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.
‘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.
Well 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.
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!