I got to see Julia often that summer because I’d drive up to spend the weekends with Dorie. One Friday I showed up mid-day, when the tv shoot was still in progress, and Julia asked if I could help her out. It seemed that someone had decided that her computer monitor wasn’t good enough, and so they’d sent her a large color monitor. It was hooked up, but it just wasn’t right. The on-screen text was fuzzy and the colors were off. “Could you take a look at it?” she asked. Well, of course I couldn’t refuse, but I wasn’t sure I could be of much help, since writing software and playing with hardware aren’t the same. (Somehow, it didn’t seem the moment to mention the differences.)
Fortunately, one of the television crew was a self-declared computer geek and I decided that the wisest course of action was to team up with him. We would look at the problem, come to a joint conclusion and then, most importantly, he would take notes as I fooled around with things – in case I screwed up completely, we’d know what I’d done. The last thing I wanted to be was the person who broke Julia’s computer.
It appeared to be a simple matter of changing the settings and we were crouched over the monitor, immersed in the task, when I had the feeling that someone was watching us. I looked over my shoulder and saw Julia, studying our every move.
“Julia, what is it?” I asked. Her answer was pure Julia: “I just wanted to see what you were doing. One must know these things.”
(Photo thanks to Nina Wales)
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