I can’t hack it

I am fascinated by books and movies about computer hackers.

It’s not that I think I will learn something about how to hack computers. I can’t even send photos by email because it keeps asking me for a password that I think I don’t have. So I can’t even hack into my own computer’s information to send a picture of a refinished dresser to my sister — let alone hide a secret code in the oil-rubbed finish of the dresser.

I think I’m fascinated with hackers because they are the James Bonds of the 21st Century. Instead of enticing dangerous women in cocktail dresses and bikinis, they work their charms on binary code. And what they do is more devious and daring than anything Bond has ever done.

My fascination dates back to the movie “The Net,” about a computer nerd (Sandra Bullock) working from home in a hermit-like setting. Her mom has Alzheimer’s and doesn’t recognize her. The neighbors never see her. So she gets set up by some computer hackers who give her a computerized criminal background. But thank goodness sweet Sandy is smart enough to actually counter-hack by movie’s end.

No, you wouldn’t catch Sandra Bullock hunting for her own password.

One of my biggest obstacles to working on a home computer is that I don’t have an IT department. Trust me, when I was working in the newsroom, that IT department was at my computer almost daily. And unlike other reporters who might have to wait 45 minutes to get help, help arrived at my desk almost immediately because if I had to wait for more than 2 minutes, I would be back in the IT room whining some more.

Now that I am my own IT department, I actually read those tutorials that pop up on the screen when I’m having a problem. Sometimes, they actually work. Usually, though, I stumble upon a solution by accident.

Once, when I couldn’t get a router software program to install properly, I started banging on the keyboard randomly.

It worked.

So I’m no hacker, but it still seems that annoying the IT department will get me what I need.


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