Surly Snobby

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Javasaurus vs. Javageekus

As I stated yesterday, it is important to continue one’s education during unemployment. Yesterday, I learned how to be a baby allosaurus while discovering how to eat giant dragonflies and be killed by enraged stegosauruses. I agree that this may not be the most important knowledge to add to my personal culture (barring all clichés about kill or be killed or it being a jungle out there) but it was fun to pretend to be a ferocious, prowling beast for a while. Keeping one’s spirits up during The Unemployment Eon is of the utmost importance. So, off went the hungry dinosaur in search of new educational caterpillars.

For some reason I no longer recall, I made the pre-caffeinated decision to become a computer geek. Now there’s a skill useful for my own personal edification as well as for future employment “opportunities” if I’ve ever seen one! I vaguely remembered a little HTML from a job I had almost a decade ago (yikes!) where I volunteered to redo the company’s web page after they had laid off the entire staff I’d been hired to boss around. In retrospect, perhaps I should have questioned the eradication of my entire department without having me take over their tasks, but I was inexperienced with bossing and bored out of my baby allosaurus-sized noggin. So I read some HTML tutorials and set about to create. I then forgot almost all my HTML when, one month later, they laid me off too. Hurrah for small unstable software companies!

But I digress…this morning I deftly parted my hair in the middle, found an old pair old sunglasses from which I removed the lenses and snapped the nosepiece so I could repair it with tape, and set off to learn how to write nonsensical strings of letters that would make my computer do awesome, wondrous things. How bright and shiny my future seemed at that moment.

And it started off pretty well. I discovered how to create links in the body of this text to other web pages, as you may have already discovered. I also determined how to allow you to give me a piece of your mind. “Why,” I thought to myself with no trace of foreshadowing whatsoever, “do people think this is so difficult?” I snorted into my coffee with derision of those computer mafiosos who want us to feel insignificant and small when confronted with their tremendous jargon-filled powers.

My confident computer hubris was short-lived. I grew to desire too much and this was to be my humiliating downfall. Happy that I could link to other pages, I soon noticed that my links were obliterating my own blog. I did want people to be able to see where my fits of imagination take me, but what if they got lost and were tragically unable to make their way back to me? Why, whatever would I do? A new window seemed the answer.

Now, to do this one must learn a language called Java. I was already feeling pretty proud of myself – I mean, look what I had already accomplished before 8AM! – so after a quick consultation with a Star Trek fan page I set off to absorb a Java tutorial. What I found was a series of characters that look like what happens when I mash the keyboard with my hand repeatedly, separated by words I knew but were unrecognizable in this context. “I must have stumbled upon an advanced tutorial,” I thought to myself innocently. I found another “advanced” tutorial, then another and another. After a few more tries I could feel frustration beginning to clamp itself around my head. I took a calming sip of coffee. Finally, I found a tutorial that claimed all I need do was cut and paste some random-looking string of nonsense characters into my text and I would have windows and possibly world peace as well. How naïve I was in my morning stupor.

String clipped, I surfed coolly back to this blog to admire my handywork and clicked. No new window. Back to the text. The string was pasted the way they claimed I was supposed to. Back to here. No new window. I went back and forth another few times, but to no avail. And then I turned into Javasaurus, thumping my desk and yelling at my very unimpressed computer (my cat was pretty impressed though). When that did no good, I wrote a consterned email to the javageekus who thinks he’s so superior to me. I’m sure the response will be quite enlightening.

So although I know no one is reading this except Mikevil – not even my sister! – but on the off chance that someone should stumble into my little site of musings and this someone knows how to open a new window with a link and can explain it as if to a child, please please tell me how!

And I did learn one thing today. I will never get a job as a Webmaster.

Haphazardly thrown together by Surly
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