Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Reverting to Smoke Signals and Charcoal Scratches on Cave Walls

Cave drawings at Lascaux, France. Source
 I'm thinking of giving up this whole technology thing. Well, not seriously, evidently, because I am, at this very moment, writing a blog post.

If we are Facebook friends, then you already know that I've suffered a technological crash and burn recently. My two-year-old laptop's LCD screen suffered a catastrophic failure and gave me the white screen of death. Yup: white screen. I had no idea such a thing existed until it happened to me.

[Allow me to point out that that is a hardware error, so really it is not a case of my using "weird keystrokes" or otherwise abusing the machine. Unless you count slamming it shut in frustration when trying to navigate a government website. But EVERYONE does that! I DO NOT have anger-management issues!]

This is only the latest in a seemingly unending string of disasters with laptops (and the occasional desktop or Kindle). Frankly, I've lost count, and I really don't want to look up my notes to find out what my current status is.

Anyway, I've been using Steve's netbook, but we got a scare yesterday when it wouldn't boot for me, which is why I have a new laptop today.

You might think that, by now, I'd be used to the process of integrating a new computer, but let me tell you, I am SICK OF IT!

Registering this, that and the other thing, customizing applications, restoring backed-up files, activating my antivirus/spyware program without having to pay through the nose for a second license, getting used to the slightly different keyboard layout [this one has a "\" or « key where the Shift key should be] and a new operating system.

And Microsoft Outlook NEVER works with Outlook Connector. All it will show me is my oldest Inbox message ... from last May!

And this new bilingual keyboard won't allow me to switch to English - Canada. And now my quotation mark has vanished! Where the hell are my quotation marks!É Aaaah! And my question mark! ^^ And my square brackets! (And I have my keyboard set to English - US.)

*Breathe in... Exhaaaaaale... Breathe in... Exhaaaaaale.*
*Take a glug of wine.*

Those asterisks will have to take the place of square brackets AND less-than or greater-than symbols.

[Aha! The square bracket has been restored to me! ? And the question mark! And the /! And the quotation mark: "!

[Breathe in... Exhaaaaaale... Breathe in... Exhaaaaaale.]

And, wait. Outlook has awakened and restored unto me the wealth of e-mails which I had entrusted to its care. [Angels sing, harp music swells.]

On that optimistic note [Yippeee! I've got e-mail!], I will spare you the saga of my accidentally purchasing a laptop without a CD/DVD drive (only discovered AFTER I had restored all of my files, of course), and of forgetting my receipt when I went to exchange it. Well, I guess I didn't really spare you, I just sort of condensed it.

For his part, Stephen has already deleted my user account on his little netbook. Couldn't do so fast enough, it seems. The fact that he allowed me to use it for seven entire days just shows you how very much he loves me.

I leave you on that note, while I go to do battle with that monolithic beast that goes by the name of Norton.

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