Category Archives: Computer

The toy that destroyed the world

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Commodore 64, VIC-casing but with C64C-coloring.

Commodore 64 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are few things which alone could destroy this world besides atomic bombs and disease and even one of those is within our capability to be rendered  harmless. It is all about intention. Many years ago I purchased my first personal computer, a Commodore Vic 20, a very basic machine with less memory than a modern-day credit card! After a while I upgraded to a Commodore 64 but even that machine was very limited by today’s standards. The only great advance regarding computers at the time was that they had shrunk in size, they were far smaller than their predecessors and could now perhaps become a useful domestic device. Well that certainly happened as we all know. With each passing year the personal computer has gone from strength to strength. It was only with the introduction of The Internet though that the computer came into its own. Many households can now connect to the world in which we live, something only dreamt about years ago. It was around 1982 I bought that Vic 20 and two years later the 64. I had been attending a Methodist church at the time though I wasn’t at that time a Christian. That came in 1989. One day I had occasion to visit the then vicar of the church as I remember to help with a small electrical problem and the subject of computers entered our conversation. I always remember his reaction, ‘They are just toys’, he said. He was so right but I had yet to learn that. Toys they may be but they are powerful and have the capability to destroy the world if miss-used. Therein lies the problem. Because human beings are in control of their manufacture and use there is always the danger they will be used for all the wrong reasons. That is already happening and is slowly becoming a giant-sized problem to the world. Technological advancement has a down side and can be used against us in many ways. What does the future hold for us all if we have to rely on computers in order to live out our lives? Inevitably computers will control everything we do……..all we think, earn, spend, purchase will be recorded and can be manipulated. Should we buy into it all or does our conscience tell us to beware? To me it smacks of the ‘mark of the beast’ as described in Revelations………….you decide.

Shirley Anne

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Computer madness

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To be exact not only was the computer acting crazy so was the site I was connected to. Let me explain. On Thursday I opened my account at ‘Very’ and bought a new pair of shoes which arrived on Friday. Excellent service I thought and these were the shoes I actually bought, not the one shown in the other post…new-heels-1

And believe it or not they cost a mere £9.50 or thereabouts. The heel height is as I said, four and a half inches and they are lovely to walk in. Today, Sunday as I write this, I decided to invest in some new nylon stockings, six pairs of one type costing £4.50 a pair and five pairs of another type costing £3.50 a pair or thereabouts and with postage they cost me almost £46 I think. I didn’t make a point in remembering the detail. I used a different site, one which specialises in the sale of lingerie, stockings, corsets and other feminine wear. They are called ‘Stockings HQ’, what else? I have an account with them and it is where I purchase all my stockings. I had no problems in carrying out the purchase. Later again I decided I liked a certain pair of shoes I had seen on ‘Very’s’ site and started to make the purchase. I have an account with them but for one reason or another my details were not recognised. After several attempts to put things right and not succeeding I decided to give up but when using the computer to connect to another site not related to shopping I noticed there was a conflict between the systems which auto-fill some of the sites I visit. Chrome is the culprit for often auto-filling data as another program is already doing it. I didn’t set it up that way, well not purposely but the effect was annoying to say the least. I was finally able to re-visit Very and make the purchase…….. new-heels-2

I think the heels are five inches. I say that because the information had not been put in the advert but looking and comparing with the first pair they are higher. This pair cost me over £48 including the postage at £3.60. Why did I buy them, when I have all these in one wardrobe…. pics-455

and others, not all stilettos, in another wardrobe? Simple, I love shoes. In the picture above there are eleven pairs but there are actually thirteen pairs. Two of them are out of sight to the left. The pair at the extreme right are the highest at five and a half inches, the red and the white pairs are five and a quarter inches. The next group is around four and a half. The pink and fawn ones together with the next black ones are four and a quarter inches high and those out of the picture are three and a half. Now I have two new pairs! Anyway after making my purchases five minutes later the computer crashed and needed a re-boot. This is the old machine running Windows 7 which I prefer. The Windows 10 machine isn’t much used except for when I have to update security or Windows, which does it automatically when switched on. So there you have it, a bad day at the office.

