I don’t know much about computers but I know what I hate. I also know that because they’re based on logic and I’m not, they’re right and I’m probably wrong. Take passwords for instance. Maybe there’ll come a day when your pc will know its you because it smells you as you approach the keyboard – “Aye-aye, it’s the fat geezer again. He’s just had a beef Madras”.
But until then we’re stuck with passwords. Security. Firewalls. And there are sad and deeply irritating little tics out there who get off on wrecking folks’ pcs. Why? Because they can. They don’t have a political agenda. They’re not on a mission to reveal government corruption. They don’t hack or infect to feed their newspaper employers. They do it so that they have power. Like burglars. Sneaky little cowards. I bet they’re all spotty and have bad breath. I’m tempted to suggest that three minutes in a locked room with Fat Geezer would change their ways. But that would be non–pc. And unlike burglars, they don’t do it for monetary gain. They just break in and wreck stuff.
So passwords are a given. But if you’ve got a different password for the whole mind–boggling range of things your pc can do, how do you remember them all? Scribble them on bits of paper, so that when the burglar breaks in he/she can access your pc as well? Spend disciplined hours committing them to memory? Or do you stick two devil-may-care fingers up to things digital and have the same password for everything?
It’s a damned good job cars don’t operate on the same system. We’d never go anywhere. Password for starting. Password for steering, brakes, lights seat adjustment… good old cars only have one. And even when they go wrong, we can have them towed off to a car–fettler who makes them well again. Not so with computers. Computers are upper case D.I.Y. When your pc decides that it's never heard of you or your password or your mother’s maiden name, its off to India to talk to an invariably polite and infinitely capable person who takes over your screen and eventually renders you whole again. I say “eventually” because before that, you must run the B.T. phone menu gauntlet which invariably begins: “We’re VERY busy today….”