Are you too far gone?

 

You still have a biscuit tin under a bed somewhere containing your Sinclair ZX Spectrum (self assembled) and that dog eared copy of BASIC for Beginners.

Your stationery is now more cluttered than Warren Beatty's address book. Your letterhead has not only your fax number and your e mail squiggles (for not one but two on line services), but the address of your World Wide Web home page.

You can't sit through an entire movie without at least one device on your body going bleep.

You think of the gadgets in your office as "friends". But you forget to send your mother a birthday card.

The vast majority of people you e-mail you have never met face to face. And you look down upon anyone with a modem slower than 14,400 bps

You were the natural first choice to chair SCEDEDSIS '96 your company's new Sub Committee to Examine, Devise and Evaluate Developmental Strategies for the information Superhighway.

You spend at least four hours I a week customising your desktop's icons.

You think jokes about being unable to set the timer on a video recorder are stupid.

You can no longer fill out, a form that must be typewritten, because you don't have a typewriter in your house any more just computers with laser printers.

You have had several of dreams in which you write the ultimate macro.

You subscribe to MacFormat, Mae User, The Mac, Mac Action (or their PC equivalents) to "keep up with trends". You are also a regular buyer of PC Live, Byte and Wired (the US edition that is), and any book with "cyber" or "dummy" in the title. And you videotape GamesMaster and The Net every week.

In office memos you've I started writing "K" instead of three zeroes, and " " instead of "at".

You know the e-mail addresses of Bill Gates (billg microsoft.com), President Bill Clinton (president white house.gov) and the Grateful Dead (deadflames request virginia.edu).

But you can't remember your big sister's telephone number.

You constantly find yourself in groups of people to whom you say the phrase "digital compression". Worse, everyone understands what you mean and you aren't surprised or disappointed any more that you don't have to explain it.

You signed your 1995 Christmas cards by putting next to your name.

Off the top of your head, If you can think of 47 keystroke symbols that are far more clever than.

You back up your data twice a week. Somewhere on your hard drive you also have a copy of every single piece of e-mail you've ever received. Or sent.

You've stopped saying "phone number" and replaced it with "voice number". After all, everybody knows that the majority of phone lines in any house are plugged into contraptions that talk to other contraptions.

You have more than four mouse mats.

On holidays abroad you drop in on the local cybercafe, to send e-mail postcards home.

And on the beach, you can now read a computer manual and turn the pages faster than everyone else can get through a Maeve Binchy blockbuster.

The thought that a CD could refer to music rarely enters your mind.

Al Gore strikes you as an "intriguing" fellow.

You are able to argue persuasively that Ross Perot's phrase "electronic town hall" makes more sense than the term "information superhighway". But you don't because, after all, this is a man who still uses hand drawn pie charts.

You go to every computer trade show in town, and map out your path of the exhibit hall in advance. But you can't give someone directions to your house without looking up the street names.

You care far more about dots per inch than miles per gallon.

When you go into a computer store, you always eavesdrop on the salesman (yes, it's always a bloke), butt in to correct him and spend the next 25 minutes answering the customers' questions. Meanwhile the salesman stands by silently, nodding his head.

You know without a doubt that disks came in five and a quarter and three and a half inch sizes and why they are really "floppy".

You become upset when somebody tries to sell you something on the telephone, but you think it's perfectly OK for a computer to call and demand that you start pushing buttons on your telephone to receive more information about the product it is selling.

You own a set of itty-bitty screwdrivers and you actually know where they are.

You know what PCMCIA's and for (and what it has been replaced by).

While contemporaries' Roy hernia swap stories about their recent history of mouse induced index finger strain with nine year olds.

You rotate your screen savers more frequently than your car tyres.

You have a functioning, state of the art home copier machine, but every toaster you own turns bread into charcoal.

You have never thrown away your first joystick, on the basis that "the parts might come in handy some day

Several of your friendships were terminated due to irreconcilable differences about which is better a track ball or a track pad.

You learn about your spouse's virtual affair in alt.partnerswap.ireland.

You have a Bill Gates dartboard

You download a version of this article from the Irish Times Web page. Then you e-mail it to your "friends" on the Net, i.e. people who are in your mailer's address book, but you don't remember who they are, nor do you care if you get a response.

Finally, you understand fall the jokes in this article. If so, computers have definitely taken over your life. We suggest that you lie under a tree and write a haiku. And don't use a laptop.