I was first approached by Dave, the man responsible for Dave’s Computer Tips’ existence, back in December 2013 following a post I had made in the blog forum. I’m not sure what the post was about, but I’m pretty sure I must have ranted about either some unjust social issue or a headbanging Windows problem. Either way, I was gobsmacked to be asked to write for DCT, but I look back on many of my early articles with an acute sense of embarrassment and cringe while asking not only how could I have written such drivel, but also, how on Earth could they have been published in the first place? Not only are many of my articles stratospherically off-topic, but many of them read like I was under the influence of mind-bending substances– I wish!
Possibly one of my more outrageously off-topic articles is Would You Survive a Techno Apocalypse? published in February 2014, where I ramble on about wandering a post-apocalyptic planet Earth as if I was tripping with the Brotherhood Of Eternal Love. Here’s an excerpt:
We watch as civilisation crumbles around us; hordes of the undead move en masse in search of the living and we are transfixed by the very opposite of what makes our world the interconnected web it is today.
Cringeworthy stuff indeed, but to save the day, I did manage to include the odd reference to the Internet and one or two other tech terms. In fact, I like to put it down to jamming; you know, when musicians get together with impromptu musings and riffs. To be fair, I had only just started bingeing on The Walking Dead and I was in full zombie mode at the time.
One has to wonder what dead parrots have to do with fixing PCs, but if you think long enough and were born in the 50s, 60s, and earlier, you’ll know that dead parrots have everything to do with dead PCs. Which kind of reminds me of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon-– you can find a link between most aspects of life if you try hard enough, which is why I penned Another dead parrot! in April 2014.
But, unbeknownst to our dedicated team, dark forces were at work in triage and in short time, messengers were dispatched which saw our white coated boffins once again pacing the boardroom, nervously chewing on their clipboards and contemplating the resuscitation of a seemingly ex-Compaq.
Anyone reading that article today would probably ask “Wtf is he talking about?”, and I wouldn’t blame them.
They don’t call me Mr Off-Topic for nothing and in The Right Man in the Wrong Place?, the Kevin Bacon principle comes to the fore yet again, where I bring together a tenuous link between Jesus Christ, Che Guevara, Winston Smith, and Gordon Freeman. Without a doubt, I was engrossed in the Half-Life universe in this experiment and the only reference to tech, albeit in small titbits, is the mention of one or two classic video games, so I think I got away with it, just.
Well, Jesus did change the world; El Che also, in his way and whilst Winston lives on in our minds as the anti-hero who tried to change the system, Dr Freeman and his ilk can be resurrected at will to fight oppression, the forces of darkness and all manner of bullying repression.
Oh, dear! Just when DCT readers thought they might be about to pick up some useful computer tips, I come up with another curveball.
Naturally, I’m eternally grateful to past and present editors of DCT for indulging me, because clearly, they have a sense of humour. On the other hand, while there are plenty of other off-topic examples that I’ve penned and would fill several more pages, I can’t categorically assure DCT readers that I won’t go veering off at a tangent again, now or in the future. I suppose it’s just the nature of the beast.