Friday, 15 January 2010

Old Fart Wannabe Blog 6 - Enter the OU


Enter the O.U. ( Bless em)

So, the software problem resolved itself in two ways. In the first place the provided version of FirstClass (8.2) worked fine but    without ‘Bells and Whistles’. In the second place I downloaded a free upgrade of FirstClass 10.1 from the Internet, which came with  lots of coloured graphics.

This may seem simplicity itself for the completely computer savvy but what’s a small step for you is a giant step for the average old fart who needs to get a twelve year old child to set up his TV dibber. Anyway us old guys aren’t as quick as we once were, and some of us weren’t that quick to start with.

On the desk-top of this software is a ‘Practice Forum’ which gives new students a place to play and acquire and practice skills in on-line communication. I can see your eyes glazing again. Relax, I’m not going to go into the details of how I learned to do things you will probably consider achingly boring. You wanna find out? Pay your own fee and try not to look an absolute dope in front of a bunch of complete strangers, then you’ll feel your adrenalin run.

A couple of mistakes I did make that could be avoided. Checking out how to send attachments I didn’t pay attention to file size and to my surprise saw my memory allocation disappear; now I know what the baby feels like when the candy takes off. I got it back but it took me quite a while to figure it out. Now of course I will be careful to always use minimum quality and maybe the built in Mac compression.
The other mistake, which is ongoing, was not to appreciate that time on FirstClass is rationed. The site is so complex, there is so much to explore that time just slips away. I was surprised when I logged out to find that after a couple of voyages I had used over a third of my total allocation. I hope this is for the ‘Practice Forum’ and not for the course, or things are going to get pretty monosyllabic from now on.

So there we are: I’ve listened to the audio disc of successful authors talking about aspects of their work and works; I’ve read the printed folio of extracts from successful, even famous, novels; I’ve got a passing familiarity with the on-line system, a familiarity which will almost certainly desert me when I have to use it in real time with real people.

Now I suppose I had better go back and do it all again. The next Blog will be when I am well into the course and I will tell you whether my pulse has dropped back to its normal 150 a minute (just kidding its really 180, sorry I meant 80).
Take care of yourselves,

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