Monday, December 28, 2009

Housekeeping, Not

About this time every once in a while, I do computer house cleaning. The goal is to rid the machine of old and useless files, which is just about all of them. I never get the job done, though, because I always end up . . . farting around instead.

Like yesterday, I decided that a new blog template would be nice for the New Year. I don’t know where the idea came from—probably my automatic procrastinator—so I started surfing template sites. And a few more, and a few more after that, until two hours totally disappeared, never to be regained. I must have looked at 37,874 templates, exactly two of which I really liked. But they both had black backgrounds with print that was difficult to read, so I nixed the whole idea. It's not the medium, I told me, it's the message.

Next on my mental farting around list was a trip to that evil place, Microsoft—the company that owns my computer. My computer is growing elderly, I worry about the hard disk, and I would like a nifty new notebook like the one St Jude got for Christmas. So I went to Microhard to do a software test with Windows 7.

Sorry Charlie, but little of my software will work with their newest piece of crap. I wasn’t aware that Microhard’s nerds have a sense of humor: Word 2003 and Excel 2003 will work with 7 "with modifications." Yeah, right. There used to be a time when new versions of Windows were backward compatible. No more, not even with their own Office products. The problem is, I’ve built Excel worksheets with VBA (Visual Basic for Applications), but 7 has a new VBA. Martha found that out at work when her programmed worksheets wouldn’t work with Vista, the temporary moneymaking piece of crap.

I’m willing to bet that if I had games, music, movies, Book Face, Tweety, and all the other stuff that works on my cell phone (don’t get me started), all of it would work seamlessly with Windows 7.

So another hour or more wasted looking at dozens of helpless help files, never to be regained. I was tired and dejected and pissed, but I did manage to do a bit of hard disk clean up: I deleted all of Martha’s Spider Solitaire games, which she saves by accident.

Microhard now has an additional 256 KB to download bug fixes to its six-year-old XP system.


Fay's Too said...

We of a certain age, will always find this computer stuff less than natural, I'm afraid. It's a good thing we're cute, eh?

koonsmother said...

I got a new netbook for Christmas, and my husband, being a genius, did not get Windows 7 on it.

Diane said...

I hate all that overwhelming technical stuff. I got my husband a Dell Netbook for Christmas (with the ulterior motive of my using it too when we travel)...LOL (it has XP so that made me happy).

St Jude said...

Well you and I have both been looking at new blog templates then. I've just spent the last three hours. I haven't found one though. I think I'm being too picky.

I have to say that I haven't had any problems with Windows 7 as yet, but I'm sure they will arrive given time. I used to alpha and beta test Microsoft platforms and the biggest bug bare that we always had was that they made them incompatible with their existing software. It's a money thing.

I've still got my old notebook with everything on it so I can use that if necessary for anything important that can't be moved.

Wandering Coyote said...

Well, there is quite a bit of stuff you can do with your template with Blogger, now that you can customize it much better than you used to. Which is one thing I'm not super stoked on using WordPress, but whatever.

I have Vista (it came with the machine when I got it in 2007) and have never had any problems with it, but I did move here from Mac so perhaps that's why...

Charlie said...

FAY: Woman of Mystery, you may be as cute as a butterfly's eyelashes, but the only cute thing about me is the dimple in my left knee [blush].

MOTHER and DIANE: You both lucked out! It appears that notebooks are really popular, and Dell may be the place to look.

ST JUDE: I saw some of the most godawful templates in the universe. One was pink neon and I can still see it in front of my eyes.

Imagine Microsoft doing it for the money. As far as your old notebook, pray that your hard disk stays healthy.

WC: YOU may be able to do a lot with Blogger, but you're much better at HTML than I am—as a matter of fact, Blogger is using Java scripts which we can't get into (even if I knew Java).

Peter S. said...

Hi, Charlie! So sorry to hear that you're getting "techno stress." I guess that's why we love books so much -- you just grab one from the shelf, start from page 1, and you're good to go!

Robert the Skeptic said...

My guess is that people will continue to run XP even when Micro$oft pushes out Windows 22 years from now.

I am a firm believer in "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". But software engineers are the worst offenders. I still use Notepad frequently!

This rant is causing me to feel a blog entry coming on.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I had to get 7 when our old hard drive died recently, and it seems okay so far.

But I didn't even know I could save my spider solitaire games!

Charlie said...

PETER: You're so right—books don't need an operating system or instruction manual written in very bad English. Now, if you get a Kindle, that's a different story.

ROBERT: XP can be run indefinitely unless you need a new piece of software—which personally, I don't. And I use Notepad all the time too.

BARBARA: I think you can only save Spider Solitaire games by mistake like Martha does.

Stella said...

Ah you're gettin all techno on me!!! I love XP, himself has Vista on his laptop - I hate it.

Blogger said...

Still not playing Solitaire on your phone? Download The Coolest Version (Built for iOS and Android)