There is something wonderfully self-fulfilling about computers. And marvelously self-evident. And endlessly self-exculpatory. But the self-help thing, for some reason, doesn’t get a look in.

My pc is currently trying to solve an issue on the hard drive, which it tells me is ‘inconsistent’. Nothing new there, but each time I start up, it tells me about it…and sets off on a mission to find the fault. However, because there is a fault, it can’t complete the operation. It doesn’t tell me it can’t, it just stops.

For similar reasons, it can’t burn my files to a D-drive remote disk. But every day, it tells me I have files to burn to the disk. It doesn’t offer a solution, it just fails. And then tells me again. This is obvious to even the casual observer: for me, the everyday user, the information is obsolete.

Almost every bit of software I’ve downloaded onto the pc cocks up at some point. But, on doing this, the software has one default position: it wasn’t my fault.

Within that position, there are two gears: first – in which it is the fault of person or persons unknown; and second, it’s your fault.

Many and mysterious are the explanations of the former….’Windows found it necessary to close down’, ‘Firefox has had to close’, ‘Error 651’, ‘Google has found something wrong’ and so forth. The latter explanations are, by definition, more accusatory: ‘You aren’t allowed to fulfill that function’, ‘Your plug-in is out of date’, and ‘You have dialled an invalid number’.

As with the Brexit Remainians, one expects that the advice can only get sillier.

‘Evil forces have intervened to end your Skype call’

‘Failure to reboot will leave you intestate’

‘Everything has stopped. There is nothing to worry about’

‘Temporarily, you do not exist. Allow script to continue?’

‘Limp disk. Do not attempt intercourse at this time’

How tremendously uplifting it would be – just once – if a panel popped up to say ‘We fucked up bigtime – please follow this link to talk to a 0% geeky human being’.

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Disturbing new research, it seems, has indicated that young US salmon have tested positive for more than 80 different drugs, including cocaine and antidepressants. And no, I’m not making this up.

I suppose if you spend your life heading upstream, jumping over waterfalls and then heading downstream again, uppers and downers are going to be part of your life. But I do think it’s time the drug baron swine plying this disgusting trade were brought to justice.

I mean, imagine being about to tuck into a side of salmon, and hearing it sing, “She don’t lie, she don’t lie, she don’t lie…”

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