I had my first computer in 1997 and the operating system was in Japanese! The person who sold me this computer was my Japanese nephew who worked for Epson. He installed Japanese Win 95 and that was a very stressful time for me. That time, computer was entirely new to me. Before having that first compuet, I went to the Ryukyu University, almost everyday to practise some e-mailing procedures, mostly using hotmail.com, just to familiarize.
I had some hard time with Japanese operating system and a friend, who sympathised my situation, lent me Win 98 English . What I knew that time was only to do simple mailing and surfing. I did not installed any anti-virus system nor any Windows updates. On a few occasion, I had so much trouble trying to clean the computer after virus infection. I had to call in help from some students who are enlightenment on repairing computers. Since I could not get my hands on Microsofts products in english here, the situation became desperate to get hold of anti-virus ware in english. I called up some friends in Singapore and Malaysia to help me get those CDs.
Those days, I used dial-up line and it was based on hourly usage. The more I used, the bill would be sky-high, since it was the early era of dial-up.
Well, I ended all that by fixing asdl line on Feb 2003 and bought myself this present computer at the same time. The operating system is XP Japanese but good thing is, english-written softwares are compatible with XP windows. That means it is alright to install Canon Printer English driver or any english software like Digital camera Zoom Browser.
Over the years, I've collected a few cyber friends, some I know personally. So now, most of my time are spend with my cyberpals. Whenever I am online, they would chat up with me. Mostly during their working hours, I would leave them alone eventhough I can see their names light up ( online ready to chat). When I don't wish to chat, I would still go online but I make a remark like, "in the kitchen" or "not at my desk", or something like that!
To see my cyber friends light up, tells me...
1) that they are fine and are doing their daily chores,
2) that I am not alone in this cyber world,
3) that when I light up, I am telling those cyber friends "I am fine too",
4) that friends out there like to see me as well,
5) that friendship goes both ways.
When cyber friends light up, it does not necessary mean that it is time for chatting! No, I just love to see the names light up and I feel cyber friends appreciate this as well.
I find it really selfish of some cyber friends who go invisible, just to avoid chatting. Like they have the power to chat with some particular friends and ignore the others or like it's a one-way lane. What happens if all the rest of the cyber friends have the same attitude and everyone goes invisible. Then, forget about collecting cyber friends, forget about cyber chat machine. Stay alone and ignore the world and the world will ignore you back!
This is just my humble opinion, nothing to debate about.