Showing posts with label Computers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Computers. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Dirty Seven

Lessons from a Windows 7 user (I know, I know...I promised>):

  1. The version of Freecell that comes with my PC  has lovelier graphics but is much harder to play.  I can't win most of the games like I used to. 
  2. USB ports sometimes recognize what you plug into them and sometimes Windows 7 is off polishing its mother board and ignores your hardware.  (Maybe computers are so snarly because they don't have a father board? Is he out running another background check on a virus?)  PS...Through training I think my PC is beginning to get the hang of my plug-ins at long last!
  3. The default on this new version of Windows does not change how your mouse looks (remember the hourglass) when it is thinking.  That means that sometimes you think 7 is done thinking and you move your mouse elsewhere...but nothing happens because it is still thinking!
  4. Windows 7 does not like anything 'old' and there are not enough Windows 7 users for software companies to make something 'new'.  Use your old software at your own risk and good luck finding compatible new versions on the Internet.
  5. Windows 7 gives you lots of 'helpful' little pop-up windows asking you questions when you are trying to move or upload something as it accesses various software "assistants" and it sometimes makes me a little dyslexic as to which one to choose.  Sometimes the windows hide behind each other and you don't even know it has been hanging until you close all the windows.
  6. A fancy new feature of Windows 7 that would only appeal to the designers or 14-year-0lds is that you can 'shake' the window in which you are working and it will automatically expand to the full screen.  This unfortunately also happens if you cannot see the mouse pointer and you are moving the mouse rapidly back and forth to see where the pointer is located and the screen jumps to full view.  Very annoying if you have several windows up at once.
  7. The last thing I noticed on this PC, although not a function of Windows 7, was that the flash drive port is a little tight.  My husbands X-rated response..."Well, of course.  It's a virgin port.  It should be a little tight."  You can see how much tech help I get from him!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Last time...I promise

I am still fiddling with my PC and trying to get my photo software packages to work like well-behaved children instead of Monk. (If you don't watch TV you will not get that statement.)

said she had luck by calling support for her new laptop. Being old at this game, that thought never occurred to me!  That gave me visions of bathing in ice water.  I had the experience in past of waiting on hold for hours and then patiently waiting while the tech on the other end walked me through all the things I had already tried...again!

Two cute little bugs that I have never seen before and which I corrected by searching the web were:  my apostrophe key defaulting to the search box at the bottom of the screen and not typing the apostrophe in the text of the emails.  For several days I have avoid using contractions and possesives...but found  on the web a toggle fix using the numlock key.

The second interesting bug was my camera (Canon EOS) would not download photos...kind of REALLY REALLY annoying as you know how much I love diddling with my photography.  Well some geck online found that if you reset the camera menu to downloading to a printer instead of the PC this will work in Windows 7.  Don't you just love how Microsoft's mind works?

Now I must figure out why my microchip ports on the front of the PC are not lighting up or being recognized when I put memory chips in them.  They were working just fine a few days ago.

One thing Windows 7 has accomplished...fewer readers to my blog.  Who wants to read this stuff!  But my blog is where I get it off my chest...I was going to write a Bagman comment here about my chest...but I will refrain and go get another cup of coffee instead.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Grade School Style

I am all about saving trees, but this is the entire documentation I got for setting up my PC and monitor.  When I called the store and asked about the manuals, they said they were online.  Perfect to access if you have your PC up and running...BUT!

I was trying to figure out the numbers on the various ports in the back and the front and how to recognize them.  I even looked for an image online.  After trial and error I got the printers plugged into the best ports.

Why did I go with HP you might ask?  Well, my recent one lasted almost 10 years and actually it is still running, only very slowly.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

90% done

Things I  learned today (and which you probably have no interest in):

