Become one with your friend, the computer

by Leonard Cachola

Afraid of computers?

If you answered "yes" to that question, then you are one of millions who can't stand to be in front of those little devil boxes.

Well, I'm here to debunk some myths and, hopefully, help relieve you poor, unfortunate souls of your fear of computers.

One fear I've noticed is all too common is that of losing information. I'm not referring to old-timer's, er -- Alzheimer's, disease -- but of the computer simply crashing and losing the next War and Peace to the whims of the digital world.

Some simple precautions can be made to ensure nothing is ever lost. First, and foremost, save and save often. Second, make a backup copy.

If that fails, then memorize the whole document and recite it to your children in verse form. Not only will you have a copy on the hard drive, but your document will outlive you.

Problem solved.

Just be sure the resulting verse is interesting enough not to put the kids to sleep before the telling of the whole tale.

Another fear I've noticed is that of the computer as an intimidating bully. Though the computer is nothing more than an inanimate object incapable of harming a fly, with the exception of the occasional genetic experiment gone awry, it is known to have brought down even the mightiest Cougar staff members to their knees.

One way to get over this fear is to stand up and show the computer what you're made of. Show that you will refuse to be intimidated by its faceless screen and 101 keys. Prove to that computer you're not going to let it rule over your fears and turn your life into dreck.

Oh wait, that only works with real-life bullies.

Actually, the way to work through that intimidation is to take a couple of courses teaching computing basics, or to learn from one of many computer gurus floating around. Sure, they may seem strange with their four eyes, monotone speech and weird knowledge of foreign languages you've never heard of, like "C," but they have the scoop and know what's up.

If that fails, either because the guru made an unwelcome pass at you with an exploded pen in hand, or the class moved at too fast of a rate, then sit down in front of the computer and play with it.

Not only do you learn more, you can learn at your own pace.

Thus, you can figure out which red button destroys the world as we know it and which one makes your computer explode into teeny tiny pieces. Just kidding.

One of our staff members, though I won't say who, always talks about how computers are out to get him. It's tough to tell whether or not he's joking because he always recoils at the mere mention of computers.

Keep in mind that computers were created by man and, as of this writing, are not sentient. Thus, they are not out to get you.

In fact, there is no possible way that a computer could ...

Cachola is a senior English major who has just been attacked by a computer virus.

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