I have a new digital camera. This is something of an adventure. Over the last six or seven years, I learned to use an SLR and became comfortable with it. Perhaps, even probably, I will become comfortable with the new camera, but at the moment I am lost and unhappy, part of which, at least, is the fault of the manual. The machine’s various switched need to be used in conjunction — i.e. you change mode and they do different things — and the manual iscompletely opaque on how you identify functions such as forward and back, merely to start at the beginning. I think it is likely that within a shortish time I will be using the thing as somewhere between prosthesis and notebook, like the SLR, but my sense of the utter alienness of everything at the moment is very strong. I don’t have a mobile phone, which I think may be part of the problem. There is a whole vocabulary of using handheld electronic devices which is taken for granted in the manual and which I do not actually possess.