  • New PCs (with an II X 4 910 processor) are faster but not amazingly faster than my old one.
  • Windows 7 WILL lock up if you are trying to install some driver or software that is not compatible and then it will not let you get the CD out and then it WILL crash.  You know that commercial where the PC guy tries to one-up the laid back Apple guy?  Not so funny anymore, somewhat like a documentary in my view.  Good thing I know just enough about computers to get myself out of trouble.
  • The design of this new HP has the button on the top right corner where it is very easy to hit and turn off when all you are doing is checking a connection in the back of the PC.
  • It also has a very CHEESY CD eject button.  Something one would find on a much cheaper computer.
  • The new wider HD monitor that I got for almost free because I had a coupon from Best Buy is to die for.  Now I can watch all those important YOUTUBE productions of people's cats and babies in high resolution....!
  • After an entire day I have one printer up and running...the free one I got with my camera purchase years ago that uses tons of expensive ink.
  • I have not given up on the old workhorse HP932C printer because I just spent $30 on a cable for it!
  • I worked for about ten minutes clicking and restarting and by luck got both monitors to display!
  • I have not purchased any new software and am forcing the older software to work...for now.
  • The house has not been vacuumed in days nor laundry done because my husband had an old laptop repaired when I got my new one and we are glued to our separate PCs right now.
  • Interesting but the new monitor makes some of my photos look worse than I thought and others much better.  Go figure.  Must be my old eyesight. 
  • And as an aside I find the nerdy geeks that repair or adjust my PCs when I do call them in are really nice kids and homemade cookies go a long way.  It is the developers that are aliens from outer space!
  • This is both my birthday and Christmas gift I have been told, and I love it in spite of all the getting to know you dance (war). 

Monday, November 23, 2009

That Digital Sugar High

I listened to a program on MSNBC  (I think) that was discussing how hard it is for people to stop checking their Bl**kberries or logging into FB or Blogger on their computers at least a dozen times a day. They were addicted to any new items from friends or from news feeds. The network interviewed a psychiatrist and she said that our brains were hardwired for the novel. We automatically were intrigued by a new view, a new vision or new news. Therefore this new social networking was like a chemical addiction for the brain. She actually said is was like sugar for our brain.  My husband, who does not own a hand-held personal communication device like a Bl**kberry, said that on his travels many of the people he met with had these little electronic devices in hand and were checking routinely.  (It is almost as if they were waiting for a tweet that the world is indeed coming to an end.)

I find this so true. We want that quick interesting new hit. But we don't really have time or energy to follow the deeper links and really understand that new/new. We read about some climate disaster, or a celebrity breakup, or political icon's last interview or that next emerging plague, but we don't research beyond the initial report. We don't apply critical thinking. What was the extent of the disaster? How are people coping days later? Where did Palin get the facts to make that scary statement? What really is the definition of a plague that they are using and what are the chances this new germ will affect me personally?  Why do I read anything about Paris Hilton anyway?  I have written before my concern about our schools no longer teaching critical thinking skills.  Analysis of what we feed our brain, instead of just feeding our brain is key.

We don't have time for deep thought anymore.  We are unexcited unless there is blood or spittle.  We are even bored at trying to think deeply about an issue, finding it hard to really study other sides and see other angles.   It is always on to the next exciting news or photo or embarrassing event.  We are always on to the next roadside accident which makes it all so simple.  Everything is black and white or start and stop and never gray and there is an endless supply of this novel two bit stuff.

That is one of the reasons I have my other blog. It forces me to sloooow dooown. It forces me to study what is happening in the very small area of my world where I live on a day to day basis. It creates a habit for me to see how I fit within that quiet realm before I try to react in the larger scheme of things. Then when I am breathing at a normal rhythm, if I see something of interest, I know that I need to ask questions about it and not just skim it and then repeat the nonsense to someone else as if I really know what I am talking about. (Maybe I need to research this report?)

Monday, October 05, 2009

The Wireless Web

This is my old Belkin wireless. I was on travel and when I returned, retrieved my PC and plugged everything back in, I noticed the state of this router. Do you think the spiders are clogging the network and the reason for the slowness of my PC? (HA!)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Virtual Reality Update

My recent family visit filled my head with too much reality. Love them all and probably would be too generous in blogging about their complicated lives had not my PC been in the shop all this time, and thus, putting the yellow light on my blogging allowing me to mellow out and put a more subtle pink light on all the issues. My life is not a soap opera, but it appears that their lives are.

