Computers rely on math and electronics, and creating them over the years in the image of human brains is incredibly complex. I started with simple, minimally interactive computers in the early 1970s as a launch officer in ICBMs. The "DAC racks" contained elemenatary computers to deal with launch codes, and in later models with targeting. In the MPT (missile procedures trainer), I fed in training scripts using optical reader tape (holes punched) to tell the master computer what inidators to turn on or off. With no engineering, math, or other technical background, I mainly learned to run it, not understand it. In the early 1980s, I got interested in "personal computers", started with an (for the time) expensive Tandy, learned DOS and played very elementary games. As computers progressed, about every 2 years, I bought a new one, and my son helped me when I got lost in the technical instructions (bless him!). As things got into Windows and DOS began to "fade", I decided to take some classes in case my job ever went computer. In the early 1990s, I went to CSU and took some WordPerfect, Unix, and similar classes, but soon got caught up in learning law (Paralegal) at the local community college (I had a Master's in Social Science, Bachelor's in Journalism). But even they require electives, so I often took computer and communication courses. My nuclear weapon training helped some, but PCs were piled higher and deeper. DOS was a struggle, and Windows was so unstable, I often got frustrated, but felt it was the "wave of the future". It was slowly becoming user (sort of) friendly. Friends and neighbors came to me for help, so I had to learn more. My son built Compaq computers in Houston, and became a Network Administrator: he could help with some things, but not others. I progressed through Windows all the way to my current Win7 Ultimate, including Office (thru 2010 so far), Photoshop, Dragon, and many others. I learned how to research in college, and it has been a most useful skill, helping me to stay somewhat abreast of developments, and choose my computer replacements wisely. My son's office says they love my research emails, which often helps those techs with real-world user experience. Yeah, stupid mistakes, brilliant deductions, and all in between. Retired, I spend 4-6 hours a day doing research, playing AOE III, doing emails, etc. I recently bought a Toshiba laptop for trips, and learned how to use wifi, and how laptops differ from desktops. I also got a netbook for myself and for a schoolgirl friend, and learned their plusses and minuses. I like computers, but prefer human company whenever I can. I'm no tech, but maybe an advanced novice, mostly self-taught. I am a life-long learner, and computing keeps my mind active, and not wasting too much money on tech mistakes. Desktop: Dell Studio XPS 435mt, i7-920, 12 Gb DDR3 1066, BluRay/DVD player, DVD burner, 500 Gb hard drive, UPS, HP Photosmart Premium, Seagate 2 Tb external backup, wired network with D-Link hub (I live in a condo); Win7 Ultimate, Office Home & Business 2010, Dragon 11, Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Elements 9.0, Quicken 2010, TurboTax, games, etc. Toshiba Satellite, i7-720, 8 Gb DDR3 1333, combo (no BluRay) drive, 500 Gb hard drive, HD (720p) TFT screen, Win7 Ultimate, Office H&B 2010, Elements 9.0, UPS, with a 500 Gb external Seagate GoFlex backup. This is my 15th computer, and when I get a new one, usually give the old one to my son for his print server, kids use, etc., and occasionally to a friend "in need". I've helped friends and acquaintances buy over 100 computers in the last 10 years, and all felt (and curretly say) I did good, they are happy despite the expected glitches. So I'm doing ok in my dotage, By the way, my nephew is at London School of Economics currently, and loves England (we have a long lineage there from the 16th Century...Bishop John Overall and brothers). Windows has never really been easy for my generation, except for a few technically advance folks I've met. Most of us still struggle, but it has gotten better in most things. The main challenge is keeping up with Moore's Law, constant updating until the new OS won't work in the unit one has, and simply understanding the horribly complex interaction and effects of the hardware without getting into programming and so on. Hope that helps you in some small way. Richard Overall, Cheyenne, WY (firstname.lastname@example.org). Bonam Fortunam!