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Montevideo American-News - Montevideo, MN
\x34Rants and Raves\x34 includes everything from political commentary to movie reviews
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About this blog
By Stephen Browne
Steve Browne is an award-winning reporter and columnist who entered journalism by accident while living and working in Eastern Europe from 1991 to 2004. He is the author of two books for English students: \x34Word Pictures: English as it is REALLY ...
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Rants and Raves
Steve Browne is an award-winning reporter and columnist who entered journalism by accident while living and working in Eastern Europe from 1991 to 2004. He is the author of two books for English students: \x34Word Pictures: English as it is REALLY Used,\x34 published in Belgrade, Yugoslavia and Novosibirsk, Russia, and \x34English Linguistic Humor: Puns, Play on Words, Spoonerisms, and Shaggy Dog Stories.\x34 In 1997 he was elected an Honorary Member of the Yugoslav Movement for the Protection of Human Rights. He is currently living in his native Midwest, which he considers \x34the most interesting foreign country I have ever lived in.\x34
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By Stephen W. Browne
June 20, 2013 11:21 a.m.



Note: This is cross-posted on my professional blog at the Marshall Independent.







Is it just my computer or has something happened to the Internet?

I got a new desktop a couple months ago. A professional writer needs to have two computers and my laptop sat on the desk 99.999% of the time anyway. So I semi-retired it and use it for travel and backup. When it finally gives up the ghost I may actually downgrade my portable work station to a notebook-sized model. All I use it for is a typewriter and a telephone anyway.

The problem with getting a new computer or new software is you have to learn a lot of the control procedures all over again. Every time I get a new version of Word it’s got a whole bunch of new things it can do that I don’t give a flip about. I want it to do the things I’ve done for years on it. Trouble is, the buttons for the things I’ve always done are now hard to find.

Since I started writing seriously I have NEVER EVER said, “Gee, I wish my word processor would do —–, I hope next year’s model does that.”

I have however said, “I wish this durn thing wouldn’t do —– every time I turn it on.”

It’s as if every time you bought a new car you had to learn to drive all over again. (“This year’s model features a tiller instead of a steering wheel…”)

When was the last major change you remember in the controls of cars?

I think it was moving the bright switch from left of the brake or clutch pedal on the floor to the steering column.

At any rate on my new desktop I’ve been noticing something lately. Actually, “been intensely irritated by something lately” describes it better.

Pop-ups have been with us for a long time, but were a livable irritation and of course you can install pop-up blockers.

However lately I’m continually interrupted by streaming video pop-ups which are invariably louder than what I’m listening to at the time. I have to hunt for the “x” to close them, or even minimize the screen to get to them. And for some reason a window will open behind the one I’m working on and start playing a full episode of some TV series.

And what’s really irritating is, I’m used to clicking on the screen to get it to scroll down using the down arrow button. Of course you avoid clicking on buttons, but nowadays when I click on a blank part of the screen more often than not a window opens on something I wasn’t even aware of.

And by the way, who the heck allowed someone to start creating links on words in my blog? Nobody asked me if they could do that and I’m not making a dime off it.

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