Shirley Anne

No more please!

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English: View on tier 1 and 2 ISP interconnections

View on tier 1 and 2 ISP interconnections (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My purse has taken quite a beating these past couple of months and needs a little time to recuperate. I have been spending as if my life depended upon it but the time has come for a rest from major spending sprees. On Wednesday morning E and I went out shopping initially for another tub of plaster in order for me to finish off that ceiling and wall repair I mentioned in yesterday’s post but I added that I wished to buy a pair of shoes too. E drove us to the shoe store down buy the sea front and I found the pair of shoes I wanted in minutes. They were flat-soled shoes for general walking about and will be used mostly when I am at work. However E decided she wanted a pair of shoes too and I ended up buying both pairs. Off we drove to the retail park a mile or so down the road and bought the plaster but while we were in the park I decided to visit the electrical store where we had recently purchased my new large-screen television. I wanted to see if I could buy another couple of televisions for the newly refurbished bedrooms at home. We looked at two different models each with a 32″ screen, one at a higher price than the other at which point a salesman showed us another with the same sized screen at an even lower price. I placed an order for two of them and paid the £258 asking price. The would be available for collection either Saturday (which will be today as you read this) or early next week. By now it was lunchtime so we drove to a nearby pub/restaurant and dined there. When we arrived home we spent some time burning stacks of paper printed upon which was information too sensitive to chance recycling it. Later I went on-line for a time using my old computer which runs Windows 7 but when I attempted to use the computer running Windows 10 I found it couldn’t connect to the Internet even though it was connected to the router! I contacted my Internet provider after many attempts trying to resolve the problem with no results but I got nowhere with them. At the time of writing this the issue was still not resolved but it had to be a software problem of some sort. A day in the life of yours truly!

And then there was an update: The problem was resolved later in the evening when  E discovered her computer wasn’t connected either! We reset the router and all was back to normal. Now I am almost certain that Windows 10 was more the problem as both E’s new computer and my new computer both run Windows 10. The other of my computers runs Windows 7 and had no problems with connecting to the Internet.

Shirley Anne

Hidden extras

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Downloading updates  1 of 141 do not unplug or turn off your computer’, you’ve all seen this message or something similar on your computer screen for earlier versions of Windows. Since having Windows 7 re-installed on my old laptop all I have been getting when I am about to switch it off are messages like these. One or two is fine but almost every time I have switched off my machine during the last few days I get this message. At first it was 6 updates then 10 then 141, a further 40, then 6 and even more after these. Now I would have expected to see some difference in using the computer but there isn’t one, at least one that I would notice. I decided to check just exactly what had been uploaded and saw a long list of items seemingly all to do with the operating system. I then checked all the installed programs to see if anything had changed there. I discovered that quite a number of programs had been added. Some are games, some are Microsoft’s own programs like Live Messenger, Movie Maker,  Office Powerpoint and others all of which I will probably never use but here’s the rub, one day I might have to, why?

Well in the great scheme of things Microsoft change their software to make it impossible to do certain things that have been traditionally easy to do by taking away functionality. This means extra software has to be purchased in order to do some of the simple tasks that could have been done just using the Windows platform. For instance, on my new laptop which runs Windows 10 Microsoft has made it impossible to open my files and preview them, they have also filed my photographs in a different way by default and are also not easily located. These things seem minor but at the end of the day it appears that we are being manipulated to using software their way. In society this is the thin end of a large wedge. Has it escaped your notice that the way we shop or do anything else is slowly changing? One day there will be no cash and we will have to use smart technology to buy anything, to get directions, to dine out and to do almost everything that we do. We will be under the control of those who produce the technology and the software that controls it. Think I am being paranoid? Perhaps I am but human beings are meant to be free, not slaves to machinery and technology just to live out our lives. I think I would prefer life to remain a little difficult rather than having to rely upon computers, smart phones, contactless debit cards et al.

