I PRIDE myself on the fact that, here at Bartie Hall, we are at the cutting edge of communications technology.
At the press of a button, I can tune into the latest Dow Jones, the FTSE, the Bourse, the Nikkei Index and William Hill Online Betting, to name but a few.
However, all of this technology has to be maintained and I have learnt that what worked yesterday will probably be redundant tomorrow. Such is life.
My own expertise can be summed up by the computer acronym WOLF – Write Once, Lose Forever.
It is for this reason that, accepting the rather narrow technological boundaries of my own proficiency, I have, for many years, retained the services of a computer consultancy.
It would be churlish of me not to congratulate the many consultants who have visited themselves upon Bartie Hall as they have dragged me from an early Sinclair to my current pre-release version of Windows 9.
I am old enough to remember Keith who installed Windows 1.0 back in the 80s; then, in 1990 there was NT and the delightful Derek who configured everything so beautifully; in the late 90s Windows 95 launched Bartie Industries onto the Internet with the help of Graham, a technocrat supreme.
Every flower in the techno garden was blooming – until Colin arrived.
Normally, when I call the consultants, they send me someone who (a) is able to walk without dragging his knuckles on the ground and (b) manages to hold meaningful conversations with other sentient beings.
This time they sent me Colin.
When he pitched up at my techno hub he gave the impression of someone entering an ancient history museum for the first time.
His undeclared scorn for my installation was palpable. Paradoxically, he combed his hair in a style that would have been fashionable in 1973.
In no more than nanoseconds Colin declared the entire configuration redundant and started downloading a wagonload of software, ordering additional drivers, servers, processors and other items that defy description.
In short order my perfectly harmonious communications centre was reduced to utter chaos.
It took something less than three days for me to disengage Colin and to persuade the consultancy to send me someone who, whilst being computer literate, was also of this planet.
The moral of the story is clear.
Drop of the hard stuff
YOU will be aware that Newton’s law of universal gravitation states that every point mass in the universe attracts every other point mass with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.
Or, to put it more succinctly, if you let go of a glass half a metre above a granite tiled floor the glass will shatter into a million pieces (the granite floor will be unaffected).
In prosaic terms this is a damn nuisance. I cannot recall exactly how many glasses I have lost in this manner but it would be greatly appreciated if Mr Newton, next time he decides to define an ‘interesting phenomenon’, would concentrate on something that doesn’t cause collateral damage.
I blame him and his annoying gravity for unnecessarily inflating the residual cost of drinking Remy Martin.
And it doesn’t stop there! Fumble with a collar stud and you will waste the next 20 minutes scrabbling under the chest of drawers in search of the brass rivet, time that could have been spent more profitably.
A slice of toast escaping the company of one’s breakfast carajillo will always travel earthwards, usually butter-side down, and more time is wasted persuading the housemaid to clean up the mess.
All in all, I regard gravity as a complete waste of time and energy. I am aware that things would float about without it but judicious applications of Velcro would go a long way to minimising the inconvenience.
I am also aware that my grasp of natural science may not be what it should be but at my age I am keen to preserve my collection of Baccarat glass and gravity isn’t helping one bit.
Once upon a time there was a concept known as wisdom. This could be summed up as: I’ve been using PCs since the 80s so, you may know lots of recent stuff, but I probably know more about stuff in general than you do, so shut up and listen to me kiddo!”