Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Willy Poole Column

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Willy Poole Column

Article excerpt

Byline: By Willy Poole


Do you not just love them? My answer to that is yes ( as long as they work properly.

Of course there are those geeks who maintain that the computer can do no wrong ( it is the nerd driving the machine who is at fault, rather as the collie men say that there are no bad dogs, only bad handlers.

I would agree, on the whole, with both statements.

If I say it myself, I am not a bad hand with dogs, but I will say that even the best dogs get a wobble on occasion, after all they are only human (well, nearly) whilst computers are just soulless machines ( or are they?

Mine threw a definite wobbly last week.

Many years ago when I was being trained in the use of that admirable tool ( the Bren Gun (I qualified as a "Marksman", by the by) the instructor would bark: "Gun stops firing! Watteryerdo? Immediate Action Number 1!"

I am not sure that I can remember what you did do, but I can tell you what my "Immediate Action No 1" is with a glitch on the computer ( I panic.

IA No 2 is to ring my IT wizard, who is in fact a farmer as well, or it could be the other way about.

His first question is always ( "what phase is the moon in?"

He is convinced that, like broad beans and the tides, computers are affected by the moon and who am I to say that he is wrong?

Anyway, I could not get to him last week (he was away dealing with a difficult calving on a main frame) so I rang the technical helpline of the supplier.

This meant this ghastly modern business of pressing a multitude of buttons and, as always, finishing up in accounts.

When I did, at last, get a technical helper, he sucked his teeth and said that he did not like the sound of that and it was always a tricky one when a machine did that and I had better ring the manufacturersa Had I any hair left, I would have been tearing out handfuls by now, but suddenly the machine decided that it had got over its strop and resumed normal service ( why?

How the hell do I know? All I can tell you is that the moon is waning at the moment.

OR, there is another possibility ( I was sitting in the waiting room of a solicitor's office (yes and thank you for asking, contracts have now been exchanged on both the properties) and reading an article on the latest rules about sexual harassment. …

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