[DWJ] Petition on school libraries

Minnow minnow at belfry.org.uk
Sat Jan 6 17:29:34 EST 2007

>On 4/1/07 22:42, "Minnow" <minnow at belfry.org.uk> wrote:
>> You did know that the Downing Street site tries to put cookies into your
>> computer, or some such?  This causes mine to crash -- hard to do to an
>> ancient Mac, but it does it.  One of the reasons I don't do web.  I was
>> quite surprised that I could get to their site at all, actually, because
>> what usually happens if I take Netscape to a Guvmint site is a simple blank
>> page and a sort of perpetual attempt to do something, which goes on until I
>> close down Netscape altogether and wander away in disgust to play patience
>> or something.
>> (I have this theory that the Netscape I use is so old that when faced with
>> a cookie it thinks it ought to try to bake it.)

and Elizabeth Bentley joined the throng of people who can't quite believe
the nature of the relationship I have with most computers: I regard them as
an occasionally-necessary evil, on the whole..

>I'm sorry for the crash. No, I wasn't aware of the cookie problem, but it
>does sound as though it is a problem for your Netscape which, as you say, is
>inherent in using the web. Dare I suggest that you think about buying a new
>Mac? I love my new one as much as I loved all the older ones.

I don't *buy* computers!  Good gracious heavens to Betsy, The Idea!

No, what happens is that eventually one or other of my
computer-enthusiastic friends gets fed up with my using "my computer won't
do that" as an excuse for going on doing things the way I want to, and
gives me something more modern in a mildly exasperated spirit.  (This
machine superseded one on which I was running WordPerfect out of DOS, I
think it was called a 186 or some such number, which was given to me by
John Clute so that I would be able to read the files he sent me by
snailmail that took up an entire floppy disk each; I liked that machine
because it came complete with the Clute macro collection and a dictionary
to which he had added his own selection of Outlandish Words, and they were
wonderful....  But it couldn't manage email at all.)

There is a Thing lurking under the piano downstairs that has all sorts of
modern bells-and-whistles abilities -- I think it even has something more
recent than MacOS 8 on it.  Probably sooner or later the person who rended
it (or reft it or rent it or whatever one does to sever the link between a
man and his cyber-buddy) from a Very Important New Author In The SF Field
(who has enough interest in computers to have upgraded all of his own
accord) in order to put it there will turn up and insist on bringing it up
to my study and possibly even plugging it in to the mains.  Given another
few years I may even start to use it, tentatively and only until the first
time it crashes without provocation, at which time I'll go back to this one
that *doesn't crash* except if it is prodded with a nasty net-stick or
allowed to get so full that it tells me it has "1.1MB available", at which
point it doesn't really like moving from ClarisWorks to Eudora and has to
be restarted between programs.  But the laptop with about forty times the
speed and capacity and such that this Quadra has, given to me about four
years ago, is still sitting in a bag behind me looking like a green Habitat
lavatory seat and acting as a backup storage only, so I don't anticipate
making any stupendous changes any time Real Soon Now...

Maybe I could use the laptop as a dedicated Net and Web and email machine.
Only it would probably want to do HTML, and I find that a deeply offensive
and impolite thing to inflict on anyone, so I'd have to find out how to
train it not to, and that would be a whole nother complication in my life.

Memo to self, really must turn on the laptop some time this year and see
whether it is still working.  Memo to self, really must find the charger
for the laptop.  Memo to self, really must go through the cupboard under
the stairs some time.

>Thanks for trying.

I didn't try very hard really.  I mean, I could have written down the thing
you posted, onto the back of an old envelope, and gone out and borrowed
someone else's computer to go and do stuff on that website, or something,
but it was raining at the time.  :-)


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