Thursday, December 18, 2014

An Encomium to Two Electronic Saints

This post is dedicated to two individuals: Larry Strob and Dr. Joe Berdewelle. (For reasons to become plain later, I’ve twiddled with their last names.)

On another blog site (, I described my vicious war with a new Dell Inspiron One computer and told how two very unlikely guardian angels came to my rescue. I identified the three parties involved in this fiasco and subsequent rescue as Electronic Guardian Angel Larry (or EGAL) and Electronic Guardian Angel Joe (or EGAB … I couldn't pronounce EGAJ, so I played on his loquaciousness for an acronym). The third party was me … the Zinc Penny (i.e., worthless).

During a time of stress and looming deadlines, these two stepped up and saw me through the trials and tribulations (read “disasters”) of ordering and getting a new computer up and running when my old standby spasmed and threatened to die. Actually, it was two computers because the first one, while determined to be absolutely sound, wouldn’t interface with Word’s software, also declared to be faultless. Faultless, schmaltless. I needed a machine that wasn’t so uppity. One that would do what it was told to do. My experience with the second or replacement computer was only a little less stressful. It was an 8.1. What else need I say?

For several months, things have been going reasonably well, and I’ve only had to call on EGAL rarely and EGAB, occasionally. Because of this ongoing this drama, EGAB has become familiar with what I do and how I do it. As a holder of five academic degrees, one of them a PhD, he was appalled at how inefficient I was going about such mundane things as research and editing. Nothing would do but I should start using Dragon Naturally Speaking. Well, I wrote a blog post about that horrific experience, as well. (See post of August 28, 2014.)

More recently, Dr. Joe (or EGAB) enlightened me on how much a second monitor would benefit me in these pursuits. Finally convinced the value a second monitor outweighed the damage to my budget, I ordered an HP LV2311 Monitor. It arrived the other day, and of course, Dr. Joe had to set it up for me. He did a great job, too. My computer sits on the right and the new screen sits to the left. The only problem was that the cursor wouldn’t go left to the HP monitor. In order to utilize the screen, I had to go all the way around the barn and exit the computer screen on the right. Awkward to say the least. Confusing is more like it. Well, it took EGAL about five minutes to fix that problem. Now I’m making maximum (for me, that is) use of the HP screen.

After reviewing all of this, I’ve decided to promote my two lifeguards to electronic sainthood. After all, they’ve performed more than the requisite number of miracles involving electrons, not the least of which is that I am no longer terrified of my computer. I still approach it with trepidation and anxiety, but the abject fear is gone. Heck, I’ve even punched some buttons without knowing their function. I’ve soared through the innards of this Dell Inspiron as I have no other. (WARNING: I consider anything over six inches off the floor to be soaring.)

So EGAL has become Saint Larry Strob, while EGAB has evolved into Saint Dr. Joe Berdewelle (or should that be Dr. Saint Joe Berdewelle?). I have to admit that at least one of them has a somewhat tarnished halo. I’ve been sitting nearby while Saint Dr. Joe’s been working on a particular problem and learned a couple of new words. I found out the hard way they were not to be used in polite company.

I have even bumped my own status up a notch. I’ve evolved from the Zinc Penny to the Copper Penny. Why not? I can even speak computerese now: Boot up, Interface, Hardware, Software, Dongles, Toolbar, Taskbar (just don’t ask which is which). Pretty good, huh?

Earlier, I said that I had fiddled around with my two Saints’ last names. Oh, they can recognize themselves if they read this, but they are of such generous heart that I didn’t want them to be inundated by a host of know-nothings such as I am … er, was. But the decision wasn’t altogether altruistic. After all, if everyone called on them, they wouldn’t have time to bail me out when future problems arise.

Beneath my feeble attempts at humor, I hope these two guys read this blog and discern the depth and sincerity of my appreciation for all their assistance. Kudos to two electronic Saints.

As always, everyone … thanks for reading.


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