Operating Instructions

I am a moderately tech-savvy middle-aged person.   I don't write code or anything; but I am pretty good at finding my way around both software and hardware.  I've served as family tech support for many years.   Last month I installed more RAM on my own desktop; I felt quite the badass.

My tech savvy has been tested by several recent acquisitions.   First, I replaced a defunct pair of bluetooth headphones.  My old headphones had only one button, so it was obvious how to turn them on.  This new set has many buttons.

Fortunately, there are operating instructions!

As a middle-aged person, my eyeballs are not well-suited to anything smaller than 10-point font.

Thus it is that I resolve to rely on my moderately tech-savvy instincts:  the best approach here is to just start pressing buttons until something good happens. 

Which I do.  And eventually it does.


My big splurge was a replacement for the 15-dollar tripod I've been using for years to film my music videos.    This baby is a big upgrade.

This thing has even more buttons than my new headphones.   But fortunately, there are operating instructions!

Of course I can't make out the text; but as a moderately tech-savvy person, I can spot the QRT code.   So I use it to download the iPhone app and to access the online introductory video, the latter of which I present to you here:


This helpful video makes the most critical point perfectly clear:   as a middle-aged person, I am REALLY not the target demographic for this product.

But as a moderately tech-savvy person, I know that I can just keep pushing buttons until something good happens.  Which I do.  And eventually I produce this music video.



While I am producing "Rhapsody on Hold," I discover that my 9-month-old microphone has been rendered incompatible with my computer by an intervening operating system upgrade.

As a middle-aged person, I know that no problem I am experiencing in my life is unique; any challenge I encounter has almost certainly been encountered by many, many others in the past.  As a moderately tech-savvy person, I know that it is likely that one of those people will have created a YouTube video about how to solve it.  

It is through such a video that I discover that this incompatibility problem can be fixed with the purchase of a $15 powered USB port.  So I order one, and it arrives in the mail. 

It is, indeed, plug-and-play, just as Amazon promised!   But as it turns out, there are many, many plugs.

Fortunately, there are operating instructions!

As a moderately tech-savvy person, I know that if I really, really need to read the microscopic print, I can use the accessibility feature on my phone to triple-click and launch the magnifying app.

Which I do, and it does.

And thus it is that I discover the key to operating this piece of equipment:

You simply refrain from immersing it in water!   And if it bursts into flames, then you somehow put them out.

As a moderately tech-savvy middle-aged person, I believe I would have eventually figured these things out on my own.