Technology for Dummies

It’s spring break, and although school is not in session, it appears I cannot escape student interaction.  I was at my parents’ house a couple of days ago, visiting my sister and nephew, and I met one of my dad’s former students.

My father is a retired principal, but he keeps in touch with several of his former students. This particular student- let’s call him Carter- is a computer genius. He graduated a couple of years ago, and is my dad’s go-to guy for all computer/tech needs. My sister and I visited with him, while he worked his magic on a couple of computers.  When we realized just how smart he was, we picked his brain for information. (Eventually I ran home to get my iPad, because the following conversation was too good not to document.)  Keep in mind I only understood about 20% of what he was saying…

Me: “So Carter. Maybe you can help me out.  I need a new phone.  Mine is a dinosaur, and I need something a little fancier.  What would you suggest?”

Carter: “What do you want on it?”

Me: “I need a full keyboard for texting, and I want to be able to check my Facebook.”

Carter: “And?”

Me: “Well, I want to be able to check my Twitter.”

Carter: “And?”

Me: “I have a couple of blogs, and I’d like to be able to put up posts, and check comments.”

Carter: “And?”

Me: “I want to be able to take pictures and upload them to Facebook and Twitter.”

Carter: “And… keep going…”

Me:  “What else is there?  That’s about it.”

Carter:  “Really? Well that’s not even a challenge.  Get a droid.  You want a droid, but it has to be the 2.1.  Hers (points to my sister who is sitting  right next to him) is the crappy version.  Mine (pulls out his phone and uses the “cell phone kickstand thingy” to prop it up on the counter) Mine, I can go 400ft below ground and it still picks up its signal.  100% satellite reception.”

Me: “Was that one of the selling point they used when you bought it?”

Carter:  (Not amused.) “No.  I went on a class trip to an old military training center and we went underground in a steel elevator, and I never lost reception.   I even called my mom and everything.”


Carter: “Nobody bothers me at home.  I have a steel door in my house. I just go in my room and block everyone out. Then I jam their cell phone signals so only mine works.”

Me:  “Nice.  Now the question is, how can I do that in my classroom?”

Carter:  “Oh, that’s easy.  You just need to go to Radio Shack and buy a…”

Me:  “-I’m kidding.”


Carter: “Hey Dr. Lewis, you know James (another computer genius who attended school with Carter)? He got in trouble. He violated Microsoft laws.  He tried to turn the computer into a Mac, is what he did.  Using the Windows program. And do you want to know how I figured that out?  It’s because I put a Trojan virus on his computer. (I’m sure the details were a bit more involved, but I was completely lost in his computer terms and whatnot.)  Now, if he gets caught doing any work for any corporation that uses Microsoft, they will get a huge fine. I’m a Microsoft partner, and I had him blacklisted.”

“Oh, and that teacher at the other place where I used to take classes, he also hates me. He just really pissed me off. I got him back though.  I took all his files off his computer and sent them to a server overseas.  All of his files are now in a country where it’s illegal to export any digital files. A place where they don’t care about the U.S.”  *Note to self: Don’t piss off Carter.

At some point in the conversation he notices that my sister can’t get any reception bars on her cell phone.  He grabs it out of her hand, pushes a couple of buttons, then scolds her, “Oh My God!  You have not updated your PRL Have You?!?”

Later when he diagnoses my sister’s computer problems, he shares with her the following conclusion:  “The computer is new.  That’s why I keep calling it brand spanking new.  That one (points to my mom’s laptop) is old, hers (points to me) is ancient Egypt, but yours is brand spanking new.  The reason why it doesn’t work, is a combination of what Best Buy did to it, and the fact that you are computer illiterate.”

Side note: I did buy a new droid cell phone yesterday.  I spent 10 minutes trying to figure out how to check my text messages.


12 responses to “Technology for Dummies

  1. Wow, Miss Lewis are you single? If so, get Carter’s number. I’d like see a post of what a first date with him would be like. Please. LOL

    • Mrscampbell- There’s a scary thought. Besides, he might catch on to me if I bring my iPad to record the conversation in all its glory… I suppose I could wear a wire… My sister did inquire about his dating situation. He told her, “I TRY not to bring my computer with me.”

  2. So, technically, he did not reveal his status. I wonder what he would have to say about my blackberry torch. I bet he’s a be a real dandy to be on a date with. It would have to involve beer or vodka, or some ‘sickness’ to get out of there, lol.

    • Mrscampgell- I’d be carefully showing him any piece of technolgy and asking for his opinion. At first he told me I was okay becuase I had an iPad, then he found out it was a 1st addition. His head about exploded when he found out I hadn’t plugged it in for a while and was 11 updates behind.

      • This is wound a LITTLE too tight, sheesh. Now that you mentioned updates, I need to update my blackberry. Oops!

  3. Haha, I have two brothers with a computer company. Anything from IT solutions right down to development of new programs. I’m not clueless when it comes to computers, but trust me, half they time they talk about stuff even I can’t understand. Dating a guy like that would be pure torture. 😛

    PS. Like the new site, though it could use some colour…. 🙂

    • Misscoffeeaddict- I don’t even want to imagine what a date with this kid would be like- and, since I’m a good 15 years older than him, I can feel pretty comfortable leaving that expeience to someone else.

    • Misscoffeeaddict- No worries. I’ve known for a while now that you were a weirdo. 🙂 JK As for the layout, I’m not 100% sold on this one. (No footer… can’t figure out how to get google analytics to work) 😦 Don’t be surprised if the site looks different in a couple of days.

      • Guilty as charged. Won’t even try denying that part. 😛

        Hmmm…you have to be able make Google Analytics work somehow. I’ll play around a bit and let you know if I can figure anything out (I’m a geek at heart and hate having unanswered questions hanging around…if I want to know the answer I want to know the damn answer.)

  4. I know I might be late to the party, but it is guys like this that give tech nerds a bad name. Either he was trying to impress you guys by using technical terms, or he has terrible social skills. You should always speak at the level of knowledge of your audience if you want to be fully understood. (I realize that original meanings and context can be lost in translation over dictation, so ignore my comment if I’m off base.)

    His story about the guy at Microsoft sounds fallacious as well. If he did in fact have permission and jurisdiction to install a trojan (like a back door to a computer), then I have lost more faith in Microsoft. But again, it sounds like he was trying to sound intelligent.

    If I am reading too much into this encounter then I apologize. It just saddens me when tech nerds get a bad name by people like this.

    • Nvrzoso- Thanks for reading, and thanks for joining the party! I figured out pretty early on, that it would be best to not put a lof of credence into what he was saying… And as for the social skills, yes; they were subpar at best. Sadly, that’s what prompted me to write down everything he said. He was a character.

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