Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Daily Babble

I'm a computer stuck-in-the mud: I use PCs with Microsoft browser, email and word processor. But I'm getting pretty sick of it all. Basically because they keep changing it, and making "improvements" that almost always cost me more time and effort to do what I want to do.

I've got Vista on my desktop. It's not so bad, I've gotten used to it, and I've learned to control the Microsoft Updates. But HP--or somebody--snuck something by me, and now switching between windows is two to three times more time consuming, and I can't figure out even where to find the change it made.

The new version of Explorer was snuck in when I had this machine in the shop, and now cutting and pasting for this blog takes a couple of extra steps each time. My new laptop has the post-Vista operating system, version 7, which is supposed to be so much better, but for my purposes, is just more complicated and worse. Plus I can't work on it for more than a few minutes before some message pops up on the screen demanding that I update this or that, or some damn thing.

And what's with Windows Mail? When email started, the email couldn't be read by anything but the Microsoft program that created it, which made it impossible to store email and read it on another machine, without importing it into the same email program. And damn if however many years later, this hasn't been fixed. Windows Mail isn't read by anything else--it's incompatible with Word and associated programs. I realize most people trash their email immediately. But this is the only way we get mail these days. I have a trunk full of letters from pre-email days. It would be nice to be able to keep letters I receive electronically without copying them into word processing and/or printing them individually. Is that really too much to ask?

I've managed to hold onto my 1998 version of Word, which is the only thing that instantly boots up when I access it. I'm staying away from new versions of Word and Office like the plague they seem to be. Though I don't know how much longer the Lords of the Internet will let me.

And these PCs, apparently loaded with capabilities which remain completely hidden. No explanations, no logical paths, no manual (of course)--print or online. Just a lot of ways to waste tremendous amounts of time and energy, often with no result, because they make a gazillion variations on their machines, and apparently can't keep track of how to do stuff on each one of them.

So that's that. As for these blogs, again I realize how much time I spend on them with little excuse in terms of numbers of readers. I like doing these little essays or feature stories, almost like a real magazine or something, but I don't seem to be doing much else with my non-jobs time. So instead of running away from the traditional blogging concept, I'm experimenting with moving closer to it. It might even be starting to look like tweeting. Don't know how long that will last, but if things seem to be changing around here, don't be too surprised.

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