Monday, April 24, 2006

Love is such a beep beep feeling

I wish there were a way to use computer shortcuts in real life. Perhaps our lives are overly influenced by our computers these days, but it seems that we should be able to figure out a way to make these things happen.* How many times have you spilled Fruit Punch flavored Crystal Light on your beige carpet and thought, "Oh shit! Control-Z! Undo! Undo!" Or spun out your car on an icy highway, crashed into the guardrail (these are all purely hypothetical examples, of course) and looked at the bumper and wondered if you could Restore your car to an earlier, uncrumpled version?

I knew I had been using Microsoft Word a little too much when I was writing in my journal one day. I wasn't sure about the spelling of a word, so I wrote it like I thought it was spelled and then waited to see if the little red squiggly line showed up underneath it.

KB uses this computer application called TalkStation when he dictates his radiology reports. Basically it's like an instant computer transcriptionist that uses voice-recognition software to type out what he's saying. Apparently the technology is till not one hundred percent up to snuff, because they still have to go back and read through the reports and correct all the mistakes the computer made, like "violate the pubics" instead of "evaluate the pelvis", or "according to the State Department" instead of "according to protocol." (He finally got the chance to dictate to an actual human transcriptionist at one of his moonlighting jobs recently and he said it was awesome, so the computers haven't taken over the world just yet.) My favorite feature he's told me about is the "macro" feature. If you've ever used Excel or another spreadsheet program you know what a macro is, I'm sure. KB can say "Macro" and then something like "Osteosarcoma" into the computer, and it knows to type out a whole phrase describing that particular condition or observation or whatever.

How I wish we had this feature in our conversations sometimes. You could just say "Macro" and then "I'm feeling unappreciated" or "Macro - Boy am I tired" and not bother to go through the whole routine that you've gone through a hundred times before. But I guess that would take some of the fun out of things, now, wouldn't it?

Thanks for reading.

*I also think it's about time someone invented the Star Trek transporter, already. What's the holdup, science geeks of the world? Imagine the time saved! The fuel crisis solved! Jeff Goldblum with endless sexual energy! What could go wrong?

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