One of our readers, Virginia, asks a question this month, “Dave, is there really such a thing as a computer gene”?
The wife had wanted a computer for over a year. I told her many times that it was just a waste of money....
One snowy Christmas morning, she found a present under the tree containing 15 one hundred dollar bills....along with a picture of a brand new PC.
Santa was good to her that year.
She and her brother went that week and bought the darn fool thing.
I scoffed, sat there amongst all the empty cardboard boxes and greetings from this person I had never heard of named Bill Gates.
They were busy hooking this cable to that white thing over there, chattering away about terms like “boot up”, “download”, and saying something about “software that needed to be installed”.
I just thought to myself.... “A month from now, when the novelty wears off, it will just sit there collecting dust”. Something else to clutter up our room.
Then my ever negative mind kept telling me about the rusty old tin can of an antique tractor that I really should have used the money for.
I was so ignorant, my wife had to show me how to turn the silly contraption on. I just could never figure out why you had to press Start to shut the idiot thing down though.
But, nonetheless, its glowing and somewhat intriguing presence in the room began to capture my curiosity.
One day, (when no one was looking....), I sat down in front of that piece of plastic machinery -- that very same “thing” that was preventing me from purchasing the antique tractor I so had my eye on.
As with any novice, Solitaire was my first challenge. After that, I graduated to Hearts. It was then that a whole new world began to open its doors to this former dyed-in-the-wool skeptic.
Somehow I was spending less and less time in front of the TV, and my wife was beginning to wonder about my sanity.
Then came the Internet...another foolish waste of my monthly money...or so I thought.
I discovered e-mail. And guess what? One of my cousins was on there. WOW! We could actually converse with each other every day.
One thing led to another. A bigger computer, then a laptop, then 2 ISP connections...then one day an idea started to form inside this once, “thick as a brick” skull of mine.....
An idea here, an idea there, try this, try that, buy this, buy that, and voila....an online business was born out of an imagination inspired by a product called Windows 95.
Then came our very own web page. Of course one page just wouldn't do, so several more thousand dollars later, we are soon to be having the birth of our “second child” aptly named.....Prosperity.
So Virginia, is this the mysterious computer gene you were mentioning? The one that lies latent somewhere inside the deep confines of our being until that moment when a PC is brought into the house and plugged in for the first time?
Then, like a lily in Spring time, the shoots go forth and next thing you know, your entire life revolves around checking e-mail and seeing how many new members have been placed in your downline that day.
After being on the PC for 12 hours already, your wife comes into the room at midnight and asks, “Will you be working much longer”? You reply, “Only a few more minutes, and I'll be finished”.
You finally look up at the clock and it's almost 3 AM! “My gosh, just where did the time go?”, you ask yourself.
Blame it on the computer gene.
The same gene that causes teen age son number 1 to download 148 songs from a strange place called Napster. Then, hook up every speaker we have in the house to the computer in order to listen to these songs at the same time he is on the telephone plus playing some game called “I CEE Q” with a female type artist from Alaska.
Hey son, “Wouldn't you rather be practicing your baseball drills with good old dad”?
Remember the wife who started this whole thing? Guess who never gets to be on here any more?
She should take up knitting or something to occupy her time.
So yes, Virginia, there really is a computer gene. It's been mapped by DNA technicians working at IBM. It's very similar to a virus that spreads like wildfire. It is also quite contagious.
There is no known cure for it's viral impact upon the human species. Once the gene surfaces, it re-directs the brain wave patterns to orient themselves towards having thoughts of upgrades, faster CPU's, and DSL connections.
Some have questioned whether this thing called “wireless” is the perpetrator, silently and painlessly injecting the genetic programming into one of our already existent genes.
Do you suppose Microsoft had anything to do with this?
If so, I no longer wonder why at times I find myself “locking up” upon an “unable to interpret” command from the wife asking me to help her wash the dishes.
If you ever wondered what those strange looking little “typos” were in some of your e-mails, like: :-)
They are called “emoticons”.
Do you cringe when you hear terms like “boolean”?
Wonder no more. There is an excellent dictionary of online terms, and all those emoticons. It will tell you everything you've always wondered about these odd looking forms and foreign sounding terms.
If you are a beginner and would like to learn just some basic information about computers and the Internet and it's sometimes confusing ways, we just found this place for you.
This is an excellent source of information in an easy to follow format.
Findings in a recent study funded by Cisco Systems found out that the Net economy grew by more than 50% in 2000.
It employs more people than the entire insurance industry and more than twice as many as real estate.
There were about 3.1 million workers employed by the US Net economy alone. Total revenues generated topped $830 billion. This is a gain of 58% from the previous year.
In a separate study on E-commerce, analysts are expecting final data to show that China spent $468 million on Internet infrastructure last year.
China is the world's third-largest Internet market behind Japan and the United States, with some 20 million Internet users.
Large companies in China are increasingly using Linux as the operating system of choice.
As always, enjoy your life and your day, it's God's great gift to you.
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