the computer which will result in there being a period of time during which the computer will choose random functions that it will no longer do. The computer will be completely crippled by the Upgrade, and Joe will deny this. Joe will maintain that things are better. Joe will think this because Joe is blinded by the actual meaning of the word “Upgrade”.

I beg Joe not to do the Upgrade. I tell him I can’t cope with the seizures that the computer has when you Upgrade it. I tell him that I really think that things are good the way they are. We’re happy, aren’t we? Do we really need bigger, better things all the time? Can’t we ever be satisfied? I ask him to walk away. He doesn’t. He has a mitt full for the CDs that have something horrible on them called “Panther”, and he looks pretty excited.

This morning, the computer has been Upgraded. Things are….a little bit different. My mail is different. There are new buttons. I don’t know what they do…but I tell you this. I don’t like them. I don’t like the look of them. When I click on an email from Norma, the screen shows me all of Norma’s emails. Did I ask for that? Did I say, Hey, you know what would be good? If every single time I asked for you to show me an email, if you would like, do this STROBE thing reshufffling all of my emails to show me what else I have, even though I don’t care, at all, and in fact even resent it in a hostile fuming way and if you would make sure that you don’t call this function anything that has a name that makes sense so I could SHUT IT OFF. Yeah. That would be good. Upgrade my ARSE you piece of plastic microchipped glowing crap.

The font on everything, even though it claims to be exactly the same, is a little bit different. (Upgrading makes the computer tell filthy smarmy lies). This gives me the rather odd feeling that I am not seeing properly, and leaves me wondering (in an abstract but very disturbing way) if I am having a stroke. Buttons and Icons are in the wrong spots, and I am clicking on the wrong things. In a 20 minute argument with my email program this morning (during which I foamed at the mouth and screamed obscene plans for those responsible for this Upgrade to be sorry for everything they had wrought on this earth) I finally discovered that the reason my email was insisting that every single word I typed was not only spelled wrong but grammatically incorrect was because my Upgraded spell-check was set to “New” Portuguese. New?

The worst, was that I was actually allowed to do some of my work this morning. I checked mail, I wrote a few, I surfed, I wrote….in short, I was lulled into a false sense of security by the Upgrade. It seemed that with the exception of everything being sort of shifted a little, I was going to be spared.

Then I clicked on Ecto. Ecto is the really cool little simple interface that I use to post to the blog. It’s blogging for dummies. I understand it’s few functions very well. Ecto brings us together. The computer tells me this:

Ecto cannot be opened because Ecto is in the trash.

What? The nausea starts. I don’t even want to know. I bellow for Joe, I get more coffee and I pace around mumbling things like, never mind what it was like. You should remember me the way I was before it all fell apart.

Joe comes downstairs. I, admittedly rather rudely, inform him that HIS UPGRADE has eaten MY BLOG THING. I advise him, again..perhaps with less tact than could be hoped for, that I want him to….find the blog thing and make it go. I tell him HIS UPGRADE had no right to touch MY BLOG THING which was working perfectly before he started fixing things, and that (further to that) I don’t think he knows what “fixing” means, and I have always thought that he did too much damn clicking on things when he is at the computer and that probably has a lot to do with the mess I’m in too.

Then I get more coffee.

When I come back, there is good news and bad news. I like bad news first, so that the good news cheers me up…don’t you?

The bad news is….Everything is different. There are whole new Ecto buttons that don’t even have names that I know and some of them (steady now) some of them TOGGLE. I can’t even think about toggling. What’s a toggle? How could that be better? It can’t. I know it. You don’t even put in images anymore. They are some kind of attachment. It’s talking about “Rich Text” and there is a button that appears to be related to something that I heard Emma (who is a professor of geekness) talk about one time called XHTML. It wants to know if I want it. I don’t. I don’t want any of it. I want my old buttons back. I don’t want change, I don’t want an upgrade. Mostly, I want to have my wee little blog file where things were good and simple and it never asked me if I wanted to do something better, like “cache” thingies or align them. I thought my alignment was pretty good.

At present. I cannot upload a picture, I’m not sure how this will look (though I am assured by a whole new toggle button that my text is rich) and I don’t really know if I saved any of it or if it was consigned to an abyss when I clicked on the new button for posting.

The good news?

I can make text look like this.