It also appears that I have both a "mal generic A" virus and a Trojan "agent gen-x" on my PC and for the low, low price of only $89.99 they will remove it for me! Wow. They have adopted the repair model use by car dealers. We analyze for a small fee and then call you and tell you how much it will cost to repair it. Only this scenario involves NO moving parts. It is more painful this way. I got this message on Saturday (today) and so may not get my computer back until Tuesday since she (the all-knowing magician) does not get in until Monday at 2:00PM. I am totally addicted to my PC and so will have to cough up the dough to get the PC functioning again. Since it is almost 8 years old, I fully expected them to say that I needed a new one. So there is a brighter side to this scenario.

If they could tell me how I got this illness on my PC, I would be more understanding. I have so much firewall and virus protection, that I honestly thought I was inoculated until the blue screen of death.

Oh well, Monday I get to start working on those photos that I am compelled to view on the big screen. Addictions are what they are, and at least this one does not contain calories to make me fat(ter)!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Out of Pocket

It seems that the fates have converged in a unique formation in the coming weeks. My PC which is about 8 or 9 years old has decided it will not cooperate any more. I am sending it into the repair clinic before I lose everything that I do not back up---which is everything on the PC.

Symptoms include auto shutdowns, lock-ups, and inability to keep my photography software open for any length of time. The fan kicks on frequently and closing a program can take a very long time. I hope I don't need a new PC, but my gut feeling is that the store will recommend that!

Secondly, I am heading out on a jet plane to the other side of the country for a week's change of scenery. I will be eating and sleeping with relatives some of the time and some of the time I will be spending with my camera outside---I hope.

Thirdly, I have a post on this blog that has been pre-scheduled and several on my other blog, so that my readers will not disappear. But I will not be responding or reading blogs in the coming weeks.

Behave yourselves while I am gone, please. (OKAY...don't behave IS short after all.)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Technology Transfer with Honey

In one of my first jobs I worked with a public services agency and did most of my work on the computer. Since I had just come from the mom world, I had much to learn about software and hardware. In those days the end user was responsible for defrags, backups, etc. Our tech people were quite nerdy and also in their insecurity happy to make you feel stupid. I was regularly reminded of how inadequate I was and was asked questions about the system for which I had no answers. The attitude of our tech department was that they were dealing with lazy and stupid children who would never learn anything. Having been a teacher in a prior life, my whole philosophy was that there were no stupid questions. Their attitude was that all questions were stupid.

In this prior life I was responsible for a survey regarding a price change for services that my agency was considering. We worked with universities and colleges and also the public and were required by law to survey prior to raising our service fees. As a result, this meant I had to monitor many emails for several months and record the responses.

The first thing each morning I would open my over-filled email box and begin the responses. On one particular morning I opened an attachment from the Dean of a university to print it and immediately my email box was filled with responses from my huge address book from everyone...many of them address invalid responses. Within five minutes the headquarters computer security office in the city called me on the phone and said I had a virus and to shut down my computer immediately. I did. I also walked around the building and posted signs telling staff not to open any email from me that morning. It was the Melissa virus.

I was very intimidated by this whole mess and knew that the 'nerds' were going to have a field day with me. Because they worked late hours none of the crew got work before 10:00 AM. I had to sit and stew for the first part of the morning without any computer. When they arrived, they immediately wanted to know what games I had been playing on the computer, what Internet sites I had visited, etc. When I revealed that I had opened an attachment from the Dean of a prestigious university it took most of the wind out of their sails. I did get some pleasure from that.

When I changed jobs years later the next job also had a staff of IT that felt it was necessary to belittle the 'client' and to even go so far as to correct their English on the help tickets being posted, even though there was a database that recorded this insolence. I took a totally new approach to working with these folks. No longer was I going to be the deer in the headlights. I became the chatty and praise filled client. Everything they did was golden and my questions were always coated with awe at how they did what they did. I ignored their snide remarks. It worked! We became the best of friends and I became number one on their help list when a problem arose. They even began to share knowledge.

This all came back to me when twice this week I was in IE browsing various blogs and when I clicked on a link the 'about:Tabs' starts up and keeps opening new tabs ad nausea um until I am forced to turn off my PC...actually I have to UNPLUG my PC as I get no response from the keyboard or off button!

My PC is an oldie but a goodie, but I guess it is is now beginning to show its age. Staples is having a half-price sale on PC maintenance---which I hope means more than vacuuming the inside of the box. Maybe I should look into this. I wish I had some rude nerds in the neighborhood.