One of the joys of being over 60 (along with being able to travel free on buses I don’t have time to wait for, being written off as a bloodsucking pensioner by Gordon Ramsay, and humiliations like being offered seats on trains by heavily pregnant women unsure as to whether I’m likely to survive until Earl’s Court), is being patronised by people who haven’t been alive for as long as I’ve been working in IT.
Actually, 50-year-olds don’t have it much better: a publisher in the UK called Babani has a range of books on IT-related subjects like the Internet Guide for the Older Generation “Especially written for the Over 50s…It is written in plain English and avoids technical jargon wherever possible.” Perhaps it was written by the child in a cellphone shop in Reading who offered to show me how to change the battery in the mobile phone I was in the process of buying, since “even he” found it a bit challenging. Perhaps I shouldn’t have hit him with my work Blackberry: it hasn’t worked quite so well since.
Anyway, thanks to Corrine for directing my attention to this gem, telling me all about a “New PC developed specifically for the over 60’s” which apparently has just six clickable buttons (that sounds good, because it’ll give me a few fingers left over to count the hours till nurse brings my tea and biscuits), is based on Linux (this isn’t Grannyx, at last, is it?) and seventeen video tutorials introduced by Valerie Singleton.
Val was apparently born in 1937, which makes her even older than I am, and used to be one of the presenters of a BBC programme called Blue Peter, but has, it seems, recently moved on to talking down to those of us who’ve now attained our second childhood.
She explained to the BBC news that she doesn’t think that people understand computers.
“I’ve been using a computer for quite some time and I don’t understand everything,” she said.
“Every time I learn a new thing to do on my computer I have to write it down so that I can remember it.”
So I guess using a text editor or word processor isn’t one of the things she’s learned to do yet. Unless she had a senior moment and lost that particular piece of paper.
Hmm. Looking round my own office, maybe I shouldn’t be the first to cast that particular stone.
David Harley CISSP FBCS CITP
Chief Operations Officer, AVIEN