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Computing With Bifocals
by Nancy Carroll Gravley

A column for people who remember what
the world was like before there was color.....




In The Land Of Macintosh
May 10th, 2000

Once upon a time, a long time ago, in a land far away, a girl and a boy were each born on the same day, at the same hour, at the same place. The place was known as The Land of US. There was no war and no hunger in this land and the boy and the girl grew healthy and strong. However, an evil Wizard had cast a strong spell over The Land of US which caused strange behavior from the adults of the land. The boy spent his time playing outside. He would frequently get dirty or get into a fight, or adopt strange pets, but his parents and other adults just smiled indulgently and told themselves that "he was just being a boy." Soon the boy learned how to play the favored games of the land - football and basketball and baseball. His parents bought him all kinds of special equipment to help him compete in these games and the boy learned well. Other adults praised his skill and he worked even harder to be the best he could be. He was always happy and well loved because in The Land of US he was special.

The evil Wizard just smiled to himself because the people did not know of the evil spell or that they could escape from it.

At first the girl spent her time playing outside too. However if she got dirty, or into a fight, or adopted strange pets the adults frowned and scolded and she was confused. She tried to learn to play the favored games of the land and asked for special equipment like the boy did, but again the adults frowned and scolded so she stopped. She was taught to play with dolls and to play house and when she did so the adults smiled and were happy. The girl was not happy.

The evil Wizard just smiled to himself because the people did not know of the evil spell or that they could escape from it.

Soon the boy and girl were older and they went to school. The boy was dressed in garments called blue jeans and shirts. He wore tennis shoes on his feet and his hair was cut short. The boy continued to play the favored games of the land and the adults were pleased. They went to the games and praised the boy and told each other how special he was. They bought him a special vehicle called a bicycle and he rode around the land with other boys as long as he wished. He learned to make things in a place called "shop" and he was praised when he did well in mathematics and science. He was always happy and well loved because in The Land of US he was special.

The evil Wizard just smiled to himself because the people did not know of the evil spell or that they could escape from it.

The girl was dressed in garments called dresses with full skirts and tight belts. On her feet she wore dainty, shiny, shoes of a material called paten leather and they caused her feet to feel pain. Her hair was long and she spent a great deal of time keeping it in a style known as curly. This required strange behavior such as placing her hair around long round implements which she wore while she slept. The implements were uncomfortable, but the adults smiled and were pleased so the girl continued. The girl no longer asked to play the favored games of the land. The adults purchased a bicycle for her, but the construction was different and it was harder to ride. The girl was not allowed to roam freely on the bicycle, but she was glad to have it and sometimes she felt special. In school the girl was given classes in homemaking and music, and she learned to use a machine called a typewriter. At home the girl was taught to cook, and to iron, and to sew, and to clean house. Now when the female adults cooked dinner the girl was expected to help. When she did so the adults smiled and looked upon her with favor. The girl was not happy.

The evil Wizard just smiled to himself because the people did not know of the evil spell or that they could escape from it. However, the evil Wizard was not pleased that the girl learned to use the machine called a typewriter because it gave her the skills she needed to break the evil spell.

Eventually the girl and the boy grew to adulthood. By this time each was secure in the role that society demanded. The boy continued to play the favored games of the land and he went to a place called university. He got a job using the mathematics and scientific skills he learned in school and he was richly rewarded with gold and silver. The girl asked to go to university also, but the adults frowned and laughed at her, so she got a job using the typewriting skills she had learned. Eventually the girl and the boy met and married and the girl instantly quit her job as it was no longer her place to work. The boy wanted the girl to play the favored games of the land along with him, but alas, the girl no longer had the skill to do so. The girl gave birth to a girl and a boy and she raised them as she had been raised. The adults looked upon her with favor and smiled. The girl was not happy.

The evil Wizard just smiled to himself because the people did not know of the evil spell or that they could escape from it.

As sometimes happened in The Land of US, the boy grew bored with the girl and with marriage. At his job he was with other boys and they could laugh and play and discuss things they had learned at university. The boy left the girl and started a new life without her or the children. The adults frowned and blamed the girl. Often the girl and the children were hungry or sick, but the girl did the best she could do. She decided to go to university herself so she could earn gold and silver to better care for her children.

The evil Wizard was not pleased with the girl's decision , but he knew that society was now well controlled by the evil spell so he did not pay much attention to the girl. She struggled and worked and after 7 years she graduated from university herself. None of the adults in her life came to graduation and she received no praise or smiles. However, bolstered by her achievement she choose a career and went to work. By the time the evil Wizard checked on her again she had risen within her field and was making enough gold and silver to care for herself and her children. The Wizard frowned, but the girl did not see the frown or feel the evil because she had discovered the secret that would remove the evil spell forever from those who were willing to take the risk. The secret was to go to the land of The Macintosh.

In the land of The Macintosh all people were equal. Boys and girls did the same things and learned the same things, and lived the same way. New skills were easy to learn and the typing skills the girl had learned many years before helped her achieve things faster than some of the boys. The girl was amazed and kept on learning. She began to question all that she had been taught in The Land of US. The adults kept trying to pull her back to The Land of US. They frowned and scolded and muttered, but the girl would not listen because she had escaped from the Wizard's spell. She learned to play for the first time and the boys welcomed her to their sport. She experimented and learned things the boys did not know. She shared that knowledge and still the boys did not run away because they too had escaped from The Land of US.

The evil Wizard shrieked and cursed, but he could only stay on the dark side while people from The Land of US began to leave and journey to The Land of Macintosh. Those who did so were happy and content, including the girl.

If you have any tips, suggestions, or other comments about this, or any other Mac topics, send them to me so that I can share them with other readers.


Copies of Nancy's book Tips, Hints, and Solutions for Seasoned Beginners Using Apple Macintosh Computers With OS X are available in PDF download versions  for US$9.57 and in print version for $18.15 plus $4.00 shipping.   To view sample pages and get ordering information visit the September 14, 2004 column.


Post your comments below.
Check out Nancy's complete index of all her columns for the most complete list of tips anywhere. The list is categorized and is a great reference when you are looking for help!

A Capacious Catalog Of Computer Tips

Talking to a generation that remembers what the world was like before there was color, covers issues for people who don't care how their computer works, but rather what their computer and the internet can do for them.

Nancy has a Master's degree in Human Services Administration and prior to her retirement she worked for almost 30 years in field of mental health and mental retardation. She has been a Mac user for 11 years, and has recently developed an avocation of teaching basic computer skills in both group and one-to-one settings.


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