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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Peggy McCracken

Squarely Pegged

By Peggy McCracken

Brain outsmarts
smart machinery

Ha! Technology 0, Peggy 1.

Yep, I outsmarted my printer when it said my black ink was low, and refused to print anything. That cartridge should not have been empty, so I removed it, replaced it, and told the printer it was a new cartridge.

After the alignment drill, I tried printing a story, and voila! It worked. And it is still working days later. Now I am going to do the same thing with the color cartridge, which claims to also be low. These machines don’t have the last word.

As I compile my old columns about Flomot, remembering the “good old days” makes me long for the simplicity and peacefulness of life on the farm.

Well, maybe it wasn’t all that simple. We had problems with machinery, too. Daddy was a genius at rigging up something that would work. He kept the old tractors running, and designed his own implements to drag behind them. Uncle Dud Graves used his welding skills to put them together.

When an old car’s starter refused to work, we would push it down a hill or drag it with the tractor to start the motor. You kids wouldn’t know how to do this, and I am not sure I should tell you. Even if I understood how it works.

I guess it couldn’t hurt. Once the car was moving at a pretty good clip, one of us would jump in the driver’s seat, push in the clutch and put the gearshift in second, let out the clutch, and the motor would turn over, much like using a crank. If we were lucky, it would start, and we were on our way.

We used the same method in reverse to stop a car that didn’t have brakes. Push in the clutch, put it in second gear, cut off the motor, then let out the clutch. If you weren’t going too fast, the car would stop in about a city block.

The computer may work like the human brain, but it can’t reason. So it will never replace you and me and our gray matter.

“You make the path of life known to me. In your presence there is complete joy.” Acts 1:28, Truth for Youth Bible.

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