2011/01/14

Great leap forward

I skipped on Windows Vista. I couldn't see any reason to "upgrade" to a system that many were quickly undoing so they could get back to Windows XP, a reliable operating system. Sweetie had her share of problems with Vista, and if reports were correct, many had it much worse.

So even when I got a new desktop system a little over a year ago, I had them clone my disk (shhh) so I could keep running Windows XP Pro until I was ready to bite the bullet and upgrade. Which turned out to be never, really. Because going from XP to 7 isn't an upgrade. Vista to 7 is, but not XP to 7. It would have meant buying the full operating system as well as an Office suite. Which I avoided. I'm good at avoidance.

Then along came the technical writing program at BCIT, and the need to take an elective. One choice was writing for the web, and I've done that for years. Another was Office 2007, and I really didn't feel like a course on dealing with the previous versions of Excel and Powerpoint. The only other choice was Word 2010. I have always been kind of a dumb Word user, doing things the hard way and getting inferior results when I could have saved time and got better results. So I went for the Word 2010 course. Which meant no more procrastinating on upgrading to Windows 7.

I know I bought the desktop only a little over a year ago, but there were several reasons I bought a laptop rather than the necessary software by itself. One is that laptops are relatively inexpensive even with the software included. Upgrading my desktop system would have cost plenty, and I would still have been left with a high-powered but non-portable system sharing a keyboard, mouse, and monitor with my work computer via an Iogear KVM switch that is dying. They all die, far too quickly. I've had it with KVM switches. I also decided that I wanted portability. I don't travel that often, but when I do it's gotten so I want my own machine with me rather than borrowing Sweetie's (when she is not busy using it herself). And when at home, I want less clutter on my desk, which is a disaster area and has been for some time. That's not really because of having two computers, but it doesn't help.

I got a nice Samsung RF710 with a 17.1-inch screen, discontinued and also the demo model, so the price was reduced. Reduced price on the Windows and Office licences. And now my desk has gone from disaster area to being elegible for federal disaster relief! Three computers! It's that time when I'm moving what I need from the old machine to the new, not wanting to shut down the old machine too soon lest I leave something behind.

I'm getting used to a laptop keyboard, Windows 7, and Office 2010 all at once! Worse, with the track pad. See, there's no room yet for the mouse. I'm getting pretty good with the track pad, but it's not easy. And Win 7 is making me a little crazy. It thinks it knows what I want, and it's pretty much always wrong. Like, if I hover over something for a little too long and it acts like I clicked on it. And sometimes something will happen and I have no idea what key I pressed or button I clicked. Things seem to happen on their own, like out of control scrolling and disappearing windows. I'm hoping this gets a little less weird when I find room for the mouse.

This weekend, I bring in the backhoe and clear stuff off the desk. OK, maybe I'll just rearrange the piles. But something has to give. In the end, I'll have just my work computer and my cute little laptop, which is almost set up with all the stuff I want.

4 comments:

MgS said...

Commenting on what my desk at work looked like one day, a colleague said "some people can compose poetry in a hurricane" ...

Perhaps you're another such person!

Anji said...

You are brave. Dom installed Word 2007 for me at Christmas; I'm getting used to it and I like it now. I hate having to 'think' about what I'm doing




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Holly R. said...

HA! "It thinks it knows what I want, and it's pretty much always wrong."

Véronique said...

An update. I now have the laptop and my work computer both set up. All the papers and stuff are in a box. The box is rather heavy. If I had loaded it all it once, it really would have required a backhoe!

I now have two things to deal with. One is to go through that box. I can't just dump all the stuff back in the available space. Time to bite the bullet and sort through it. The other problem is that even though I am back to two computers rather than three, there has been a net gain in space occupied.

Duh! Of course. The other two computers shared a keyboard, monitor, and mouse. Those are still there, and now I have a 17-inch laptop with its own mouse on the desk too. Oy. It's a rather large Idea workstation, but it's amazing how much space stuff takes up. Now I need shelves to put on the desk behind the computers!

The good news is that the mouse works tons better than the track pad. Mysterious things still happen sometimes, like windows popping in front of other windows, but mostly I have it under control. I should probably disable the track pad because if I touch it, it can do weird things.