Sunday, July 17, 2005

Computer Woes

My old, long-suffering computer is probably no more. It's been dying by inches for a long time now, getting slower and slower, refusing to run my word processing and my browser at the same time, freezing unexpectedly, sometimes taking five attempts to boot up, and, most recently, having drivers fall off, one at a time. One day Rio stops burning music; another, we can't copy pictures from the camera to a CD. Oh, and my printer? The box knows it's there, and thinks it's printing - but it's not. It's an Epson, hasn't been used in three months, at least - which means the jets are all clogged impermeably with dry ink. My computer skills are limited to running my favourite programs. When stuff like this happens, I'm a blind man in an art gallery: I know there's good stuff there somewhere, but it's hopelessly beyond my reach. Yesterday I bit the bullet, backed everything up, and ran the " Product Recovery Program". I wish I could say this had solved it, though I confess I was a bit dubious even as I made the attempt. That's probably what went wrong: I'm being punished for my lack of faith. While the programs that I've reinstalled now work quickly (!!), I still have no drivers. Damn. No printer, no Rio, no photos. Damn. No modem, no internet. Damn!!! What all this means is that I'll probably be buying a new computer, which I can do - what else is a line of credit for? The kids can have the old one for games. This will make them happy, and me, too. What this means for YOU, my dedicated reader, is that I may not be able to post every day; and when I do, I'll be posting in the evening instead of the afternoon. Our second computer (officially my partner's work computer) is in the basement. MY computer is in the kitchen. Next week is my over-the-top week: all my part-timers, all my full-timers, all my formerly-on-holidayers will be back, all together, all at once. Lord help me. I will scarcely have a moment to call my own, and I certainly will not be able to hide in the basement, much as I might like to, to type up entertaining anecdotes for my entertainment. Damn! I love blogging. Focussing on this incident or that event and framing it so it's funny is my ray of sanity some days. When will I need this more than next week?? Typical, huh? Right when you most need it, your therapist bails on you. Computers. Can't live with ' em...


Anonymous Si said...

OOI I presume you won't be blogging whilst you take a month off either?

7/18/2005 07:01:00 a.m.  
Blogger Mary P. said...

Yes, I do plan to keep blogging in August. I like it too well to quit for an entire month. I have a stockpile of stories that I plan to use. You'll be getting my Life Archives, as it were.

7/18/2005 07:05:00 a.m.  
Blogger August95 said...

To bad about your puter Mary. Maybe you could keep a journal in the kitchen and if you really have to get it off your chest, you could write it down and burn it later. You don't have to burn it, that just makes it funner.

7/18/2005 12:05:00 p.m.  
Blogger Simon Peter said...

Get a Mac. I have an iBook with Wireless hookup that I use for the majority of my efforts. I love it. No viruses, no spyware. It all just works. And while I've used Linux alot, I grew to dislike the constantly tweaking stuff administrivia that came with it. The Mac just works, leaving me to get on with stuff that I want to do: reading, writing and programming.

Having the wireless helps, because then I can sit at the kitchen table or under a tree in the garden rather than being stuck away in a room somewhere else in the house away from the family.

7/18/2005 01:35:00 p.m.  
Blogger Candace said...

Ah, the Mac vs. The Big Evil debate. Personally, I HATE Macs. With a burning passion of a thousand suns. I used to work in the University computer labs, which had both kinds (county AND western!), so I was able to delve deeply into both. Hate Macs.

They are sometimes easier for non-computer people to use, but I find that if one is used to a PC, switching to a MAC can be difficult.

Have you tried reinstalling the drivers? Not that I'm discouraging the purchase of a new computer; that is quite delightful to do. Just suggesting.

7/18/2005 02:03:00 p.m.  
Blogger Mary P. said...

August: I do keep a journal. It's a lifelong habit. Could no more stop doing that than I could stop...ah... any of my other reprehensible habits. I love the idea of burning it, though!!

Simon: Given your level of expertise, I take your input seriously. In fact, my sister-in-law, who is a graphic designer, uses a Mac. Of course. She loves it. Maybe I should try to play with hers a bit, get a feel for it. Meantime, I'm giving serious thought to buying a laptop. The portability is appealing though far from essential, but mostly, the privacy: the kids can't use it if it's hidden under my bed now, can they?? Bwah-ha-ha...

Misfit: Have I tried reinstalling the drivers? Oh, have I tried reinstalling the drivers...oy... The folks at Rio are really helpful, walked us through downloading new ones step by step, showed us how to check to see they're there. They are. But the computer doesn't know it. Urgh.

I'm kind of looking forward to going shopping. Some more savvy people than I have given me lists of What To Look For that pretty much agree, so I think I'm well prepared.

Such an adventure!

7/18/2005 02:45:00 p.m.  
Blogger Simon Peter said...

Misfit: I suspect that you must have previously used pre-OS X macs. I started with OS 9 and I agree that it was AWFUL! If it weren't the only way of getting the task done, I would never have stuck with it. Now that I'm using OS X, life is one continuous sunny day with bluebirds singing and flowers blooming. Also, in terms of ease of use, princess number one uses it and the Queen of All She Surveys has no intentions of ever going back to Windows. (And she's not a geek!)

7/18/2005 04:48:00 p.m.  
Blogger Haley said...

Some more savvy people, eh? Nice to know that I'm considered computer savvy!
As far as the Mac vc PC debate goes, Macs are great if you're doing anything graphics-heavy or music-involved, but otherwise I prefer the PC. Maybe it's because that's what I'm used to, but I find it a lot easier to navigate.

7/18/2005 05:17:00 p.m.  
Blogger Mary P. said...

I've never paid any attention to the Mac - PC debate before. (Odd that it's been typified that way. "PC" just means "personal computer", right, as opposed to the old giant mainframe, which would make the Mac one, too. Or am I missing something?)

But now I'm curious, and want to try a Mac (OS X, of course), just to know what the fuss is about.

7/19/2005 06:18:00 a.m.  
Blogger Simon Peter said...

Give a Mac a try. I think you'll like the ease of use of OS X. And you can't put a price on the lack of viruses and spyware.

7/19/2005 05:50:00 p.m.  

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