my green vermont

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A Pox On Updates and Upgrades!

Welcome to My Green Vermont - A Blog by Eulalia Benejam Cobb.
By Eulalia Benejam Cobb

My computer and I have a marriage of convenience rather than passion  While I\’m grateful for its services, I don\’t ask very  much of it, and in return I expect it not to ask too much of me.  Periodically, however, our privacy is invaded by intruders from the digital empyrean, who insist on upgrading or updating our relationship.

My new Canon printer/scanner and I, for example, have reached a shaky truce where images are concerned.  It mostly ignores the unsaturated colors in my drawings, preferring to reproduce only vivid hues like crimson and ultramarine and weird orange.  I, on my part, refrain from hurling it out the window.  Originally, I could push an \”adjustments\” button on the Canon menu designed to give me the illusion that I could bring the scanned image a tiny bit closer to the original.

Recently, however, some digital entity decided that instead of letting me access the \”adjustments\” button directly from the screen on which the scanned image appears, it would be good spiritual practice for me to have to search for an intermediate screen from which to improve the looks of my scanned drawings.  Did the digital entity ask my opinion on this?  Did he or she at least send me a warning to that effect?  Not at all.  Instead, for a couple of weeks I beat myself up for missing a button or an icon or something that must surely be in front of my eyes.

Or take Blogger, and its system for uploading images into posts.  In the beginning, there was a window that would pop up when you clicked on the image icon, and a browser button, and some choices about the size and placement of the image.  No sooner had I gotten used to that system, than a different kind of window started popping up, one that offered no choices as to size or placement.  Instead, these choices appeared only if you clicked on the image after it appeared in the post–but nobody told you this.  Being somewhat flexible and willing to learn (as if I had any choice) I adjusted to the new system.  And then, yesterday, I clicked on the usual image icon and lo, the old window popped up, with its usual choices of size and image right there.  I gave it a friendly but reserved greeting, as I do not expect it to stay around.

Whenever little windows pop up announcing that I have been favored with an update or an upgrade while I was sleeping, I grit my teeth.  I resent these intrusions..  It feels as if, in the night, someone has come in and rearranged  my kitchen drawers.  Suddenly, my hand-operated can opener is gone, replaced by an electric model which now resides not in the drawer but in the third cabinet on the right.  The trusty vegetable peeler is gone too, replaced with a carbon-bladed paring knife encased in a leather sheath.  And my favorite wooden spoon, veteran of a thousand stews, which used to live in a crock by the stove, has been exiled to the drawer among the serving utensils.

Who are the people making these changes, and who gave them the right to barge into my house, my study, my computer and change stuff?  Are they so self-involved that they don\’t realize that their idea of \”better\” doesn\’t necessarily coincide with mine?  Won\’t they let me rest even a little while in my minor but hard-won computer competence?

There is no answer, no mercy.  And in the silences between the click of my laptop\’s keys, I can hear the digital entities laughing.

12 Responses

  1. HIlarious and oh so true. In other circumstances I would suggest that you take a digital photo of your images, adjust the color in photoshop, and then upload them thus giving you much more control of the color, but to do so would (obviously) be tantmount to encouraging adultery and or bigamy in your digital relationships(depending on how you look at it and which one you are looking at)and that would be wrong. Plus I doubt you would find happiness with photoshop either…BTW I find I have to hit \”post comment\” at least three times to get a nod of recognition from Blogger; no idea if that means you are getting multiple copies of my comments but heaven save you if you are!

  2. Amen to that. I think even my computer resents these upgrades. We're both going along in our (familiar) functioning rut and suddenly some program gets updated. All the other programs get disgruntled and kinks show up. Next thing I know, I'm told I have to \”re-load\” my security software because even that can't figure out how to adjust to the upgrade. Somewhere there's probably a \”button\” that disables auto updates. But where, oh where?

  3. Elizabeth, thanks for the Photoshop hint–some day when I'm feeling very brave and have lots of time, I'll try it. And I'm told that you're not the only one who's having trouble leaving comments, but I hugely appreciate your perseverance!

  4. Diane at is very helpful with blogger stuff and is happy to help people, I know that crazyasaloom was also having trouble and Di helped her out with the photo problem too.

  5. I visualize a war of techies in their rooms filled with machines who can tweak at will these different applications that we are counting on. They need to change, compete, outdo one another; a battle for supremacy in this new frontier.Don't let them get you!

  6. Dona M, yes, and we are the innocent civilians who get blasted by their bombs! (For example, why don't my responses to people's comments appear immediately below the pertinent comment? I answer each comment in the order in which it comes in….)

  7. Be very brave: NOW is the time — \”Elizabeth, thanks for the Photoshop hint–some day when I'm feeling very brave and have lots of time, I'll try it\”.It was almost 65 here today and I walked 2.5 miles and then did Pilates but if I were \”home-bound\”, I would spend all day playing with Photoshop, Picasa etc. They seem to be real fun and I bet you will get with it as soon as you figure out the \”language\”, your specialty.

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