Friday, August 6, 2010

Old Dog; New Tricks

The thing is, I do so little – and yet so much – with my computer. I need and use internet access constantly; e-mail is critical; I store our family pictures on the computer; I record and edit digital audio files (about 99% voice only, doing news interviews on the phone); and I write a lot of stuff.
Like the stuff you’re reading right now.

I don’t play games and don’t store or download music, but my wife’s entire iTunes library is on the computer.

I have written screeds before about how you can’t buy a piece of technology like a desktop workstation computer and then think it will last forever and that its technology won’t be superseded. My techies (at Mad City Techs….free plug) made a service call at my home a month or so ago, and after updating my router and tweaking the venerable Compaq desktop (again!) said “you know, Tim, it’s time.”

When the old machine soon started to get really cranky again – refusing to run Internet Explorer, doing goofy things when I was working on writing projects (in Microsoft Word, 2003 edition), and sometimes just freezing up, I called Eric at Mad City and said “you’re right…it’s time…spec me out a new workstation computer.”
Long story short, Eric installed the new wonder-box Tuesday, made double-sure that everything I needed to run my business was working, and gave me a brief tutorial on Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010. He also made sure the new computer “knew” everything the old computer knew – documents, e-mail archive, appointment calendar, pictures, iTunes, Adobe Audition (my digital audio program) – and finally I said “OK, Eric, I think I can take it from here”.

For those who know or care about such things, the large black box has the name “Dell” on it; the word “vostro” at the top left (I’m given to understand that this is Dell’s small-business line of computers); that it indeed has Intel inside – the sticker says “CORE”; it has enough memory (8 GB) I think, to contain the Library of Congress several times; and please don’t ask me more about the particulars. I don’t know. It’s new and it’s fast. I can bully it into doing what I want it to do.

But now, I must learn to work WITH the new software, this “Windows 7” and “Office 2010”, instead of fighting it to do what I want it to do, as if it were the old stuff. So, a trip to the bookstore is on the list of things to do. I learn best by reading first, and experimenting second. I’m not like my adult children, who never read instructions and just jump in and do things on computers, seemingly intuitively.

I have a feeling it’s going to be a long weekend for this old dog.

1 comment:

  1. If you really get frusturated - you can always get this:

    Jennifer Hanner