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Friday, 2 January 2009

Why you should keep an eye on your toolbar

I don't normally pay a lot of attention to the toolbar at the bottom of my screen while my laptop is powering up, but it still being my Christmas holidays from school, and me being tranquillised by a diet of mince pies, Belgian chocolates, left-over Stilton and half-good novels, I'm in a zombie-like state. I turned my laptop on today and my eyes flickered - no, flickered is too active a word ... perhaps 'meandered lazily' is more accurate - to the toolbar where it tells you, while it's trying to locate the Internet, what your computer is doing.

And mine was, at one point, 'bursting cached scripts'.

Eh?

This raises a number of questions which I would like answered, as, yes, there are a few scripts on my computer, mainly Nativity plays I've written for youth work at church, sketches I sent to Radio 4 hoping they'd think they were funny, and thirteen husband and wife fight on the motorway sketches in no way inspired by real life events.

So:

1. Was I meant to be aware that I had cached these scripts? All I did was press Save. Is this 'caching', but they just call it 'Save' for dummies?
2. If I have cached some scripts, despite being totally unaware of having done so, does anyone else have the right to burst them without my permission?
3. What kind of scripts are being burst? Is this an indeterminate, random process, or is someone deciding which ones are rubbish and bursting those ones with particular relish?
4. How does this bursting happen? I heard nothing, although I guess I didn't check whether I was on Mute.
5. The message 'bursting cached scripts' remained on the toolbar for 5 seconds. If my whole life's work of Nativities, terrible jokes and marital disharmony has been nuked, isn't this cruelly fast, even if they are bad?
6. Couldn't a more gentle verb than 'bursting' have been selected? 'Your scripts have been EXPLODED GLEEFULLY', it appears to imply. To a sensitive writer who has problems with self-esteem, this seems harsh.
7. Couldn't some warning box come up saying, 'We want to burst your scripts. Are you happy? Yes/No?' You get warnings for most other things, such as 'Your computer is about to self-destruct losing the last three hours' work' and even if it does so anyway without you being able to stop it, it seems polite to ask. The use of the present continuous tense in 'bursting' means that the process is already under way. So why bother telling me, unless it's just to rub it in?
8. Is this likely to happen again? As in, next time I power up, will I be told 'imploding treasured poems' or 'smashing novel to smithereens'? And will these messages, too, be given second-class, lower-case letters, despite the tragic content?

I daren't open up my Word documents, just in case I am script-less. I will have another mince pie and a bit of Stilton on a cracker, and perhaps a glass of port, and put off the awful moment.

2 comments:

  1. Ha! Loved this post and your idea for error messages. They would be much more fun than the confusing, dry mush currently used. However, if computers spoke common English (or the Americanized version) all computer techs would have to find a new job.

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  2. Hi Faith - thanks for your comment and glad you enjoyed the post. Your blog is a very encouraging one - had a good look at it. I need to do more of that stuff.

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