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The question Computers


This week a poll revealed that many Britons regard their relationship with their computer as more important than the family. Two in five feel 'lost' without it, one in seven 'often talk' to it. So we ask: How do you feel about your computer?

Home computers are a waste of time and computers at work are time wasting. The old drawing board could produce a high quality drawing first time round, now a computer takes many iterations just to get the pen styles correct.

Steve Dellow, 38, associate, Reading If I had an abacus, I'd think it very nice.

I'd keep it on my desk, For all my maths advice.

I'd take that damn computer; (Wouldn't need it anymore) I'd bung it in its box, And chuck it out the door.

Delivering half solutions, While email sucks you in; So drag 'My Computer' And drop IT on 'Recycle Bin'.

Keith Fraser, 36, project manager, Chester Computers are like cats. We naively think that we care for them and tend to their needs because they respond to our attention and we lead more rewarding, fulfilled lives. The reality is rather different.

Computers have got us all under the thumb. Talk to mine? Of course I do. I tell it that if it doesn't improve its performance I'll be converting it into a bookshelf.

Simon Lawrence, 30, senior engineer, Cardiff I have never had electronic relations with my computer. I've never had an affair with it. My computer says: 'He did not propose that we have a electronic relationship, nor did he offer me employment or other benefits in exchange for an electronic relationship, he did not deny me employment or other benefits for rejecting an electronic relationship.' I hope this deals with the rumour.

Andrew Worby, 54, solicitor and civil engineer, Bath If I wanted to spend more time with my family, then I would have to spend more time on the computer, because that is where they spend most of their time.

Jim Goodbrand, 55, senior project engineer, East Grinstead I feel that there is too much reliance on computerised systems and feel happy without them. My laptop went down for five days a few weeks ago, and it was a relief to be using a pen again to write site instructions. I did miss emails, but went back to the tried and tested fax. As for feeling lost without it - it was liberating. Call me a Luddite and see if I care.

Dan Hooper, 42, site supervisor, Taunton My relationship with my computer is one of mutual contempt. It hates me for my inability to remember the short cuts, so I'm constantly reformatting text to left border when I actually wanted to insert a page break. It takes its revenge by working progressively more slowly as deadlines approach or crashing at the worst conceivable moment, preferably when I have failed to save my work for the last hour. In short, my computer and I are seeking a divorce.

Andria Hubbard, structural engineer, Exeter The PCs at work do not like talking to my old home computer which seems to freeze leaving me having to re-boot. Shouting at the damn thing is the most I have done to date. At least I have learned to save frequently. Haven't I?

Philip Norris, 57, managing director, Tutbury

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