|The Professor Attempts To Re-Enter His Own Life
||[Dec. 31st, 2013|12:22 pm]
31 December, 2013|
I'm not sure if I should say that I've been having computer problems, or if I've been having problems with the entire damn future.
Our desktop, ten or twelve years old, has been dying of senile dementia. I have no idea what the problem is – whenever one asks something of it, it makes mumbly hard-drive noises, and does not deliver. Often, as in every ten or fifteen minutes, it crashes and we get the Blue Screen of DEATH. I think it's some problem with Windows, but I have no real idea.
I'm actually writing this at work, but it's been too busy to do that on a regular basis.
We've been discussing what to do – go to a completely new machine, try to update Windows, involve a software expert. (Sadly, our Data Pixie has been having a years-long nervous breakdown. I can't completely blame her, but other people's problems put a crimp in my own demands.) I have been known to think about things for sort of a long time – I've been thinking about buying a new bicycle since my old one was stolen, about 25 years ago. With time and patience, I can still get the old desktop to do a few things – run Excel, for instance, so I can update my library and accounting files. My wife is, hmmm, closer to human normal.
I got a laptop for Christmas. The laptop has Windows 8 on it. So far, I've figured out how to turn it on and – with some work and struggle – turn it off. We got Microsoft Office on it, but, even though Janet had already bought the program (actually, just a license) online, it took us more than three hours to download it. (Layer after layer after layer of security and accounts to create, and at the last, it sent us an email to verify that everything we'd put in over and over was correct. And, of course, Outlook was in the package we were trying to download…)
So, eventually, I should get functionality back. One of my projects for the New Year is to find out how to port iTunes and its 11,000 songs over. I went out and bought a manual, out of the dozens available. (I first looked at things like Windows 8 For Seniors, but that actually started too far back – "This is a mouse, this is an icon". I'm already up to, maybe, 1997.) In the meantime, I can update at work.
(We also got iPhones, which I haven't even taken out of the damn box. The boys needed new phones (which of course are on our account, they being poorer than church-mice with holes in their pockets), so Janet also upgraded ours. Even though my flip-phone works fine. And by now I know how to use it. And I have absolutely no need for a phone that's smarter than I am, or for ten thousand stupid useless (cr)aps, or… *pant pant pant*
One of the interesting things about the iPhones is that she got them for $.99. They're the previous model, so none of the New People would be seen dead texting or sexting on them. I believe the upgrade is limited to a faster brew on the latte device, and the Wank-O-Master has three speeds, and reverse, on the new one.)
When I was reading about this future, forty and fifty years ago, it never occurred to me how hard it would be to keep up, or how furiously user-hostile every damn interface would turn out to be. Well, I guess, more opportunities to keep my brain occupied and supple!
Worst comes to worst, my typewriter – at least the one I use the most – is freshly rebuilt and reconditioned. Forward – Into The Pasttttt!