Famous last words. Well, maybe not famous, but I bet a lot of people have ended up needing skills they swore they would never use. I granted my math teachers the possibility that I would use algebra and perhaps some basic trig and geometry. I slogged through all the calculus simply because I had to do it to get a degree in chemistry. Sure some chemists needed calculus, but not biochemists. I was mostly right, but not all the way. I’ve had to use some of it, or at least understand the derivation of some formula.
As a high school elective I took one year of computer science, which consisted of computer history and programming. After high school I figured I simply didn’t have time to keep up with such a rapidly changing field and also pursue my career. Besides, when would I need programming anyway? *groan* Yep, you guessed it. Over the last two years I’ve found myself wishing more and more that I had added a programming minor to my degree. If it was just the logistics of creating a website for my writing I’d chalk it up to stuff that you pay people to do. In my case I get reminded on an almost daily basis of my lack of programming skills while working on the modeling computers at school. A program crashes and spits out an error. All I can do is curse and threaten it with a hammer. I know just enough to be dangerous or impress a less computer savvy boss when it comes to Windows, and I can get by on a Mac (maybe, with a great deal of cursing probably). Put me on a system that isn’t all point and click (Linux)and I start wishing I knew what the hell a shell was and why I’m in one.
On the bright side, or maybe it’s the facepalm side, I haven’t decided, the IT department isn’t much more adept at non-point and click systems. The tech who got assigned my case, a re-boot error screen which is similar to the blue screen of death, had to go ask people in his department if ANYONE knew ANYTHING about Linux. In fact, he asked me, “Uh, how did y’all even get a Linux system?” I replied that it’s been used for quite some time, but my inner smart ass thought, “Someone bought it. DUH!”
The tech who FINALLY responded informed me that he believes I have a corrupted file system and need to login with the root password to access the system tools. I found it humorous that he tacked “I cannot commit to a quick fix and cannot say for certain what is wrong.” Really? And here I thought he could use telepathic powers to tap into the computer and ask it what hurt. Diagnosing and fixing a computer often requires actually accessing it, unless of course the problem is PEBKAC.
So stand back everyone, I’m gonna do it myself. If you hear a bang, it’s the computer “accidentally” hitting the floor.