What a day

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


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

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

Just as all was going well

Most used web browser in country or dependency...
Most used web browser in country or dependency as of July 2011, according to Statcounter: Blue: Microsoft Internet Explorer Orange: Mozilla Firefox Green: Google Chrome Red: Opera (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Computers! I remember well the time I never had one but the novelty of owning one was so attractive I succumbed to the idea and bought my first. In those days the realisation that computers could be used in the way they are now was not seen but all that soon changed. I learned how to write programs on my first computers but a couple of years later it became unnecessary unless I was going to be employed in IT (Information Technology) or writing control programs and games. All I needed then was to know how to use the computer. Slowly but surely the computer in one form or another has become part of our lives and in such a way as to be indispensable in many ways. My personal views regarding computers and ‘technology’ have been well recorded and although I’d prefer not to be a part of it all I do find some of it is useful. Writing this for instance and having it broadcast around the world wouldn’t be possible without the computer. To be able to use the computer to connect with the world we need browsers and my introduction  to them was through Internet Explorer. I stayed with ‘IE’ for many years but then discovered  I was having problems with it, compatibility issues and other things.

The usage share of web browsers. Source: Media...
The usage share of web browsers. Source: Median values from summary table. Internet Explorer (38.9%) Firefox (25.5%) Google Chrome (20.2%) Safari (7.7%) Opera (2.9%) Mobile browsers (7.1%) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was introduced to Google Chrome and for a couple of years found no problems with it but then one or two issues developed and I thought I would try yet another browser. This time it was Mozilla Firefox. I soon found that all my issues with browsers had melted away using Firefox and that has been my experience up and until a few days ago. Browsers need to be upgraded from time to time as different problems and issues arise in their use and Firefox is no exception. So it was that I upgraded to their latest version, version 34 but after a few minutes discovered the new version had created a problem on my machine. I use Norton 360 for my computer security and it has proven to be an excellent extension. One of  the things I find useful with it is the Norton tool-bar on which I have access to my vault, a safe place to store my passwords and urls to the sites I use. It isn’t the only vault I use as I use ‘Last Pass’ too. However I tend to use the Norton vault in which to store my banking access details. I might also add here that I have an encryption program installed on my computer which I use when on-line. It scrambles data before it is sent out. The latest version of  Firefox isn’t compatible with the Norton tool-bar and therefore the tool-bar won’t display. In fact it has been disabled when Firefox is used. Confronted with this new issue I decided to revert to Chrome again and now everything is as it was before. No doubt the incompatibility issue between Firefox and the Norton tool-bar will eventually be resolved and I will be able to use Firefox once more with the tool-bar in view. I wonder why these problems are not sorted out before new versions of programs are released. At the moment all is well and I have no issues. I hope it stays that way…………

Shirley Anne

Don’t you just love computers?

Image representing Google Chrome as depicted i...
Image via CrunchBase

Well after a few problems with my computer on Wednesday something else cropped up whilst I was browsing my own blog. Those who use WordPress will know about the notification bar at the top of the screen and it was there that I discovered another potential problem. This time it was to do with the browser I have been using which is Internet Explorer 9, the 64-bit version. WordPress was telling me that I had to upgrade my browser else the site may not work in the near future. I didn’t respond immediately but came back to the problem again on Saturday. I downloaded IE 9 again even though there seemed nothing wrong with my version. The message disappeared but re-appeared again later. WordPress say that the preferred browsers for their platform are Firefox and Google Chrome. As I had Google Chrome on my computer anyhow I started arranging things on the computer to try it out. There were some niggling problems such for instance not all of my ‘favourites’ had been imported to the new browser and I had to transfer them manually. Also Zemanta, which I use to furnish my blog with pictures had to be downloaded to the Google browser. Admittedly that last process took a mere three seconds or so but still it was something that needed doing! I am not used to Google Chrome and I had difficulty finding out how to include or exclude toolbars and other operations but after a while I got the hang of it. One problem still exists with using Google Chrome is that when I am on my blog’s dashboard I can no longer see the notification bar that was instrumental in my switching browsers! Now that to me seems a little silly, especially as WordPress insist it is one of the two best browsers to use with their platform. If I switch back to Internet Explorer I can see the notification bar. Maybe the problem lies within my computer settings but I haven’t a clue where that may be. It’s as though the visual screen needs dropping down a touch but I don’t know if that is the problem nor how to fix it, yet anyway. I can get round the problem by switching to a another tab and using that to display the site whilst I am signed in (the notification bar is only there whilst you are logged in) but that is rather tiresome.Oh the joys of working with computers!
I have three browsers on my computer, the third one being Safari, which I downloaded some time ago as it might have been of benefit when using Apple applications and programs as suggested by Apple themselves. It seems different companies have preferences when it comes to browsers. I have used Safari, not extensively, and I found it reasonably good but I have no idea of its true capabilities. I will stick with Google Chrome because it is excellent and fast too! I will keep Internet Explorer in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen for emergency use or for speedy switching of items from one to the other.

Update………….the problem I had with not being able to see the notification bar has resolved itself! I give up! So hopefully that will be an end to my problems……………………………….maybe…LOL

Shirley Anne