Herald & Journal, January 19, 1998

No longer computer illiterate

By MYRON HEUER

I have indicated before in this column that I am computer ignorant. Well, a little, anyway. As to the information highway, very ignorant.

As I predicted in this column several weeks ago, there was a rumor that Santa was bringing a computer to my son's family. I was right. However it was delivered early, and the family couldn't wait to set it up. So it was ready to go by Thanksgiving.

On Thanksgiving Day, I received a demonstration of this wonderful machine. We verified that I am the only Myron Heuer in the country. At least who's in a phone book. My son, Jeff, has about three namesakes and my wife Betty has two other people with her name, middle initial and all.

At my grandson's insistence, I saw the latest on the Green Bay Packers Web site. We also checked Germany to see how many Heuers had a Web site ­ about a dozen.

We even tuned into the Howard Lake Herald's Web site and saw this column among other news items.

We sent a Thanksgiving greeting via e-mail to son, Jeff, in Fresno, California, and he sent one back.

But the most interesting were the games. "Jeopardy" was one. We played a couple games. It was fun and much like the tv show. Even Alex Trebek was there to conduct the game.

A few days later, Betty said, "I'm going to Tom's house to bake Christmas cookies with Lillian. It will take most of the day, and if you want any lunch, better come along. You can play with the computer."

So I went along, taking a book in case I got tired of the computer.

I decided to play "Wheel of Fortune." I've seen the tv show every night so was familiar with the game. Like "Jeopardy," the computer game was very much like the tv show. However, Vanna White did all the emceeing. Pat Sajak wasn't even on it. A computerized Vanna strutted in front of the letter board just like on tv. You can play against the computer contestants, or let all three play, and you just watch.

I want you to know that I sat in front of that screen from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., winning some games, losing some. I barely took time off for lunch. I was hooked.

The next thing I knew, Betty was asking me if I was going home with her.

I could see how you could get addicted to the computer, whether it's a game you're playing, or if you're searching for information on the information superhighway.

I suppose in time I'll learn more about the computer. I just don't understand how the whole thing is put together.

By the way, I never did pick up the book that day, and that night when the "Wheel" came on tv, I looked for my mouse.


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