That's programming in a nutshell: long arms, good coffee, and a natural aversion to rat fur. See how the necessity of interaction with the computer, as a programmer, is surprisingly low? The thing is that most programmers are also complete geeks whose hobbies include messing around with these machines. I'm not one of those, but apparently, I'm easily confused with them. Consequently, I'm what they would call, though I'd never lay claim to the name, an "expert."
Indeed, I have had people ask me Socratic "computer questions", to which I respond quite honestly that I don't know. They often have the audacity to retort, "But I thought you were an expert?" Nope. I'm a programmer, not a computer guy.
If I'm anyone, I'm a Linux (or perhaps *NIX) guy. This distances me even further from those who think that I'm some kind of "expert", because for most folks, "expert" is equivalent to "Windows expert". They like to ask me lots of questions about their "Microsoft", as I've heard it called. I have an expert-shaking response prepared for any such inquiry: "I don't know."
"What does it mean when the computer says that———"
"I don't know."
See. Now, it's not my intention to fire back with all the sensitivity of a postal worker who moonlights at the DMV. But that's how it has to go. Because, frankly, I really just plain old don't know. I don't do Windows.
It astounds me how few consumers seem to realize that Microsoft is not the only game in town. Moreover, it astounds me that it is, for all practical purposes, impossible to tell most consumers that there is another game. As a sports discussion, it would go something like this:
"Did you watch the Raiders game?"
"No, I don't follow football ———"
"What do you think of the new quarterback?"
"Really, football's not my thing. I don't know."
"I thought that you said that you're a sports fan?"
"No, I said that I watched tennis."
"Right, so what did you think of the penalty called in the Raiders game?"
"I watch tennis."
"Why would they call a penalty like that?"
What is a poor programmer to do? I'd consider taking the time to learn more about the machines if I didn't distrust them so deeply.