Come on, machine...

We’re switching to a new version of WordPress software here at Chicago Now. It will be more secure, and it will do more for us, but for now, it’s worse than trying to play a new piece of music. In some ways, it’s like going from the ways I’ve known for decades to play my cello to the “easier” ways of playing my dad’s old violin. (I play on my cello; I play with the violin.)

I hear and read people telling me it’s easier to play the violin. Well, it takes less pressure to get a sound out of it, that’s true. But it’s as if the notes, one PC key’s width apart on the cello, are suddenly like the tiny groups of icons in the new software.

Like the repetition of scales and notes, repeated paragraphs and headlines (the new software wants to call them titles — er, no) will teach me where things are. So I will be playing with words a bit more in coming weeks to pick up new things to do with the new software. Keeping things concise ought to help… I hope the Writers’ Room takes note of that.

I picked up the habit of calling computers “machine” when I was first getting used to them. Thus, I get stuck and talk to them like characters in old movies used to talk to their cows or cars — only it’s not “Come on, Bessie,” it’s “Come on, machine.”

I don’t like to think of this gizmo as anything more of a character than that. Maybe that will come with another upgrade.

Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook.


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  • Thank you and well-said!
    This new software is very hard to work with--keeping things short is definitely the way to go for now.
    How did you get the categories?
    Thanks again!

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    Thank you. Categories (for me, the same ones I'd set up before) show up on the right under Post. Repetition is definitely making things easier to deal with -- this morning, the right column was open to Post along with the text. Keep trying, my friend!

  • Thank you!

  • Yes! I found them, just where you said they would be. Thank you, thank you, my friend!

  • In reply to Weather Girl:

    You're welcome. It wasn't so hard describing where they were -- I looked directly at the screen as I wrote.

  • Just when you think
    You are learning the craft,
    They change these instructions
    And give you the shaft.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Well put. I was thinking I had the elevator instead. But repetition is helping me build my way back out of the shaft.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Taking about the shaft--just mention the hospital. I'm sure you went through this recently, but I just got out and got discharge papers like "call doctor immediately and schedule an appointment in the next week" and Dr. isn't taking appointments for a month, or I called for an eye appointment and they said the best I could get is 15 miles away, and then I got a call back saying that that doctor wasn't available, but a local one was tomorrow. What a piece of stool sample (which I wouldn't be able to give because the hospital constipated me).

  • In reply to jack:

    Some day I'll have a medical answer ready the way I do when I'm checking out at the grocery with just milk, juice and pop, and the cashier says "How are you?" I reply "Thirsty, but I found help." We need medical answers like that one.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    One of the doctors, whom I don't think was very competent, came in and asked, "How are you today?" to which my response was "you tell me."

  • In reply to jack:

    That's a good one! I hope you got the answer you wanted.

  • Is a cellphone a phone or a computer, and is it really smart?

    And don't get me into what Windows 10 tried to do to my computer. I had to uninstall it.

  • In reply to jack:

    I see people doing so much more than just calling that I am beginning to understand "cell" (U.S.) and "mobile" (U.K) replacing phone. I have a phone that's just mildly clever, and I've had people ask me how I can stand to text on it for so long.
    I answer "I can't. That's the point." I text at my computer much more, or even -- gasp -- write letters.

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