Shirley Anne

What a day

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Windows 7 build 7600

Windows 7 build 7600 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wednesday was one of those days you wished never happened. I went to do a small job for a couple I have worked for a few times. It was simply to replace two plastic three-gang (that is three switches on the same plate) lighting switches with metal ones. The job was a nightmare task but eventually it got sorted. I missed out on an early lunch and decided to call in to the electrical retail store to see if they had repaired my old laptop which I had given them two weeks ago. If my readers will remember I had trouble with Windows 10 and the machine I was told possibly also needed a new C drive. As it happened the machine checked out okay and didn’t need a new drive but unfortunately they had to uninstall Windows 10 as it kept crashing. I had thought the machine was comparable for use with Windows 10 but someone passing a comment in one of my related posts had suggested it might not be. He was right! They apologised for having to install Windows 7 but I told them that actually I was going to ask them to do that anyway whether Windows 10 could have remained or not. I was so glad they had reinstalled Windows 7. I asked how much the service charge had cost me but they told me they were not going to levy a charge. Originally they suggested it would cost £50 so that was a nice surprise. However I had the daunting task of updating Windows 7 and reinstalling the several other programs I commonly use on my computers, Firefox and Chrome browsers, Zemanta, Trusteer Rapport and Norton security. I had to buy a new copy of Norton as the current one couldn’t accept another computer for protection. However I will investigate that later as it should protect three machines. The program doesn’t know that the repaired machine is actually one of those three machines, it is just that everything got wiped when they erased Windows 10! I had spent hours setting things back as they were before but still have the problem of not being able to preview my document library so I don’t know where anything is! I was able to restore all my photos though but will have to arrange them in folders as I had them before. If anyone was to ask me what I thought about Windows 10 I would most definitely tell them to stick with what they have and leave Windows 10 alone. It is a pain the proverbial to be honest and has created many problems for those who have had the misfortune to download it. The many viewable feedback comments from other users tell the tale and there are hundreds of them. So now I have two machines, this one on which I am writing this post is using Windows 7 and the new one which is running Windows 10. I will let you guess which one I prefer. One good thing about Windows 7 is that is doesn’t interfere with the Acer dedicated sound and vision controls for watching movies or playing back music as Windows 10 had done.

Shirley Anne

Testing my patience

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English: Acer Aspire 8920 (with 18.4 inch scre...

Acer Aspire 8920 (with 18.4 inch screen) showing its desktop on Windows 7. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having purchased a new laptop computer I had to spend a few hours setting the damned thing up, installing preferred software programs and re-installing saved documents, files and pictures and such. However as is usual with these things nothing ever goes smoothly does it? Eventually, after much frustration I had everything in place but there are still a couple of snags to sort out like being able to actually see the file titles for instance as they were when they were saved. There is no pre-view so I cannot find anything even though it is there. With the picture files they can be opened by the Windows platform but when it comes to searching by title I haven’t been able to discover how I can do that. Why don’t saved files just get replaced as they should appear in the viewing pane, with their titles? No doubt there is a simple way of doing this but I have yet to find out how, you see I am no computer whizz-kid. For me computers are a means to an end and as clever as they are (they’re not actually clever) they can be a pain in the proverbial if one doesn’t know how to solve their every little quirk. Anyway I am sure I will find a way through the jungle and find that clearing eventually.

The machine itself is a Hewlett-Packard Envy (what a weird name) with the same i7 technology as my Acer which is currently still in the workshop hopefully getting repaired. This machine however has a 1TB storage capability whereas the Acer has only 500GB. The higher the available RAM the faster the processing as there is more space with which the machine can work and that means things happen faster on the screen, not that I would notice the difference! I am of course still trying to get used to the slightly different keyboard and touch pad.

Every new machine comes with pre-installed software which is usually not always used by the buyer. Mine came with a different Internet security program to my preferred one, with whom I have a contract which is automatically renewed each year and charged to my bank account. I had to install it. I use Norton 360. I use Firefox for my browser and have Chrome as a back-up so I had to install them too. Then I had to reinstall Trusteer Rapport, Zemanta and Last Pass and it all takes time. I also had to de-clutter the start menu and taskbar from all the useless short-cuts that Microsoft had placed there. I also had to register, set up passwords and other things whilst fending off pop-up screens inviting me to answer a couple of short surveys by the purveyors of some of the software I had subscribed to. I didn’t receive the machine until ten-thirty on Monday morning and it was around five o’clock by the time I had most of the set-up completed. This is the annoying part of buying a new machine but I will have to do it all again, well some of it, when and if I get my other machine repaired.

