My middle name should be "tech-challenged," so when my computer started giving me grief, flashing messages such as "You are obsolete," I panicked.

Out of fear of learning a new system, I paid an extra $150 to have Windows XP installed when I bought a new computer about four years ago, hoping it would last for years.

That was not to be. When I realized that my computer was ready for hospice I called my computer guy, Corey.

"No worries," he said. "You need a new computer. You'll love Windows 8."

A few days later Corey arrived with my new computer, along with a spiffy digital monitor. For more than three hours we sat side by side as he taught me the new system.

The screen was colorful, with huge icons, but learning the new technology made my head spin. Corey's fingers flew over the keys. Each new question I asked was met with a whirling-dervish response.

If I didn't type about 80 words a minute, I would have thought he was playing tricks on me. But I know that confidence and skills enable one to accomplish things quickly. Corey really knows how to make things happen fast. My old brain couldn't follow. As I sat there watching the screen dash from one site to another, I wished I'd stuck with my old computer.

But what choice did I have? I had feared my computer would shut down right in the middle of a new book or, worse, while I was playing bridge. What if I had a great hand and was poised to score major points and was disconnected? I would be devastated.

After what seemed like 12 hours, I was surprised to see it was still light out. Looking at my dejected expression, Corey said, "I have another appointment. You need to practice. Don't worry, you'll be fine. You're going to love Windows 8."

Restraining myself, I didn't scream, "Don't leave me." That never works anyway.

Not daring to play bridge, since I wasn't sure how to get on the bridge site, I decided to write my column. Although Corey had assured me that all my documents were intact, I was hesitant. With upmost concentration, I looked at all the colorful icons and, lo and behold, there was Word. My heart soared, along with my trepidation, as I clicked on the screen.

There was a list of my documents, but it was very short. Then I remembered Corey's words, "I'm putting all these loose documents in Miscellaneous." Sure enough, there was a folder labeled "Misc." I clicked on it and there they were!

I wish I could say I immediately sat down and wrote my column. That did not happen. Instead, I called Corey, crying, as one aspect of the system had me stumped.

"I'll be there at 5:30," he said.

While he was gone I fooled around with the new system and my brain slowly digested what he had explained. As promised, he arrived late in the afternoon. After an hour of him re-explaining things, I realized I understood a lot about the new system.

Now, after a couple weeks of using Windows 8, I realize Corey was right! I love my new computer, and have an even higher regard for computer technicians.

On StarNet: Read recent columns by Alexis Powers at

Email Alexis Powers at