Thursday, January 21, 2010

I Must Confess I Missed Something

We bought a new computer the other day. First new one in something like five years. Yesterday, I migrated all our stuff from the old machine to the new one. And in the process, I realized I'd made an awful, terrible omission from my novel The Last Protector.

They say confession is good for the soul, so here's the oversight: all through the book, we see Ranger Jape routinely using a "softscroll," a sort of roll-up personal computer. And yet, at no point in the story does he ever have to do a backup, software upgrade, virus scan, or other piece of administration. At no point does the softscroll pop up a dialog box saying, "Please Enter An Administrator's Password," or "You Must Restart Your Computer After Finishing This Installation," or "New Software Is Available..." (this last one's particularly amusing: the computer's brand new, just back from the Apple Store, and it needs some 760 megabytes of updated software, including a half-gigabyte update to the operating system itself? Talk about inspiring confidence...)

Well, The Last Protector is science fiction, right? Maybe someday software really will get settled to the point where it doesn't require a steady stream of updates. Or maybe the update process really will become transparent and foolproof. It's only a matter of time and the relentless advance of technology.

Nah. That's more than science fiction; it's fantasy...

1 comment:

David said...

I agree, fantasy. But I was thinking maybe that scroll is old but useful technology, like the stuff on the Space Shuttle. Ancient, but proven. Nobody ever upgrades an axe.