OK, I admit it I have laptop envy and it is shockingly directed at my Dad, who has bought himself a Macbook after spending the last eight years moaning about his ‘wireless, but won’t work wirelessly’ Windows laptop.
Not a huge shock for someone to buy an Apple, particularly as a new, pretty Apple Store has opened up in our City, but let me explain a couple of things about my Dad. Firstly he is a techophobe. The problem is that he wants to understand how it all works. He will ask how to do something very basic and we (when I say we I mean Big Mck) will explain it to him knowing that the first follow up question will either be “Why does it work like that” or “That doesn’t seem to make sense why don’t they do it like this……..?”
One of his final acts on his old computer and I think the death knell for Microsoft, as far as he was concerned, was to download and print an R85 form from the Inland Revenue. After trying to do this for 4 days our telphone coversation went something like this…
Him: “I still can’t print that bloody form off, it keeps asking me stupid questions like ‘do I want to open or save this file’ How the bloody hell do I know?!”
Me: “You want to open it and then print it off”
Him: “Well I’ve tried that and it says I can’t but I’ve downloaded the thing from Adobe”
Me: “What have you downloaded from Adobe”
Him: “I don’t know, it’s a PDF, I don’t know what I’ve done -Flash thingy or something”
Me: “You need an Adobe reader, just Google it and you’ll find the right thing”
Him: Long Silence………”Oh bugger it I’m just going to go into the tax office and pick one up, 4 bloody days I’ve been trying to do this”
Me: “Hahahahahahahahahahaha you’re so useless and funny” (I am, if nothing else, a supportive and loving daughter)
Secondly, he does not part easily with cash and recently took his broken vacuum cleaner apart and put it back together three times in an attempt to fix it. He didn’t succeed but I suspect he persevered due to a determination not to let it beat him.
So you can imagine how shocked I was when he phoned to tell me that he had been into the Apple Store for the 15th time but this time had come out with a new computer, printer and tutorial sessions for both him and his wife and a credit card receipt for over £1200.
Bless him though, he is delighted with it and his amazement at the most basic features borders on childlike. He told me with great excitement that you can have ‘bookmarks’ at the top of your page, without them being in a folder AND you can adjust the volume either with the ‘ooo-ge-me-flip’ on the screen (translation: cursor) or two keys on the keyboard! Well worth the money then …Mmmm?
Actually I am relieved that I can now deflect all questions with a breezy “I know nothing about Macbooks.” I do, however feel extremely sorry for the staff at the Apple Store who will have to provide hour long tutorials for the next year as both of them are armed with notebooks (old fashioned paper and pen ones) to write down any questions as they think of them.
Really, I am just plain old jealous and will no doubt visit him to look lovingly at it, thinking how it’s potential to shine is wasted in their hands but I am also a little bit proud of my stubborn, stuck-in-his-way Dad for embracing the 21st century even at the age of 64. I may even ask him to print me an R85 just to test him.