What’s messier right now — your bedroom or you computer’s desktop (or your favorite device’s home screen)? Tell us how and why it got to that state.

Without a doubt, the area around my main computer. (I use my laptop in another room where we watch TV at night, and that’s neater, except for the laptop always sitting there.) My bedroom is a close contender, because like a lot of women I sort and fold in there and store the odd socks in an unfortunately large basket (how does that happen?).

I consider my main computer the work horse. It is where I pay bills, check my bank account, write most of my posts, and answer the most email. One thing I prefer about it when editing photos is the the screen angle never changes so that there is better continuity when I change things like levels, hue and saturation, tint, and brightness. It amazing how screen position can change the appearance of photos!

This is also the computer on which I have Adobe Elements. On my notebook I have an old program produced by Microsoft which mimics Elements, but is not quite as good. I tried Gimp, but found it kind of confusing and when I found the other program in a pile of old programs at work, I decided to try that. It’s not licensed, but it’s also not produced any more (thus not updated), so I figure a license is not necessary, though I don’t think that would work for Adobe — they’re pretty stringent.

There’s a printer right beside my computer which makes it easy to scan photos and other documents; and the speakers on this computer are far better for listening to videos or music. It’s also next to my file cabinet, so there’s always a stack of paper to be filed, or if I wait long enough, to be thrown away.

Because of all the piles and parts of the computer (including the modem, the modem for the VOIP phone, the phone, and the cable box, the area is always dusty and a chore to clean. I also eat my breakfast and lunch here, so the odd crumb or drip of oatmeal may also be present — or else it’s on my shirt. (When I taught computers at school I went ballistic when someone at or drank at their computer!)

I’m one of those people who knows my piles pretty well, so there’s method in my mess; I don’t see things changing, but as long as it’s my space, I guess I can live with it.