Computer Mom: Ask Me, I’m a Techno Dummy

I know a lot of self proclaimed techno-dummies who, for the most part, like using new technology. I always smile when I hear that term, because in this day and age it’s impossible not to be a techno-dummy what with all the new gadgets and products and the minutiae of their features.

I also smile because, despite my computer-centric background, I think of myself as a techno-dummy. Why? Because actually, techno-dummies are not dumb. They’re just honest enough to admit that a) they haven’t read up or b) they are befuddled by a product’s poor explanatory materials and/or obtuse user experience design.


My first techno-dummy moment occurred in 1985 when I attempted to play with a computer in a computer store:

  • Gina types: Hello computer
  • Computer responds: Bad command or file name


After repeated rebuffs, I got rather offended and gave up.  (In the back of my mind, I was pretty sure I wasn’t the dummy in this relationship.)  I did, however, take away two very important motivating thoughts from this experience: there’s got to be a way, and, there’s got to be an explanation.


I am starting this blog to try to share my day-to-day techno-dummy moments in Shanghai with you, and I invite you to share yours with me. I look forward to documenting some experiences of finding out how to do something new, or celebrating the discovery of a damn good explanation.



About the author:

Hi, I’m Gina, mother of Magnus. I’m a Canadian ex-pat living in Shanghai since 2009. I have a computer engineering background which I have used to work in the software and hardware industry for the past 10 years. I love sports, good food, singing, travelling, reading, and spending time with my family.



Image courtesy of Michelle Mieklejohn at

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