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BC-AD

The X-Factor

L. SURESH

xxxxxx, xltenx, xlsmenx, xlthtml, xlsmhtml, xlsbenx… why do the x files on your computer refuse to open?


Who would have thought that disagreeing with a computer would lead to problems with your ‘x'?

BC: My computer seems to hate the letter x…

AD: Must be a keyboard problem.

BC: No, my keyboard is fine, it's these files that have x in their extension…

AD: Do you suspect paranormal activity?

BC: Why do you ask that?

AD: You seem to have some ‘X-Files' problems…

BC: Kind of, yes… What do I do about it?

AD: Change your password to ‘I want to believe'. A month after, change it to ‘the truth is out there', then to ‘trust no one' and after that, ‘deny everything'.

BC: What are you talking about?

AD: Just kidding, those were the taglines of the X-Files. But Agent Mulder's password was ‘TrustNo1' as in, ‘trust no one'. It worked for him, so it could…

BC: I'm talking about Word files and Powerpoint files that I'm unable to open because they are now .docx and .pptx instead of .doc and .ppt!

AD: But that's been on for a while now! The 2007 Microsoft Office system introduced a new file format based on XML, so all documents and presentations are saved with an x in the file extension. And Excel files are .xlsx.

BC: With double x and triple x extensions, one might have to go for porn filters shortly. Why are they making things so complicated?

AD: If this is complicated, imagine file extensions like xxxxxx, xltenx, xlsmenx, xlthtml, xlsmhtml, xlsbenx…

BC: Stop, this is getting too cerebral for me!

AD: What you probably need is Cerebro – it's a device that helps amplify brainwaves and…

BC: So you think I'm dumb.

AD: Not at all! Don't you know that ‘X-Men' use Cerebro to…

BC: No thanks, I don't need to worry about mutants because my security settings are pretty high — possibly too high because I get ActiveX error messages.

AD: See? Another ‘x' problem. ActiveX brings to life the multimedia effects in the websites that you view. Try enabling ActiveX controls in your setting…

BC: Talking of ActiveX, I also receive DirectX error messages…

AD: Ah, playing games on the computer, are we? What kind of error messages?

BC: Something about the DirectX installed in my computer being incompatible.

AD: DirectX is a package that helps enhance the graphic features of your games. You could be having an older version or perhaps have a file missing. Just reinstal it from your games CD or from the Microsoft website.

BC: That's not all — my computer gives me error messages that it cannot open .x32 files…

AD: X32 is an extension that supports Macromedia files, so if your computer cannot open the file, you need to download a program that can do the job.

BC: Thankfully, my computer does not have an X drive. Can you imagine the havoc it would have caused?

AD: You're lucky — Xdrive was an online service that allowed you to store around 5 GB of data for free. The service, however, has been discontinued.

BC: I still don't understand why x has become such a hex for me?

AD: Do you know that an ‘x' is used instead of a signature when someone is illiterate?

BC: Are you telling me that I'm computer-illiterate?

AD: Of course not! I have a better idea — since you use your computer only for playing games, why not exchange it for something else?

BC: Like what?

AD: How about an Xbox?

sureshl.india@gmail.com

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