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Computers Confound Me

I’m a computer scientist.

I will be a certified (well, Bachelor of Science’d) computer scientist in 3.5 weeks, God willing and the creek don’t rise (or rather, my grades don’t fall…).

As such, you’d think I’d be… oh, what’s the phrase… computer savvy?

I am, to an extent. I mean, I can do your basic install/uninstall, run most programs, and, well, program. I don’t really do hardware; it confuses me. I get how it works on a high level, but there’s something about circuits that just doesn’t work for me. I’m savvy enough, anyway.

Until I got the new laptop; the learning curve shot way the heck up there.

Whereas my old laptop had me press the function key in order to use the f1-12 buttons as they were intended, this new laptop (rightly, I think) has me press the function key in order to do the other functions those keys provide. This is supposed to make things a lot easier. Usually, it does. The only thing that’s difficult is hitting f11 and f12 with one hand.

The fact that I can actually hit through f10 should have clued me in, though. The sensitivity of the touchpad and keyboard on this thing is kind of insane. I’ve unintentionally hit keys that have resulted in all kinds of funny behavior, but never until today, did it result in the disappearance of my cursor, or rather, the functionality of my touchpad in general.

I gather that the f9 key’s special function is meant to turn off the touchpad now, but at 2:30 today, that was not the case.

I was in class, trying to take notes, and I knew I’d hit a jumble of keys. But suddenly, my cursor froze and then disappeared. This was not good. I tried frantically to make it reappear by tapping and clicking my touchpad, but no such luck. Since my computer had just started up after an update, I wondered if one had screwed things up. (Wouldn’t be the first time…) After several restarts and a lot of mental swearing, I started looking up why my touchpad was nonresponsive. (I somehow managed to figure out how to navigate through everything without my cursor.) One site suggested that I hit f9.

I looked at the key, and a very, very profane thought went through my head. The little icon with a slash through it was the (censored) touchpad! I must have hit it along with the function key and there it went.

Times like these, I’m really not sure how I made it through the last 4 years. Really. But I guess we all do stupid things, and it’s what, if anything, we learn from them that matters.

I learned what the f9 key does today. What about you?

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