Did I say I hate technology?

Shirley Anne

Not faffing about any more

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laptop

laptop (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My readers will know by now how much I have suffered with computer problems lately and not only computers but also my mobile phone! I try my best to sort things out but having done that I find I am banging my head against a brick wall sometimes. Techology and me don’t really mix which is a little strange I suppose considering that I have been involved with it all my working life. I have an excuse though as the technology has been of a different kind. The latest escapade has left me with only my tablet whilst my laptop is undergoing repair. In my last post I talked about having to return it after yet another problem. As I write this on Saturday evening and using the tablet, my laptop is sitting on the work bench in Curry’s PC World for the second time and I won’t be getting it back at the very least until Monday. I was using the tablet just before I had my late lunch at three o’clock when I decided to push the boat out and browse the Internet looking for a new laptop, something akin to my fault stricken machine. I found one with a slightly better specification and also using i7 processors. The price was one penny less than £1000. I bought it. If my other machine gets repaired successfully I won’t be bothered as it will ensure I have back up in more ways than one! I get fed up faffing about so I do something about it. Hopefully I will now have a little less to worry about concerning computers and their problems, well perhaps. Now I have to go through the whole set up procedure once again, probably twice if my old machine is repaired!

Shirley Anne

 

Writing on

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I’ve not done any writing of posts on this site for almost a week. The main reason for that is my laptop has been out of action for a few days because of software problems concerning Windows 10. I wrote about this in a pre-written post published recently. The post was written days ago and that is the second reason for my not writing much. I usually write around five or six posts in advance. Most of those have now been published. Although the laptop has been fixed I am using the Android tablet to write this as I am having difficulty in connecting to the Internet, it’s a router password matter I haven’t resolved at this moment after many attempts. I think, though I’m not entirely sure, I might be using the wrong information. I am waiting for some family assistance. So I am using the tablet which is equipped with predictive text, something I am not used to as yet but I am learning fast. It is so good it presents many of the words I am about to write as if it is learning as it is used. Maybe. Although the tablet is a 10 inch one half of the screen is taken up by the pop up keyboard and if I magnify the text it becomes more difficult to navigate. I shouldn’t grumble, at least I have more than one means to get on line. The eighteen inch screen is much better though. The laptop has been wiped clean and Windows 10 has been installed and all is well thus far but I need to get on line in order to reinstall other software. So I am hoping that will be soon. In the meantime I am stuck with what I have.

Well I spoke too soon didn’t I? On Saturday morning I managed to connect with the router and began the long process of downloading the various add-ons, extensions and saved data when the machine froze. A reboot didn’t resolve the problem and in fact I wasn’t able to even get the sign in page! I returned the machine so that further investigations can be made. So now I am thinking there is a hardware fault. I it proves difficult I may have to purchase another. What a bummer! Until I can buy a new compute or have the current one repaired all my posts here may have limited content.

Shirley Anne

 

Windows 10

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English: Windows in Hukvaldy castle

