Computer Phobias

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I Have a Thing About Touch Screen Interfaces

As one who has been working with computers since around 1964, I have developed a number of phobias based on problems I have had.

One of my main computer phobias sharply separates me from the millennial generation: I distrust and in fact despise touch screen interfaces. My new Lexmark MC3224 has a touch screen panel for commands that is sheer torture to navigate, unless I had fingers the size of a newborn lemur’s.

The absolute worst is a touch-screen “keyboard” on a 2” x 3” touchscreen that makes it virtually impossible to avoid fat-fingering errors.

A corollary is that I refuse, for the time being, to buy a smart phone. My 74-year-old eyes are not up to deciphering a micro-screen, so I will not even try.

There are certain brands that I avoid because of run-ins, particularly printers. Some people love Epsons and Brothers, but I avoid them like the plague. I have stuck by Hewlett-Packard for many years, and it was unusual for me to buy a Lexmark. (By the way, it’s still working!)

The same logic applies to software. After hours of rage attempting to update Norton Anti-Virus, I have consigned that particular brand to the dumpster. I may soon add AVG because of their predatory marketing of slivers of their security products.

One product that has drawn my contempt over a period of many years is the old Word Perfect word processing system. I have stuck my Microsoft Word and Excel, even when they adopted their stupid ribbon interface a few years ago.

And don’t even let me start on Apple Macintoshes!

 

Printer Hell

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Lexmark MC3224

I have not posted quite so much of late because I have had problems with my computer. My old HP inkjet printer finally died after a new version of Windows 10 was installed. So I ordered a reasonably priced color laser printer and immediately ran into problems.

There are so many ways to connect the printer to the computer that I was nonplussed. I tried first to connect it via USB to the computer. That didn’t seem to work, plus the USB plug didn’t sit firmly enough at the rear of the printer. Then, with the help of my friend Mike Estrin of Network Connections LLC, I tried connecting the printer to the router using Lexmark’s software.

Finally, I bought a network cable and with Mike’s help, hooked the printer to the router using it.using it. Now it finally seems to work without losing the connection or shutting down for no apparent reason.

My fingers are still crossed. My Lexmark has been functioning normally for the last twenty-four hours. I hope it continues to. The printer does produce nice copies, has good color, and is probably cheaper to run than an inkjet with a voracious appetite for expensive ink.