Old Dog, New Computer Tricks

In here, anything is possible…

I'm a technophobe. As in, you start talking about computer stuff and my eyes glaze, my heart races, and I start planning my escape. This is not a good thing when you live in a house with technogods who not onlyΒ get computers, they build them. For fun.

When my daughter was a pre-teen she was bopping around websites and making art on her computer. We're talking graphic design quality art. When I complained to my husband that she spent too much time on the computer, he assured me she wasn't wasting time, but learning a valuable skill. I heard that argument again this summer when my son, who is just 14, spent his time building a server. Granted, I have no idea what that really means, but again my husband assured me it was a good thing.

He would know. When he was barely out of elementary school he was taking about apart computers to figure out how they worked and now spends his days coding video games.

That sounds like a special kind of hell to me, but he likes it and it keeps him off the streets and out of bars, so I'm happy.

In fact, I was very happy with my lack of computer skills until that tricksy Melinda VanLone and her devious pal Marcy Kennedy came along one day withΒ a blog post about how we might consider a blog that is self-hosted. Say what? Hosted? Self? As in, ME?

Nope. No way. Not happening.

But those wily women, they put an idea in my mind and I couldn't shake it. A few weeks later they even went so far as to post a blog giving valuable information on how to make the change. Argh! What were they doing to me? Didn't they know I'm a complete technophobe? Phrases like, ‘Export your Data' give me hives. Seriously.

The time had come, I realized, for me to learn a new trick. So I enrolled in a night class at the local community college for web design. Sure, I could've taken a one day seminar or even an online class, but for me, the slow and steady approach with hands-on learning is best.

The first night I arrived forty minutes late. I'mΒ rarely late to anything and to be late to a computer class? I was totally freaked out. I had it in my head that class started at 6:30, even though it clearly said 5:30 on my calendar. My inner freaked out goddess was messing with me that night.

Fortunately for me, the only seat available was in the back between the three nicest people I could hope to meet. Pat, Colette, and DeAnna. Not only did they help me catch up, they know computers and have a good understanding of what we're doing. Score!

The first week we dabbled with html stuff and last week we learned CSS. I'm proud to say I know what CSS stands for, and can even make a web page using it. Cascading Style Sheets in case you were wondering. I would show you the web page, but it, um, sucks. Seriously, it was about bubbles.

What does all this mean for the blog? Well, I'll be moving soon, for one thing! All you fabulous readers who have subscribed to the blog will hopefully follow me and re-subscribe. I'll let you know when it gets closer to the date. Am I going to do the new website? Heck no! In fact, the first night we went around the class introducing ourselves ~ I was the only one not taking the class for a graphic arts degree. When I said I was there so that when I had a web designer explaining to me what they were doing to my website I'd understand what the heck they were talking about, the class thought I was joking.

I wasn't.

I might dabble with web pages, but I'll leave my website to the professionals. Bubbles, people. It was (is) embarrassing. πŸ˜‰

What have you learned lately that pushed you out of your comfort zone? Did you read Melinda and Marcy's post and think moving to a self-hosted sight sounded daunting? Or did you read it and think, heck yes, I'm all over that!? We're never too old to learn, don't you think?

45 thoughts on “Old Dog, New Computer Tricks”

  1. Natalie HartfordNatalie Hartford

    Yeahhhh!! Good for you darlin’! I think it’s fantastic to push yourself outside the comfort zone and dabble with the bubbles. Ya just never know, right?! And it is nice to have a basic understanding of how the web works, if for nothing else than to know what your designer is talking about. But also…just in case you stretch and expand and dabble a bit yourself. I am not expert either but I like knowing a wee bit and find it always a challenge and amusing to see what I can create.
    Self hosted is fabulous. I loved the post by Marcy and Melinda and think it’s AWESOME you are heading in that direction. I’ll DEFINITELY be subscribing…squeeee….

    Reply
    September 4, 2012
  2. Melinda VanLoneMelinda VanLone

    Woohoo! I’m so proud πŸ™‚ Take it one step at a time and it’ll be fine. And I’ll be there to subscribe on the other side!

