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August 3, 2012

Donít Forget Pencils When Invaders Strike

Harry M. Covert

I know some old saws and it’s a good thing to recall some of them every now and then, particularly in this age of sloppy talk, slovenly dressing and “expertise” in all areas.


There are lots of people who think they have a “celestial” calling. Add a laptop to that and we think we are modern day Walter Winchells, Drew Pearsons, Walter Cronkites and Sheilah Grahams.


Yes, this is “the first day of the rest of our life” “Anybody can kill anybody.” “I don’t like to distort facts to support a theory.”


A few days ago, disaster struck. My dependable laptop computer, ever so faithful in allowing my “fingers to do the walking” over the keyboard with scintillating words and phrases crashed. Kaput. A half-century old manual Royal typewriter, one of my first loves, still stands in an honored place, but it’s simply not effective for electronic mail, cruising the world-wide web (Internet) or watching new and old movies.


“Leave no stone unturned.” Deadlines approached and missed. The laptop was indeed dead and another had to be found. Three days turned to four days and finally, normalcy returned with another, light computer. I was fearful I might have to resort to some form of graphite – a No.2 yellow pencil, either a new roller ball or ball point pen, or even a fountain pen.


Of course my editor wouldn’t accept a hand-written column. He wouldn’t even be able to decipher my scribbling and that’s what scribes are about. Newspaper people in the old days were referred to as scribes and some were more than well acquainted with Pharisees.


I have solved the problems of the crashing computer. The technicians found over 38 viruses called Trojans. The files were corrupted and destroyed. Several years’ worth of files and documents were erased. Fortunately some old columns found their way to a thumb drive.


Teaching old dogs new tricks is quite possible. We all have to learn new words, enjoy bigger and better things and remember there is life after crashes, taking it one day at a time.


I mentioned the Walter Winchells, Drew Pearsons, Sheilah Grahams and Walter Cronkites previously. Winchell, Pearson, Graham and Cronkite were columnists and news people of days past before the explosions of cable television and radio. None would stand a chance today because they would not be pretty enough, didn’t have long blond hair, pouty lips, playboy bodies, or scriptwriters for themselves.


As for me this week, my computer is in its rightful place, a pencil and notebook are in my pocket and Bing and Google are in search mode. I can tell you excitedly that Mozilla Firefox is watching “www” while Norton is on guard with powerful weapons at the ready.


The lesson is simply to backup files and stop the invaders from infecting Frederick.


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