Windows in Hukvaldy castle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over the years I have had many problems with my computers, most of which were minor or reasonably minor and were resolved fairly easily. Not many of those problems were due to the operating system in use, Windows XP and Windows 7, my last two. I was encouraged to try the new Windows 10 system, similar to its immediate predecessor Windows 8 but supposedly with improvements and best of all it was on offer for free. How could I resist? I took the bait and well, everything seemed okay, any minor glitches were automatically sorted out but since using the system I have experienced quite a number of problems. Windows 10 isn’t as great as they might like us to think it is. I get the screen freezing up and programs ceasing to work, cursor disappearing, computer start-up very slow at times yet alright at other times. This appears to be due to update activity, especially when the machine is first switched on in the morning. Windows 10 seems to be unstable at times. I run routine maintenance every day, clearing away temporary files and updating the security program but I have no control over Windows updating itself as it is set to do that automatically. It could be switched to manual updating if I chose to do that but then I might miss important updates. I switched off the computer one evening (Sunday) recently and there were no problems. When I switched it on the following morning the machine had problems. The machine became unstable yet again and I found I couldn’t get programs to respond. One of the worse things is when the cursor is very slow in responding but mostly that is because the computer is busy doing other things like updating itself. I also discovered that the list of installed applications wasn’t showing when the icon was clicked upon and neither was the start-up panel where short-cuts can be stored. I noticed also that one of the tray items was missing. I could still use the machine but these inconveniences made it more difficult when doing certain tasks. Microsoft help pages are all on the Internet with directions often to private companies offering help for a fee of course. There is little or no help to be found within the Windows 10 program itself so for someone who isn’t technologically experienced any problems can prove to be a nightmare. Think about the elderly who use these systems but haven’t a clue what to do when things go wrong. I have some experience but I wouldn’t say that my limited knowledge is of much help with many of the issues I am faced with occasionally. Windows 10 could be better, it should be better and there should be some mechanism by which simple problems can be quickly resolved. Microsoft (and other companies) should not abrogate their responsibilities and leave the problem solving to their customers to sort out. My recommendations? Well at the moment I might say throw the computer in the trash bin! Obviously I won’t be doing that but it proves one thing and that is like it or leave it we are now lumbered with them and the problems they sometimes cause. The computer, the Internet might have their good sides but their bad sides can be done without and them not working as they should is one of them. Bring back the quill!

 

Update : I took it in for a check up and decided to get a reinstalled copy of Windows 10.

 

Shirley Anne

 

Madness

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One Step Beyond...

One Step Beyond… (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did I mention I hate computers? In this day and age they have become more a necessity than a real need, I never wanted a computer in order to do the many things that can be done with them but when they first came on to the market (way back in 1980 for me) I bought one as a novelty. I had no idea of their potential at that time though I did learn to write basic programs that helped my children to grasp spelling and simple arithmetic which was useful. I remember a time around 1985 when ‘CompuServe‘ had a program whereby purchases could be made through the computer. It was a beginning but not the beginning of the present day Internet. I have seen many stages of development since those days. I last purchased a computer, a laptop, over eight years ago I think, it is the one I am using to write this. The model is an ‘Acer Aspire‘ fitted with i7 processors which far exceeded those available today many of which only use i3 or i5 technology. I’d have thought many more would be using i7 processors by now but it seems not. The idea was to buy something that was future proof to some extent. Well the machine itself has been excellent though probably never used to its fullest capability. It has a wide 17″ screen too which is useful for watching movies. When originally bought it was using ‘Windows XP‘, a really good platform which I found easy to use but then I switched to ‘Windows 7′. It was equally as good and easy to use and after a time I thought it to be an improvement. A couple of months ago I downloaded the ‘Windows 10’ platform which has proven to be somewhat of a problem. Many programs wouldn’t work with it and the computer itself has been affected by the new software which has overridden some of its built-in features such as the Cinema Graphic function. This is a manual function for use when in Cinema mode which enables various control setting adjustments. They are no longer functional. It appears Microsoft programs are deemed better. Perhaps. The signing in procedures are all messed up too and once or twice the computer has hung up during the sign-in process, in fact the computer has frozen on a number of occasions necessitating a re-boot each time. On Saturday afternoon I spent almost two hours trying to get the computer to allow me access because of a software glitch and during the same time Windows 10 was updating and requesting a re-boot as were one or two other software programs too. When the opportunity arose to sign in I was presented with a sign-in screen for Microsoft but there was no cursor and no means to make it appear. After repeatedly re-booting and getting nowhere I began to get thoughts of approaching the computer with a claw hammer in order to beat it’s brains out but I resisted the temptation. Instead, I asked E if she could have a look and maybe spot something I hadn’t noticed. After a couple of similar failures to my own she hit a couple of keys to end the madness and I was in! Those keys were Control (CTRL) and ‘End’ (Top right on the numbers pad). No other combination had proven to end what seemed to be an endless loop in the programming. I gave her a hug but even she didn’t know how it had succeeded. I hate computers.