    Reply
    September 4, 2012
  3. Lena CorazonLena Corazon

    You rock, Tameri! Awesome to take a risk and try something new, isn’t it? I’ve been self-hosted for just about a year now and I LOVE it. There are a couple things I miss now and again about WP.com (there have been some shiny new free themes that have come out in the last few months that still aren’t available on the self-hosted side), but overall, I love conquering my own little corner of the interwebs. Can’t wait to see the new site once it’s launched!

    Reply
    September 4, 2012
  4. MarciaMarcia

    How could we possibly consider NOT subscribing? Never, ever, EVER stop learning. It staves off boredom and keeps you feeling young! I think it’s awesome that you took that class! And I agree with your reasoning for it. I had two other websites self-hosted through GoDaddy and Yahoo Site Builder. It was super easy to do and expected wordpress.org to be the same. It’s so NOT! But wordpress is far more professional looking and has so many cool plugins and is better SEO-wise. Just make sure you know how to change your pages yourself so you don’t have to keep going back to your designer. Using a template for WordPress.org makes things a lot easier than building a site from scratch, too. Good luck, have fun , and can’t wait to see it!

    Reply
    September 4, 2012
  5. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

    I’ve learned I need to budget extra funds — my computer guys now have their own ‘stash jar’ – I love these guys – they get me out of jams I get myself into. I did have to sign a promissary note that I wouldn’t throw my computer out my office window into the rose garden. The only think that keeps me from doing that very thing is that I have championship roses growing outside my window. I’m thinking about moving them to a safer location!

    Reply
    September 4, 2012
  6. susielindaususielindau

    I am learning every day! Last night I created some artwork in Paint for a contest!
    I hope you will continue to cross post here since I rarely subscribe to comments on .org sites because of the volume of email and I will miss our exchanges!

    Reply
    September 4, 2012
    • Kristy K. James...Living, Loving, LaughingKristy K. James...Living, Loving, Laughing

      Oh is THAT what it is? I was just thinking what a pain it was again today that in order to subscribe to comments on some blogs, I have to approve them in my email account, then close out the new page, etc… I suppose it shouldn’t bother me as much as it does, but it just seems like I do a lot of clicking some days. πŸ™‚

      Reply
      September 4, 2012
      • susielindaususielindau

        You either get the whole stream or nothing. It’s too back that we can’t just get the comment on our own comment! Maybe one of Tameri’s kid’s can work on that or Tameri herself! πŸ™‚

        Reply
        September 4, 2012
        • Kristy K. James...Living, Loving, LaughingKristy K. James...Living, Loving, Laughing

          I have often wished for that option, too, Susie. I have over 2,600 emails in one account (ONE account), and who knows how many in the others. Someday I’ll have take care of them. Maybe one of Tameri’s kids could come up with an email reading program that makes it sound like we’re responding, when it’s really a bot. I’d say maybe Tameri could do that, but she’d probably have to take another class…and by then I’ll have 10,000 emails… πŸ™‚

          Reply
          September 4, 2012
    • Debra KristiDebra Kristi

      I never subscribe to the comments for that reason. But Coleen’s blog always sends me the reply to just mine anyway and I like that.

      Reply
      September 4, 2012
  7. CC MacKenzieCC MacKenzie

    Nope. I’m staying in my luddite cave growling and snarling at anything technical. My excuse?
    I’m writing and that comes before everything else. Except for family and sleep and chocolate and wine and…

    Great post!

    Reply
    September 4, 2012
  8. August McLaughlinAugust McLaughlin

    Good for you for stepping out of your techno-phone comfort zone, Tameri. That’s a huge accomplishment, as is recognizing your preference to leave hosting to the pros.

    I learn tech stuff on a need-to-know basis. As long as there are nifty hosts out there, I won’t become one. πŸ˜‰ Your experience reminded me of my learning to swim (float and clumsy doggie paddle, really) in my mid-twenties. I learned that I can face my fear and achieve the seemingly impossible, but I have no desire to swim on.

