Today, I found two files on my computer from long, long ago (well, 11 years ago anyway). One is called “foreword.doc” and the other is “beginning.doc”. I don’t know why I created them, but I thought I’d publish them here. If you have any ideas exactly what they’re for, please let me know.
Computers are, almost certainly, the most important invention of the last hundred years or so. Yes, you could argue that without machines or calculating devices or electric generators or whatever the computer would have never been born. But that isn’t important.
What is important is they’re here, they rule our lives, and we need them more and more.
Unfortunately, many people are frightened of computers. They don’t understand them as well as the “experts” (who in reality, probably don’t know nearly as much as they tell you), and they all know that computers will, variously, rot your brain, eat your thesis, cause your hands to drop off, and force you to watch hardcore pornography. This is a Fact.
“Computers” is such an all-encompassing term. If someone tells you they “work with computers”, it could mean they’re a programmer. Or it could mean they design websites. Or run a large corporate network. It could even mean they develop new computer hardware, or, conversely, that they work in a bank and spend eight hours a day typing numbers on a keyboard.
Not that people generally tell you they work with computers. This is partly due to the reason above, but it is mainly because people who work with computers are considered nerds or geeks, and nerds and geeks are sad, lonely individuals who spend all of their lives indoors with the curtains drawn, watching Star Wars and discussing the finer points of lightsabre battles with other nerds and geeks on the internet. This is a Fact.
Interestingly, there is (in my mind at least) a distinction between nerds and geeks. In terms of their perceived stereotypes, at least.