(TECH) MY SON THE COMPUTER GURU

By Jug Varner

It seems to me there are three types of people in the computer world.
1. Those (like my son Gary) who love them, learn and retain everything easily and become computer gurus;
2. Those (like me) who can use them after memorizing a bunch of rules, but never have the patience to learn much more about them than necessary; and
3. Those (like my wife Bonnie) who have no desire to even learn how to turn on the damned things.

Judging from the number of computer owners versus the world population, the third category is supreme, the second category probably includes the majority of the computer owners, and the first category is made up of the miniscule top percentage of users. This may change gradually with practically every school in the U.S. using computers from the first grade onward. Unfortunately most of these kids can’t spell, speak or write English properly, but that, too, may change. Hopefully most future teachers will actually learn Basic English in high school and/or college.

I consider myself fortunate to have my own personal family computer guru - and at a very reasonable price (as in “free”). It is not surprising to me that Gary would be the one of my three kids who took to it like a duck to water. As a child with a meticulous interest in detail, he could innately put things together and take them apart - a wonderful trait that led him to be the one in the family we always turned to for “reading, understanding and following directions” for parts assembly.

Whenever I have a computer problem I don’t understand, I call Gary. His first response used to be, “Dad, why don’t you read the instructions?” But now, I have him trained. (He’s tired of asking the question). It is so much easier for me to have him explain it than to research poorly written directions in a language that only the computer nerds who created the software can understand. At least I am getting something in return for the investment in his college education.

Son Roy is quite adept at computers as well, but could live without them if necessary. Daughter Vickie uses one but doesn’t let it dominate her life. But it almost dominates mine.

At my age, this Website has become my principal activity, since I am otherwise retired from the world of business, and I tend to keep up with computereze to some degree - having just purchased a new system and switched from Windows 98 to XP. Would that I was as competent in understanding it as is Gary. But I will look forward to his tweaking it for me during his next visit to Sarasota.

Gary studied architecture in college but took up the computer later on. Today he does computer graphics and conducts management classes for a Houston corporation.

Like his brother and me, Gary enjoys writing and has some interesting Websites, including one entitled Inkmusing. Through some of these articles his mother and I are learning things about his youth he never told us at the time.

He also collects rare books. One day in the future I expect to see him published in book form as well.

Am I a proud papa? You bet… and thrice blessed.