    Reply
    September 4, 2012
  9. Karen McFarlandKaren McFarland

    “How could we possibly consider NOT subscribing?” Exactly Marcia!

    I am standing and applauding you Tameri! Wahoo girl! You can do this!
    I have been self-hosted since I started and love it! So much easier for everyone.

    “What have you learned lately that pushed you out of your comfort zone?”
    I am currently developing a commercial website. I have become a web-site designer. Who’d of thunk it, but it’s true.

    So congrats to you Tameri! Let us know when you move. And thanks for staying in touch! πŸ™‚

    Reply
    September 4, 2012
  10. Jenny HansenJenny Hansen

    As a “techie girl” I am standing in awe of you, Tameri!! I have never — seriously, not even once — considered designing my own website because I get frustrated on the programming side. That being said, in today’s world, you really need to know some basic HTML as an author. I’m going to have to break down and learn it soon.

    I’m completely impressed and cannot wait to see what you cook up next!

    Reply
    September 4, 2012
  11. patriciasandspatriciasands

    You’re a technophobe no more! Way to go, Tameri! I can’t wait to see your new site *finger poised, ready to hit subscribe*!

    Reply
    September 4, 2012
  12. EmmaEmma

    That class sounds both valuable, and fun. I’ll be following you over to your new site, Tameri. Try and stop me!

    Reply
    September 4, 2012
  13. jansenschmidtjansenschmidt

    You lost me at technophobe. I read that and went – huh? I am all that and more. I just didn’t know I was. See, I learned something.

    Whatever the question is, the answer is no. If it involves me doing something on a computer, the answer is no. If it involves changing what I already know about computers, then no. I just figured out how to blog. Actually, I just learned what a blog is. I’m still not sure I’m doing it right. Or why. But I’m doing it.

    Kudos to you though! Get out there and learn something. If nothing else you met some really nice people.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    Reply
    September 4, 2012
  14. Debra KristiDebra Kristi

    I would be sooo lost in that class. LOL I’m proud of you girl. I will be calling my techie know-it gal if I have issues. You know I’ll follow you. πŸ˜€ Promise to follow me when I move? I have a date set for late October (I think). Just remember, I usually follow via RSS.

    Reply
    September 4, 2012
  15. Louise BehielLouise Behiel

    I am so proud of you. Those nasty ladies sucked me in too but time was/is of the essence so I hired Steena Holmes to do it and I’m paying WP to move my stuff to the new site. the funny thing for me was that I paid for the site and then WP told me that I hadn’t signed up yet. so I called godaddy.com (my host) and asked what was going on. apparently paypal had remitted the payment to the host site on another account (I am the treasurer for my chapter and they use godaddy). So I had to work with them to get the finances straightened out. and me, an accountant in another life. go figure. they handled the techie stuff beautifully well and the financial stuff too, once we figured out what was wrong.

    so I had a laugh although it was midnight. but it’s done for now. good for you Tameri. I’m proud of you

    Reply
    September 4, 2012
  16. David N. WalkerDavid N. Walker

    Everybody knows you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. As probably the oldest dog among wanabloggers, that’s my excuse, and I’m sticking to it. I have learned to make phone calls on my smart phone, though, and if you give me enough time I can even text on it.

    Reply
    September 5, 2012
  17. Coleen PatrickColeen Patrick

    Tameri I’m so impressed that you took a class! I am not so techy, I tend to ask my husband to do that stuff. He usually wants to show me how to do it, but the problem is I seem unable to remember this kind of information. I mean I have to read the instruction booklet for my photo scanner every single time I use it! And I definitely didn’t know what CSS meant, still doesn’t make sense now that I know. πŸ™‚

    Reply
    September 5, 2012
  18. Angela Orlowski-PeartAngela Orlowski-Peart

    Tameri, you are awesome. I’m so impressed that you actually enrolled in a computer class. I just switched to self-hosting website and I am learning all the ropes. It’s a slow process and it takes up way too much of my time (read: writing time!), but it’s also fun.
    As soon as you are moved to the new website I will re-subscribe for sure.

    Reply
    September 5, 2012
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