Shirley Anne

Sometimes wonder

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Norton 360 version 1.0 box art

Norton 360 version 1.0 box art (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had more trouble with my computer on Friday afternoon specifically with Firefox not running the Norton Toolbar. I couldn’t even set the toolbar for it had been removed from the Firefox options! This has happened a couple of times since I installed Windows 10 but it wasn’t Windows 10 that was causing the problem, neither was it Firefox, it lay with Norton. Well in fact some registry files had either been corrupted or had not been removed or overwritten when the last Norton update took place. Norton 360 had to be updated a couple of times when Firefox was updated and Firefox had to be updated to accommodate Windows 10. Now wouldn’t you know it, Windows 10 has had a couple of updates since it was installed too! No wonder things go pear-shaped. It would have been a simple matter to re-enable the Norton Toolbar under normal circumstances but are there ever any normal circumstances with computers? I chose to connect with the Symantec (Norton) team in India for yet another session with them taking control of my computer remotely in order to put things right. I had by this time tried all the obvious things to effect a repair but to no avail. The session started off quite normally and I watched the agent move my cursor all over the screen trying to find the problem. In fact the agent was going over the same ground as I had done but not once or even twice, they must have gone over the same ground six or seven times. I watched in disbelief for the agent was going round in circles. I began to wonder if they knew what they were doing. I use the term ‘they’ for I could not determine the gender of the person from the name on the screen, it was an Indian name of course and well, I am not knowledgeable when it comes to Indian names. Finally the agent decided to do a rigorous scan and after making a restore point stripped four items from the computers registry. The computer had to be restarted three times during the session and of course I had to remain with it to open it up each time. In the process of updating Norton, which was done three or four times but in actual fact could have been done only the once had the agent approached the problem correctly in the first place, I lost two extensions to Firefox. One was ‘Last Pass’ and the other ‘Zemanta‘ both of which I use every time I go online. The session was about to end and I had to remind the agent to re-instate them both so an attempt was made but during the process I had to take control of the cursor myself to show the agent how to do it! I had already spent eighty minutes with the agent trying to solve the problem and I didn’t want to spend another twenty minutes waiting for the agent to hit the right keys! Finally I thanked the agent for the help that I had received but at the same time wondered if they had known what they were doing half the time. The computer is working fine, Firefox is working fine and I am still out with the jury over Windows 10 though it seems to be working fine at the present. My other browser Chrome is fine, I won’t use Microsoft Edge at the moment because of the lack of allowable extensions it has. Norton works well, when it is working properly that is! And it is at the moment, finally!

Shirley Anne

Lots of oddities

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Mahjong Titans

Mahjong Titans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If I didn’t know any better I might suggest that Microsoft’s new Windows 10 is an underhanded way to persuade users to only use their products because the way it has been set up makes it difficult to use other services. Some programs need upgrading in order to continue to work with the Windows 10 platform and the new ‘Edge‘ browser refuses to accept many, if not all, foreign-sourced extensions and add-ons. Instead of attracting users to the new system they run the risk of driving them away or not having any interest at all. Until the program has been downloaded new users are not aware of possible resulting problems. I discovered that I could no longer play Solitaire or Mahjong Titans as I used to do occasionally for those free programs and others are not available on Windows 10 and everything has to be paid for by importing them from Microsoft’s Store. That is a little mean in my estimation for these free programs have for years been part of each new version of the platform. Now of course they could argue that Windows 10 is free so paying for the games is a reasonable request but Windows 10 is only going to be free for a short period after which it will have to be purchased. Microsoft won’t lose out in the least for they get their revenue elsewhere. I lost the only purchased game I had which wouldn’t work with Windows 10. When I look at the overall advantages of Windows 10 over the previous versions of Windows I am of the opinion that they are few. They have opted to place an irremovable program or two on the system, one being X-Box to encourage buying games from them too! The start menu box can be populated with icons for applications regularly used but if many are placed into the box, which can be expanded, it becomes so cluttered it makes finding applications difficult. That to me is self-defeating. The personal assistant called ‘Cortana‘ can get to ‘know’ you so that it can predict your intentions. Even your voice can be recognised and learned! This might be suitable for some but I don’t want my computer to know or predict my every move or desires, even if browsing the Internet looking for something. It is similar to predictive texts on a phone, I hate them too! Not that I actually use texting. I prefer speaking to people and certainly don’t want to end up speaking to my computer in order to get things done. If I speak to my computer it is usually to curse it for not working properly! There is an old joke about a new rail service whose trains are all controlled by computers. Passengers boarding are warmly greeted with a message which says, ‘Good morning to all our travellers. Welcome aboard our new train. You will find the seating extremely comfortable and your surroundings are all controlled by our new computer to make the journey as comfortable as possible. There is no driver for this train as the computer is all that is needed to get you to your destination safely. There is no need for concern, the computer is extremely reliable and nothing can go wrong, go wrong, go wrong, go….’
They can’t even get PC’s working properly! What makes you think I am not impressed with modern technology?

