Old Dog, New Tricks

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Old Dog, New Tricks

And yeah, that's me, an "old dog!"

The "new tricks" is the learning of an entirely new computer system, Windows 7, after al­most a decade of happily using Windows XP.

My "PC" experience only dates to 1983 when several of us1 bought an Epson QX10 with its nifty ValDocs suite which I used for word processing for two weeks shy of ten years... when it all went up in a puff of blue smoke.

(I paid $2500 for the whole thing, and considered it a bargain!)

Cut to the present day and many Dells later... yes, I got my first true PC in late '93 from a store in Southampton which immediately moved to Sag Harbor and didn't even want to know me after I had lugged the damned thing... a DOS machine with 2 mb of ram and Windows 3.1... out of their store on Hampton Road!

(So much for "buy local!" For all my sub­sequent PCs, I took Barbara Ramsay's counsel and went with Dell!)

I had easily mastered DOS at the very moment it had sounded its death rattle, but I hung on to the point that my second PC ran Windows 98 (Second Edition) with which I was happy enough that I eschewed the ME and 2000 ver­sions 'til XP happened 10 years ago next week.

I acknowledge that I'm not very adventure­some as a computer user... from the days of my QX10, all I've ever wanted a computer to do was what I needed it to do!

Forget the bells and whistles and Klondike girls in mini jump suits, I need to "word process2," image edit, E-mail and browse the 'Net, and keep track of my finances.

(Just as with my cell' 'phone... all I want to do is to be able to make and receive calls when I'm away from home, or when the cable craps out! I can't even "text" on my Nokia 1100, nor do I wish to!)

So, in that regard, I'm something of a com­puting Luddite, and when I had to get a new Dell through Fluid Imagery this month, it presented a whole new set of challenges for which I have clearly been unprepared.

(The Microsoft site says "Upgrade in as little as 10 minutes," but I'm already at 10 days and counting, and that's with the incalculable assistance of Jeanne's son Baier... who's now back in Oregon!)

Windows 7 is an all-new interface for me, and being a 64-bit operating system, some of my critical programs won't even install on my new Dell XPS 8300.

So, I'm now faced with spending another $1600+ on versions of my existing programs just to work with the Windows 7 system!

(And there is no 64-bit version of Micro­soft Bookshelf!)

Great! I've spent the better part of a week just (manually!) moving my E-mail accounts over, and installing the latest QuickBooks version... with PhotoShop and Acrobat yet to come!

And they're already talking about Windows 8!

  1. Including my fellow Hampton Chronicle-News columnist Lee Davis and Executive Editor Peter Boody.
  2. The tragic scandal of Word Perfect's diminution from a world standard to an also ran could be the subject of another blog entry. Curse you, Novell!


1. Jeanne Speir said...

Happy Birthday?

The wife with the MacBook Pro who let the Tekkies at the Lake Grove Mall Apple Store take my old PC and put it on my Mac-Laptop.

Don't you know anything about males?

2. Champ19 said...

Ah Ha! I'm sure I'm not the only one who wondered why new offerings on OtBB went missing for a couple of days during the height of the season!

I gave up on Microsoft products and subsequent hardware interfaces two years ago and although I am not nearly in your league with my computer compentency, I found my 'Jobs' have been greatly simplified since I have taken my bite of the 'Apple.' The 'Blue Screen of Death' is but a distant and painful memory. Hoping your Bytes align again soon.

Another Apple Nazi!

3. Tugboat Bertha said...

I hadn't heard of Word Perfect's diminution. I'm always the last to hear. Is it too late to mourn?

Glad you are back up and running Speir. I was getting worried about you.

WordPerfect is still with us, but it once "owned" the word processing game with something absurd like 90%-95% of the market, and was sailing along happily run by Mormons in Utah... until Novell came along in June 1994 with a semi full of cash (us$855 million) 'cause they wanted the underlying Borland technology to use with its GroupWise programming. Less than 18 months later, Novell sold it to Corel for something absurd like us$186 million, but keeping the GroupWise technology!

I was a daily user of WordPerfect 6.1/dos and loved not only the program, but the original company's custormer support! Novell dropped that immediately, as it obviously had no interest in what was the #1 word processing program in the universe!

By the time Corel acquired it, Microsoft's Word for Windows was the new sheriff in town, and WordPerfect never came close to regaining its marketshare.
– Dean

4. EastEnd68 said...

If you need help, local resident Scott Hoffman knows everything and is a Dell representative.

A more careful reading of this entry will reveal the name (and link to) Fluid Imagery, which enterprise is Scott's. I've gotten my last two machines from him.

5. Mrs Genetics said...

There's a post on the Microsoft.com Answers site that might do the trick. About halfway down are two threads by user named "thuya" that look Windows 7 specific; it is the second thread that has complete instructions. Not sure which version of Bookshelf you have but if it's not 2000, you might be able to search the site for specifics. (Link.)

Thanks... found that yesterday, #1, and, #2, it is Bookshelf 2000 and even though I've got the whole CD on my hard drive, it's not working out for me. I'm not "getting" this compatability thing.
– Dean

6. Barbara Ramsay said...

Good Morning Dean. Nice of you to remember that I turned you on... to Dell, that is. But... it's Apple now! Mac Book Pro, an iphone and an Ipad2. Macs are awesome. Their iwork programs for word processing and spread sheets is a dream. Sorry you're having such an issue. Can't the guy who sold it to you help out? Come visit... we're around October and most of November.

"The guy" and I seem to be having a communications problem, the root of which is likely his staff.

Shocked, shocked!, I tell you, to discover that you've joined my wife on the dark side! (See "I live in a house divided....")

7. Jeanne Speir said...

  1. Dean, I am invoking Godwin's law for your answer to Champ19. Ha!
  2. EE68 – didn't you read his response to me? Dean's a GUY, and heaven forbid he should he should ask for advice! He should be able to figure it out with as little assistance as possible.

My wife understands these things perfectly.

8. Mrs Genetics said...

Do you still have dial up? Or have you at least made that nod toward the present?smiley

Haven't had a 'phone jack in a computer in a dacade... and that was only because I had a fax/modem program I used.

9. Jeanne Speir said...

Hahahahahaha! Barb, you saucy wench, you!

I'm just loving this topic, truly.

I have to say, Dean hates my cheapo Best Buy cell phone with $25/750 minutes in 30 days cards (that I use in the car with a Bluetooth yakking it up with the family during my extreme commutes) – he hates the gravelly connection and the "false" phone calls so much that I may go deeper into the Dark Side with an iphone.

But my Kate has one and accidentally calls us regularly....?

You hit an LIE bunch and your purse calls me, and I have to guess whether you're in a ditch with an 18-wheeler on top of you, or you and your 'phone are having a faux blonde moment!

And it's not a "gravelly connection," damnit! It's a crap 'phone that makes you sound like you're calling from the bottom of Moriches Bay!

10. EastEnd68 said...

Sorry – I missed the reference to Scott's firm – he's the best!

I'll get back to you on that when my "issues" have been resolved.

11. Barbara Ramsay said...

Yes, Jeanne, I've been known to "pocket call" with my iphone. I think anything that isn't a flip has that problem.

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