If I was called up by the said software designer, with his screen open, asking what I'd want in a software system designed just for me, I'd want to bolt it together from scratch, like an old-fashioned hi-fi system. Wouldn't want Office, but I'd take Word; email, yes, and could I have text-massaging software on my laptop as well, please? [I meant text messaging, obviously, but I'll take text-massaging too, on the understanding that it doesn't load a talking paperclip - or, hold on a sec, could I have little bomb with a lit fuse, to drop on any insistent animations, pop-ups, et cetera? Easier than searching for the tick-box to turn them off. And now I think of it - I'd be a big spender, once I got into it.
Any new software package, like my new StupidPhone (to get any realistic battery life, you have to leave the Smart parts switched off), or indeed any show flat, is also a description of somebody. Who is this man (I'm guessing man) who uses this combination of functions, who needs his phone to tell him when it's raining (and then, if it's Smart, to die from getting wet), who watches YouTube on an inch-square screen that won't stop rearranging itself every time you (accidentally) touch it? Turn that round: here's today's creative-writing assignment. Describe yourself in terms of the applications that would match who you are. Real or imagined.
Happier note. If you're within range and it's not too late (couple of days left) go to www.duchyopera.co.uk and book tickets to see Heinrich Marschner's The Vampire, Philip Cade in the title role. Short review: it holds the attention of teenagers.