Everyone says that this is an information age. All magazines and newspapers speak of advances in this field. Not to be left behind in this field, my husband, daughter and I too decided to invest in a Personal Computer ( P.C.) . We put in our precious savings into a 486 with a 1 GB HDD with 8 MB RAM and a SVGA colour monitor… Till that day, all these words meant next to nothing to us. But this acquisition propelled our family to the forefront of the information revolution. My husband had more ‘byte’ among his peers, my daughter boasted of painting in ‘Paint Brush’ in her school and I gained an upper hand in the Ladies club by dropping words like ‘word wrap’ and ‘screen savers’. We were eager learners. We grabbed all the Software like cones of ‘Softy’ ice-cream.
Time flies in the salubrious climate of Wellington. As fast as a Pentium 200 MHz machine. We had gained some proficiency and felt almost on top of the ‘PC World’. Our daughter was now quite adept at various programs. She had her own files and directories. My husband worked on his dissertation and presentations. I, too, was getting over my initial awe of the machine and was comfortable with Windows 95. Things like ‘ Viruses and Bugs’ seemed like aliens from a different world.
And then it happened! All of a sudden disaster struck! Our dear precious computer was infected with a ‘Virus’. At the flick of a button, the computer seemed to have lost its power of number crunching. The monitor showed unintelligent gibberish. It seemed as if an intelligent man had suddenly turned senile. The entire house was depressed. As if a close relative was diagnosed with a terminal disease. My husband stared at the screen for hours together. My daughter cried and cried. I said a special prayer that all would be well. But there seemed to be no remedy in sight.
We looked around for help. There were many ‘Doctors’ and some ‘Quacks’. Some had sympathy for our plight. Some had a sarcastic smile for our ignorance of anti virus software. Help came from unexpected quarters in the form of an anti virus programme. This programme cured the ‘infection’, again at the flick of a button! That is technology for us. Our PC was smiling and talking to us again. The ‘virus attack’ had strengthened the bond in the family. But, thereafter, we were spending more time with the PC than with each other. With the fear of a virus gone, we were freely experimenting with new software, interacting with more advanced programs and learning things faster than ever before. The horizons of the Computer world opened up for us only after the Virus attack.
A wise man has said that it is never too late to learn a new thing. I am sure he had a bug in his PC. And that bug taught him wisdom. The beauty of today’s technology is that it is user friendly. Our children learn faster because they have no inhibitions about spoiling the system. Let us all make the best use of science to broaden our horizons. It is never too late!