Supercomputer Bitterness

The year was 1998. It was in my final year of college. I was taking a class in Statistics with the worst teacher ever. He was a pompous, Diet Coke drinker with short man’s disease. When the class started there were 60 students and by the end, it was me and 7 other students. I was receiving a 10% in the class (so not passing) because he couldn’t teach his way out of a Harry Potter maze (though not many people could). For one of our assignments, he asked us to go to the college store and buy a floppy disc. If you are much younger than me, you have no idea what a floppy disc is. (Or if it is spelled disc or disk. Oh wait, that’s me.)

Quick explanation. Before computers had the internet (otherwise known as the dark ages) and kids had to play outside to entertain themselves, and phone came with cords and you could only make them from your house. It was an ancient civilization and I’m kind of surprised I’m still alive to tell the tales of the dark, murky past.

I was first introduced to floppy discs in the early 80’s when my dad brought home an IBM computer. It had a slot that you could insert a floppy disc and it was what computers used to store information. They were called floppy discs because you could actually fold or bend them. Now there are thumb drives, or mini-SD cards, or external hard drives that store TB’s of info. Back in the dark ages, we used the Floppy discs, because we thought computers were just fancy typewriters. They stored so little, that once you stored a couple of Word files they would be full.

Back to me getting a floppy disc assignment from my teacher. It had been so long since I used a computer, that I thought the floppy discs were still floppy. But they had changed. They were now a little smaller and had a hard shell, but nobody told me that. I asked the sales clerk at the University store for a floppy disc, she gave me one of the new ones and I was like, no, I need a FLOPPY DISC. I think she might have gone into the back where they stored the time machine back to the 80’s and found me the older ones. I brought it and went to class, apparently so my teacher could mock me. “No, you need a 3 1/2 inch disc with the harder shell.” It was then that I decided that I was old. And I was only 27.

Can you imagine me now when my kids asked me to get them a thumb drive? I think I came back with a keychain that had a plastic thumb from a doll attached to a car (Get it, thumb drive?).

Thankfully, before I graduated, I figured out how to use the internet, because I took a class in Introduction to the internet.

Now, there are supercomputers that you can fit in your pocket. In fact, most phones are faster and hold more information than your typical computer at work.

Sad thing is, I hold more information in my tiny little brain that all those things combined. Because I’m an introvert. We can run a million scenarios in our head for every conceivable situation. That is why we take so long to speak. All we are doing is computing a thousand different ways a conversation can go. We’re thinking of a hundred different responses someone could have. And make sure you are very specific with us, because we have a thousand follow up questions waiting in our heads before you ever finish the instructions.

Here’s a for instance. Boss sends an email and wants a response.

Thinking about the reply: How should I address him? First name, last name, Hey? Am I getting a response to him fast enough? How should I start the email? Capital letters? Lower case? Did that word sound too blunt? Do I need to bold that word? He’s going to fire me for saying that. No way, he’s going to promote me. He probably doesn’t need a response. What was his question in this part? Should I answer in succession? Can I go out of order? Maybe he’s busy now. I can wait. I’ll do it now. Now, should probably wait to see if he is in his office before I respond.

Email from him: Do you guys want to leave for lunch at 12:30 pm?

My answer: Yes.

If you think computers are smart, you’ve never met an introvert. They could give you 10,000 scenarios to every situation you are ever in. It’s just that you will be dead before you ever get an actual response to the question.

Speaking of taking infinitely too long, it’s taken me that long to get to the Bitter Friday Giftures. Sorry, not sorry.

This is what I thought the teacher meant…

…when he said floppy disc.

When this is what he really meant…

…and why I was confused. That thing isn’t floppy or a disc.

Luckily in college…

…I was able to take this really informative class called, “Introduction to the internet.”

Before I could take that class I had to take the prerequisite of…

…floppy disc insertion.


…I still haven’t passed my “USB insertion on the first try” course.

Now I try to make a TikTok and my kids look at me…

…like they are Elle Woods. “What? Like’s it hard?”

You think extroverts like Elle are amazing…

…because they can make friends…

And they are so dynamic…

…and interesting to be around.

But that is because you can’t read an introverts mind..

…after asking them a simple question.

You would be so blown away…

…by all the synapses’ firing there…

That it would make an extrovert’s…


Look like…

…a lecture about statistics.

You just like supercomputers because they answer you instantly. Google might know some stuff, but not a million different ways to answer a text. For that, you will have to reach out to your local introvert and hope they aren’t so distracted with their millions of thoughts that they can give you the right answer.


Bitter Supercomputer Ben


2 thoughts on “Supercomputer Bitterness

  1. I have been having a field day with my personal computer that I just upgraded a month ago to a SSD and was promised a faster computing experience. However, the boot up time is enough to grow me a beard! I have been hunting online forums that would address my concern and have tried all the recommended fixes. I am still at ground zero with my challenge. Added to that I am trying to schedule a task to shut down the computer if left idle for more than 30 minutes; I failed at that too – I am equally bitter about it!


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