Oh Happy Day!

Written by Kelly Baker

Oh happy day, I have my own computer now. I mean, I had one before, but it was old and slow and upstairs. This is a LAPTOP. And as such, I’m sitting here with it on my lap, in the comfort of my living room, on the couch. Splendid days.

The old computer was getting slow. As in, you should probably turn it on in the morning before leaving for work so it has time to “warm up”if you are planning on using it in the evening. If you want to down load pictures, add an extra 45 minutes to that. For actual internet use, do not attempt, unless you’ve taken your blood pressure pills.

Santa brought me this new machine. It was a Christmas miracle. I guess my husband got tired of me yelling downstairs “TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER!! YOU’RE HOGGING ALL THE INTERNET POWER!” I have no way of knowing if this is a factual thing that can really happen, or if it’s like not listening to your car radio in order to conserve gas. My computery friends are probably shaking their heads saying “That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.”

Anyhoo, this new laptop has a bunch of stuff on it that I’m not entirely sure of. For instance, this writing program that I’m in, is this the new version of Word? Or is it a crazy knock off that is just similar? I downloaded the real Word on it just to be certain. So now I may have two Words. Somewhere in the world Bill Gates is reading this and having an aneurysm. Connecting to the internet is not the same. Up until today I thought the Edge just played guitar for U2, but now I come to find out he also works for Microsoft and came installed on my computer. I haven’t found Bono, Larry or Adam yet.

During the setup I was introduced to my new personal assistant, Cortana. She’s fun to talk to. I asked her if she knew Siri. She said “I know her, but I don’t KNOW her, know her.” Haha! I asked Cortana if she baby sits. She weasled around that question by asking if I wanted to play the Holiday Movie Trivia Game. (Of course!) So we played instead of addressing the issue at hand. With tactical abilities like that, I suspect Cortana must have a background in politics.

There are new pictures at the bottom of the screen for me to look at and ponder. We have: a gift bag, what looks like an opened cardboard box, a circle (that’s where Cortana lives, like a genie in a bottle) and a rectangle with small skinny rectangles on either side of it. I don’t know what any of them do. There is also a window that takes you to a bigger and more confusing place filled with internet wonders with headings like: “Life at a glance” and “Play and Explore.” It has pictures and boxes of suggestions, none of which I’ll ever use.

The desktop portion of this new computer looks forlorn and empty. There are only three icons on it and the only one I recognize is the recycle bin. I tried to add an internet shortcut icon but the Edge won’t let me. He’s insistent that I only connect through him. He must not want me to clutter up the computer. I wish he would come and help de-clutter the toys in my house, and maybe the junk drawer in the kitchen. I asked Cortana to go to the store for me but she just said ok and showed me the picture of the gift bag. You’re supposed to be my personal assistant Cortana! Assist! We’ll be talking about this on your next performance review. And don’t try to side track me with any fun games either! I’m on to you, sister.
According to the tutorial, which I’ve taken several times, I can now draw on internet pages in a John Madden-like manner. Naturally, I tried it out. Where has this been all my life?? First I pulled up a picture of Miley Cyrus and drew clothes on her. Then I found a picture of all the Kardashians and gave them handlebar mustaches. All of them. Even the one who used to have a mustache naturally and now doesn’t. I’m equal opportunity when it comes to web graffiti. Then I drew a picture of myself standing beside David Beckham. It was primitive but I could tell it was me by the green eyes and sloppy hair.

When I finished day dreaming and scribbling on people, I decided to get to know Cortana better. I asked her where she lived. “In the Cloud. Whatever that means” she said. (I must have been wrong about her living inside the little circle.) I asked if she ever went on vacation. She showed me pictures of beaches and resorts but didn’t tell me if she’d ever actually been to any. She didn’t seem too chatty and it was Saturday night. She probably had a hot date with the Edge.