Shirley Anne

Not again!

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Shirley Anne 46Well I must say that I have been finding a few problems with my computer ever since I downloaded Windows 10. In recent posts I talked about Windows 10 and to be honest I am far from impressed by it. I have the opportunity to revert to Windows 7 during this month only and I am tempted but probably won’t. Windows 10 isn’t the problem per se it is more the problems it has created concerning compatibility with other programs. Having said that I am not entirely sure whether in this case, my recent problems with Norton 360, has anything to do with Windows 10. Norton has an automatic updating facility as all security programs must have. When I switched on my computer and loaded the Firefox browser on Wednesday morning I noticed yet again that the Norton toolbar was missing even though it was enabled. According to the blurb both programs are compatible. However, I couldn’t get the toolbar to appear so I decided to run a manual update on Norton but it failed to implement the changes once updated. Now here we go again. Having made several attempts to resolve the problem I eventually reverted to online help through Norton’s chat connection and ultimately allow one of their agents to take remote control of my computer once again. I was connected to an agent who ran some checks and the restarted my computer but having done so was disconnected. Once the computer was again ready for use I discovered the problem hadn’t been resolved so I went through the whole process again but found this time I couldn’t get connected and it was only after several attempts did I finally succeed. The second agent almost did the same thing until I responded by asking if she had rechecked the Norton Live Update. She tried it and the problem was still there but then she checked my Internet connection and ID and made some alterations. The computer was then switched to restart again but this time when it rebooted all was in order, everything worked as it should and I could stop pulling out my hair! Now I hope this will be the end of the story but who knows? Is it any wonder I get so frustrated with computers. One day they will control everything we do, if we let them of course but God help us if they do! This is only the beginning, if you can’t see what is coming you need to open your eyes. For the time being, and I hope it will remain this way, I limit my involvement as much as I can though it is getting that way that some things cannot be done without an on-line connection.

Shirley Anne

The whole morning!

