Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The trouble with a new computer

This is not going to be a rant a la Angry of Mayfair  (aka the late and great Kenny Everett) but hopefully gives a few bouquets as well as some brickbats.

The major bouquets go to Google Chrome, now my preferred browser, and both Screenshot and Screenhunter 6 for screen grabs.  The new version of Office does what is needed and the new laptop is very good.

About a year ago a hinge on my computer discorporated.  I was able to persevere with this but over time was becoming disgruntled with its increasing slowness - it was at least 6 years old so well past its official depreciation date.  Finally I started getting messages that I was due to renew my Symantec subscription.  Time for a new 'pooter.

So off to the Good Guys where Frances had got her new machine, with which she was very happy.  I wanted a new Samsung laptop, a new printer/scanner, a new external HDD, a new mouse and copies of Office Home 2010 and Kaspersky security software. A good price was offered and accepted, so a small bouquet for them.  So back home to grit the teeth and see what works.

Getting the printer to happen took a while but no dramas.  Registering etc my copy of Kaspersky was not a problem.  Internet Explorer proved itself useful in letting me download Google Chrome. (This was quite painless apart from when I had both open and kept getting confused as to which was what: resolved by removing IE from the desktop.)  And so it went - initially!  This was on Sunday.

At one point. late in the day, I noticed that the time on inwards emails was weird.  So I changed the time zone from California to  Canberra which sorted that.  Then I noticed my Kaspersky button was flashing.  That had a red message saying to the effect of  "Not  protected as a result of incorrect time"!  Yecch - the barbarians will be pouring in! After about an hour of trying I couldn't get any sense out of the system so tried ringing the help line.  You've guessed it - we are only open 9-6 weekdays and 9-12 on Saturday.  That is appalling for a business selling peace of mind (in fairness, Symantec are similar).  So I sent an email - it seemed that despite the red message there was still some protection around -  to the support address given on the package.  The word "Urgent" got used a couple of times.

When I turned the machine off I got a screen saying installing 1 of 61  updates!  Can't Microsoft get anything right the first time?  I left it to itself and went to bed!

The next morning - Monday - all seemed to have sorted itself out (just as well since with it being a Public Holiday I wasn't going to hear anything from any one at Kaspersky today)!  Come to that it is now 4pm on Tuesday and I still haven't heard boo!

So on with other matters.  One issue I wished to address was getting my private stuff organised so that it could be easily backed up.  This meant in particular gathering all my photographs together and organising them a bit.  When I uploaded them from an external drive I found there were 32,000 of them!  That is a worry but it covers 10 years or more and includes our time in Tanzania and New York where we sometimes took 150 images in a day!  Copying this lot took some time.  (To give a bit more security I also copied them on to the hard drive of my old computer: 42 Gb took 3 hours to copy!  Then I put them into the backup system provided by Kaspersky: that took about 2 hours to put onto my new external drive.)

We are generally going pretty well now so I thought I would see how my screenshot software would go.  A big fat zero was the answer.  It just would not co-operate with Windows 7.  I contacted the providers of the software by email and they responded very promptly but need to consider things for a bit  - not bad considering they only charged a pittance for the program. (Getting out of sequence a bit they have been able to fix the problem and it now works: have a walk down the red carpet folks!)

 So I thought I would see what download.com had to offer for free screen capture software.  They had several offers and one looked good.  However as I got into the download it seemed to try to delude me into accepting all sorts of "apps" to do things like become default browsers.  This seemed as shonky as so I ceased to use their services and found another site offering a highly rated program (Screenhunter 6 Free).  The site was run by 'wisdom-soft' which seemed a bit of a dodgy name, but they  are Wisdom Software who developed the program.  They only offered one dodgy download which I avoided and the program seems to be even better than screenshot so they get a bunch of violets.

The main problem seems to be the young folk developing 'apps'.  So, to really bang your monitor with my brolly it is the younger generation who are to blame


Denis Wilson said...

Love the Kenny Everett clip at the end.
Incidentally, re screen capture, I know I told you about Screenshot. But after I upgraded my computer (nothing fancy) I found I could simply press the "print-screen" key, and then open Photoshop (or other photo program, or even MS Word) and key in control v.
Bingo, there is the screen shot.
In photoshop, I can then crop the image to remove the frame, etc.
PS Don't you hate these new alpha-numeric security codes in Blogger?

Flabmeister said...


Well one lives and learns! The printscreen approach works for me too! The only disadvantage is that it doesn't save a copy of the file automatically but one has to save the clipboard before taking another dump. This could become tiresome in some situations but is a very useful fallback.