I am properly grateful to my computer. In fact, it could be said that I worship Microsoft, the internet, email, the web.
I ought to be grateful. I can remember when an electric typewriter was a big deal. I remember when you had to use carbon paper and that little round red eraser with a brush at the end of it to wipe away the eraser crumbs. I remember when Wite-out was a new discovery. I remember one time when I had already taken the page out of my typewriter and discovered that I had mistakenly typed John himself instead of Johnson himself in the first sentence, I had no choice but to type the letter all over again.
Despite my adoration, there are times I want to shoot Microsoft. Or at least reach someone to talk to.
For instance, Microsoft’s helpfulness. Microsoft has decided that I am a moron and that it must help me.
So it pops up a message and interrupts my important train of thought -- their message being earthshaking, of course, like You still have unopened mail. Microsoft can’t seem to understand that I don’t want to open that particular piece of mail right now and that, besides, the unopened message stays bolded because I haven’t opened it, and even an idiot couldn’t miss it.
Of course, when I need help, Microsoft isn’t there. For instance, when I’m trying to do something that I’ve never done before and I go to Help, Microsoft, instead of using English, has a language of its own, like a fraternity. Unless you already happen to know the name they give a task, they make sure you won’t find it.
And then, if by total chance, you do find the instructions, Microsoft assumes you would understand their completely incomprehensible directions. Or, it tells you what to do but says you have to do something else first as if, of course, you already know how to do that. Is it just me?
And then, after their debacle with instructions, Microsoft has the nerve to ask: Did you find this instruction helpful? First of all, they ask you before you have had a chance to see if you can do it. Who is a moron? I always answer NO on principle.
And then when Microsoft decides to crash Word, they ask me, in the midst of my panic, Do you want to report this? I most certainly do not! I do not because I know no one reads the messages I might send, and I would rather not. Or, if by some bizarre chance, they would read my messages, I am sure they would not read them respectfully. I am no fool. I can picture them, holding up my messages high, pointing to them, passing them around to their whole crew, maybe even tacking them up on their bulletin board with a big red arrow while they all have a hearty guffaw.
Fortunately now, due to Heavenletters, I am able to bypass Microsoft and all their shenanigans.
How? By the goodheartedness of people who don’t mind spending hours trying to show me how to do something. People like Kirt, Heaven’s webmaster, who graciously thanks me for teaching him infinite patience; Adrachin, the Heavenletters Community Forum administrator, who was already a saint before he got to train me on Phpbb, and Santhan, Heaven’s Marketing and Creative Director, who spent only three hours on the phone with me when he taught me the OEM newsletter software program, Drupal. Throughout the three hours, he kept saying how good I was. “Excellent!