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Fun, games and frustrations but eventual success, only because of the person who was of real assistance to me. I am of course, in case you didn’t know, referring to my experiences with the new version of Windows, Windows 10. If my readers have read yesterday’s post and especially one or two of the related articles at the bottom of the post, you will understand what I am about to write. I knew it would happen, it always does, that whenever a new program is installed on my computer (or anyone else’s computer for that matter) there are always issues of one sort or another. The authors of Windows 10 down at Microsoft are ultimately responsible or should I say irresponsible for the disruption of the status quo. For some time now I have been enjoying using Windows 7 with Firefox and my security program Norton 360 but only after resolving compatibility issues with each. That was simple to do and all it took was to update the programs so they would all work in harmony. Then along came the promised, substantially improved version of Windows, Windows 10. Although it is a great version with some extra programs not previously available and innovations which, according to Microsoft, will improve and enhance our experiences both on and off-line, it did come with compatibility issues. Perhaps I should have upgraded Firefox and Norton before I upgraded Windows. Well in fact I did upgrade Firefox but in doing so I lost Norton’s compatibility with it. I also found that Norton 360 wasn’t updating as normal and in fact wasn’t working at all. Fortunately Windows 10’s firewall was in use to stave off unwanted viruses and such like. Now the real problems started for I had to uninstall Norton 360 and then reinstall it, or rather the updated version of it which would be compatible with Firefox and Windows 10. This is where the fun started and the frustrations too. Following the instructions as best I could I was not able to locate the page for reinstalling the program. Uninstalling it was not problem but first I had to download the special tool for doing it. I am thinking at this stage why wasn’t the tool already installed as part of the package? No matter. I uninstalled the program and for the love of me couldn’t find how to reinstall it no matter how I tried. I was returned to the same pages time after time going around in circles. Even using the help desk I couldn’t find how to do it. I was directed to pages wanting me to pay for the program and none asked if I was an existing customer that could be directed to the right pages. For more than an hour I tried to help myself but to no avail so I eventually connected to a Norton representative in a chat room. I asked if they could install the new version of Norton 360 for me and they were only too pleased to do so. After passing me a code number which I pasted into the relevant page they were able to take control of my computer. I simply sat back and watched them and followed any requests they asked of me. In about twenty minutes or so everything was done and more, as they even made sure that Norton was properly added to the Firefox extension list and that it worked. I can say that Norton’s on-line personal support through their chat facility is first-class and it is such a shame that their help pages are so difficult to use. I remember using their chat room aid once before and wasn’t disappointed then. Last year when I wrote about problems using Firefox, which were resolved by Firefox, I mentioned that everything was going smoothly but that no doubt something down line would upset the apple cart. It invariably does. At this point in time I am continuing to use Firefox’s browser because Windows Edge won’t allow extensions such as Norton, Rapport and Last Pass, all of which I use and all of which run on Chrome and Firefox. Come on Microsoft, get your finger out!

Shirley Anne

Weird Saturday

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Windows 1.0, the first version, released in 1985

Windows 1.0, the first version, released in 1985 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A couple of months ago I wrote about registering my interest in Microsoft’s Windows 10 with a view to receiving the free download. I waited patiently to be notified when it would be available so that I could download it. On Friday I clicked on the already present icon to see what would happen and the screen opened up which showed it was ready to download. Microsoft actually uploaded files automatically before notifying that it was ready and from what I gather they do it in the background whilst the computer is in use. I clicked on the button to start the download and carried on doing something else but after an hour it was still apparently not finished. I restarted the computer and tried again for the second time with the same result. Finally after three attempts I gave up. On Saturday morning I tried again and to my amazement the download began. Some time later I checked to see what was happening and the download had only reached 20%. I had to leave the machine running for someone had called me out to do a job for them. It was a couple of hours before I returned home and the program had finished but I had to stay with the machine to respond to the screen prompts. The program warns that the computer will restart a few times during the installation and of course prompts have to be answered. Even when the program had completely installed it kept me waiting whilst it made some adjustments. I don’t know if any of my readers have Windows 10 or have experience of it but it looks very interesting and has many new applications to, they say, make browsing the Internet a better experience. Time will decide that claim. I have not delved too far into Windows 10 capabilities but already I have found that certain extensions and add-ons are not usable on ‘Edge’, Microsoft’s new browser so for instance signing in to favourite sites has to be done manually and I assume the information is then saved for the next time. I use Last Pass and sometimes Norton 360 to auto-sign me in to my sites but they are not on Windows 10 extensions. As I write this I am using the Firefox browser to allow that to happen. Another thing I noticed was that my favourites bar isn’t displayed but has to be opened elsewhere and many sites and files are kept in unusual places, all stored together. That I don’t mind but many of them are history and are no longer in use. It seems too complicated to use in certain areas but I suppose that is a matter of getting familiar with it. As I say, I haven’t delved into the programs’ full capabilities as yet so there will be days ahead when I shall be metaphorically pulling my hair out in frustration I suppose. There are some aspects of the program I will never use and I have already set some of my preferences in that respect. More no doubt will follow. Most of my day therefore was spent either at work or messing about on my machine but I had some respite, cooking my dinner and spending an hour or so out on the patio whilst the evening sun was shining.

Shirley Anne