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Navigation: What is the point of explaining navigation to someone who hasn’t used a website

Yesterday was another trip to the Apple Store to take part in the third MacBook purchase in as many months. This time with someone who had managed to get to his late forties without really using a computer. An interesting experience all round for me when trying to facilitate.

As ever I have in my mind the relatively short time that this technology has been around. A quick look here for an interesting reminder?

As I sit typing I am listening to The Clash, London Calling, having been reminded of it by Zane Lowe recently. This again pre-dates the technology by considerable time..

Anyway first problem for a newbee, no email address. My 9 year old has at least one, possibly many. While we were buying the MacBook she bought another Puffle using one of the AppleStore iMacs. Surely everyone has an email address? Well no, of course not. But it helps if you have one before you even turn the computer on.

So as we progress, unwrapping the Mac (respect the packaging) , turning it on, I am aware that I hold so many preconceptions about peoples’ understanding of computers. Email, what is it where is it, clients, servers, Pop, IMAP, etc. How do you start to explain this? Then the web, possibly the most interesting reality check, navigation. What is the point of explaining navigation to someone who hasn’t used a website.

So to the interesting part, let’s go to Google and search for Norvins. Ah-ha, “you what?” many will be thinking (assuming anyone ever reads this). Just in case you were wondering, any excuse to show one…



Some time ago I went into my friend’s garage/workshop, and sat on a small wooden stand on castors was a Norvin. In truth it wasn’t any more, it was a Vincent engine wrapped in a Reynolds frame that my friend had fabricated himself to replace the Norton frame that he had previously clad the engine in. There were some ancillary parts sourced from a Laverda many of which would be replaced as the project develops. Here I suppose is “the rub”. I don’t know many people who could fabricate a motorcycle frame by hand from scratch, and I feel a sense of respect for someone who can.

My son Ollie (15) has joined me in office/bedroom/warm-coz-it’s-small-room and is doing homework on MyMaths. I am pleased (and a tad surprised) that he recognises London Calling.

Ros Ailither

Ros Ailither

Recently I had a cup of tea on The Ros Ailither with Dave and Hazel. Dave explained the work that had gone into this boat, much of it can be seen on the Blog. This boat has been radically altered, most notably by the addition of sail-power. The wood for the mast was sourced, delivered to Topsham, towed across to The Turf to be crafted by hand, towed back and applied to said trawler. It would appear that the decision as to where to apply the large bits of timber arose from a real-seat-of-the-pants understanding of who things work. I might add that the trawler now benefits from a lovely Gardner diesel which sits in a totally different position to the original.

We have now been joined by Dom, my other son, carrying my old (and now slow) Pismo laptop. London CallIng has finished. I suppose we ought to talk but they are now both playing Line Rider.

So, to return to navigation. With this technology you can travel the world in minutes, you can look at road crossings on Fifth Avenue and then nip down to a beach at Rio or maybe a water Cooler somewhere in Aus? This is good, really good, but I till think that the journey would be better on a bike or in a boat that you had made yourself.

For now though I am afraid it’s off to The Vue to pick up Fee, the technologically precocious little one, who has attended a morning cinema party.

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