Learning something new




Last year, I signed up for Shimelle’s “Learn Something New Every Day” journal prompts and in the same way as enrolling for her Christmas journal is a once and for all sign up, I can play along with this one again for a second year.  What a great deal!  Though I chose to work 100% in Photoshop last year, I found that I missed the therapeutic benefits of cutting and pasting and this year, will take the old route.  Over the last week I’ve been thinking about how to present this year’s journal and what colours and themes I might choose, generally getting geared up for the starting signal and the arrival of that first pdf attachment.

Anyway, September 1 dawned bright and clear and as Shimelle helpfully reminds me in today’s prompt, the day has to be lived before it can be recorded.  Still, eager to get started and with all the motivation associated with a new term, I’ve spent the day identifying what I’ve learned.  Or rather, I’ve spent the day feeling overwhelmed by the learning opportunities which confront my hero and I.

It began so well.  I’m working on a small embroidery project which must remain under wraps for now, but which was not going well.  After three terrible attempts at creating something relatively simple, I sighed and remarked to my hero, sitting across the room, that I could do the job in five minutes if I could be bothered to get my embroidery machine out.




Now, my embroidery machine is a clever little beast and goes by the name of “POEM”.  It plugs into a computer and using very simple CAD software, stitches out a simple design in a small frame.  It’s not very sophisticated but does what it’s told and it’s an awful long time since I used it.

It hitches up to an old computer on my sewing table which we kept specifically for the job.  Still running XP, the only programs on it are the POEM software and that for my Bernina sewing machine.  I switched it on and watched as nothing happened.

This was a task for my hero.  He switched it on and nothing happened.  He tweaked and twiddled and still nothing happened.  We decided that after all these years, the old PC has given up the struggle.

Do we have another PC running XP?  Aha! my “old” work laptop!  Except, look at the software I needed.




Do we have another PC with a floppy disk drive?  Not a chance!


Fortunately, someone had copied all kinds of old programs onto some CDs – see, I chose my hero wisely – and as I write he is working his way through it all, muttering things like config sys and reminding me gently from time to time that it’s not straightforward. 


Have I learned anything new today?  Indeed I have.  How far we have come in just a few short years, from whole programs stored on 1.4mB floppy disks, serial ports, autoexec.bat, DOS and ZIP drives.


I think I might return to hand embroidery now.

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