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From The Awakening by Frank Talaber
What is a protagonist?
The protagonist works toward the central story goals and tends to be involved in or affected by most of the choices or conflicts that arise in the narrative. The protagonist of a story is the main character, who has the sympathy and support of the readers.
Charlie learns how to use the computer
From Stillwaters Runs Deep, book three: The Awakening
Some protagonists are rather smart and savvy in the ways of the world. Mine, Charlie Stillwaters isn’t. Well at least in the ways of our world and technology. However being a shaman he’s extremely savvy to the ways of the natural world. Does that make him appear a little insane by our standards, oh yeah.
““Okay I’ll start this one up. Ah, ever use one?”” the older man said as he stared at Charlie like he’d just escaped a derelict building.
““Nope. I was told to try Oogling the information. Does that mean I stare really hard and the answer magically appears?”” He opened his eyes wide.
The older man stared blankly at him, before smirking and readjusting his thick glasses. ““Okay. It’s called Google. Everything you ever need to know can be searched and found via Google.””
Charlie sat down opened his eyes wide and banged his cane on the side of the screen. ““Nope, blank. Didn’t seem to understand what I was asking it.””
The clerk scratched his head. ““You need to type it into the keyboard. You do know how to type don’t you?””
Charlie raised his ball cap a moment. ““Do these look like typing fingers?””
He held them up, all crooked.
He laughed. ““No, I suppose not. You’ll just have to use two-fingered typing. Now move over and let me get you started. As I said, the main search engine these days is Google. It’s taken over from Bing and Yahoo as your main internet search engine.””
““Internet? Is this some kind of new fishing gear? I didn’t think Mr. Crosby was very good at ‘puters, thought that was a might before his time in the fifties. So if Google is a little like oogling things then must you holler Yahoo when you find the thing you’re after and scream out Bing-o? I reckon Google took over because it was a lot quieter to use in libraries.””
The librarian closed his eyes and shook his head. ““It’s not named after Bing Crosby. Okay Charlie, now I’ve pulled up Google. Type in what you’re searching for.”” Charlie did, slowly hitting singular key after singular key. After a couple of minutes they both stared at the screen. ““Doesn’t look very intelligent to me.””
The librarian leaned over and punched enter. ““This is like telling it to seek and find, which some days I wished I was doing. Finding a better job.”” About half a second later a list appeared.
““Ten thousand results in less than a second. Ho, that was quick, this is a smart bugger.”” He stared at the little cord coming out of the screen. ““All that through that little cord?””
““Yup, modern technology. Although we haven’t gone wireless yet, which is even better.””
““Some new kind of Ouija board that is. Now what?””
““Now take that mouse.””
Charlie glanced down at the floor. ““What mouse? Don’t you guys clean around here? Attracts rodents you know.””
The man laughed again. ““Okay I can see a quick crash course in computer use is needed. So I’ll give you my ten minute crash course.””
““Does this require a helmet?””
““I think the ball cap will suffice. Although I can see a baseball bat could be useful right about now as well.”” His ten minutes turned into two nerve-wracking hours as he showed Charlie how to search, browse and in general look for information on the computer.
Charlie stood up and armed himself with several pages of print outs. ““Thanks.”” He said as he left. ““I’ve done a favor and rewarded your computer with its favourite cheese. Should make it very happy, but I don’t think didn’t it did the keyboard any good. The mouse looked rather happier.””
The librarian put his head in his hands. ““And I gave up drinking and smoking for this job.””
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