Angelic Paranoia

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Windows 7 – a lesson in how to make things complicated
Wednesday 4th August 2010 7:47 pm

I tried to open Spotify the other day and immediately it told me it needed to download a new version but couldn't. Because my computer had disconnected from the internet. So I reset it, opened it again and the same thing happened. Which rather suggested Spotify was the culprit.

So the simplest solution was to download a new version. Which was instant. Installing it took less than a minute and it's now fine.

However, before I installed it I first wanted to create a system restore point. In XP I just went to the link I'd pinned to the Start Menu. In Windows 7 I stare at the Start Menu for a while before giving up. Fortunately, when I got Windows 7 I found a great site with tutorials on how to work it, so I went there and found how to create a system restore point. It's in Control Panel->System, nowhere near the System Restore menu, which is in Accessories->System.

I decided it's really silly to keep searching for how to do it every time and ended up following another tutorial which adds a shortcut to your desktop, which you just have to click and type your restore point in and it does it. Much quicker and easier. This is why I also have shortcuts to Start Menu for user and all users because I have no idea how to get to them in Windows 7 because right clicking on the Start Menu doesn't work.

Then I remembered that I wanted to add TextPad to the Quick Launch. In XP you dragged the shortcut. Doesn't work in Windows 7... I ended up going back to the same website to find where the Quick Launch lived and then sticking it in there.

I know Microsoft have done all this so people can't cock it all up (and people really can cock anything up on computers given half a chance). It's just that, by doing that, they've made everything so much harder if you know what you're doing. Which is the opposite to the version of Linux I have on my netbook, where if you don't know what you're doing you're reduced to copying and pasting into scripts... (which works, mind you)

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The ultimate risk taking
Sunday 26th August 2007 7:40 pm

There are all sorts of ways to take risks and get whatever thrills, or death, you might out of them. But for the ultimate risk, last night, I hate half a biscuit. Containing 16% wholewheat flour and some wheat flour. Today I've been fine, so at some point I need to eat more biscuit. But not tonight because I have to drive back tomorrow.

This morning we went to The Deli for sausages. Bournemouth was hideously busy, unsurprisingly. It's strange, though, that although The Deli is a lot smaller, they have a lot better choice of sausages than Kosher Kingdom in Golders Green. So now I have a variety I have to work through and decide which I like best.

This afternoon me and mum spent hours reading a diary written in 1872 by a man in Cambridgeshire who knew some of our ancestors. He just had an ordinary pocket diary, which had some really interesting stuff printed in it - including telling us that the exchange rate for the dollar was about 4 shillings - which works out to about 20p in today's money.

He wrote about ordinary things - letters written and received, what trains he got on when he went to various places, when he went to church etc. But it's a life that's completely different from the way we live today, so it's really interesting. Plus there are the times when Aunt Sophie came to visit unexpectedly (she lived in Llandudno) for a few days, and stayed for the best part of two weeks. What took the time, though, was deciphering his handwriting - some of the words were definitely debatable and some we still can't work out.

I had a play with Vista, as well, and discovered that Windows Explorer has no buttons on it where in XP it has back, forward, up, etc. It still has back and forward, but there's no way of adding buttons. I always put cut, copy and paste amongst other things on my computers, so it's one less click to do that. So not being able to is a complete pain.

But, thankfully, dad's computer magazine had the answer: PowerDesk. There's a pro and a free version and I'm loving the free version. You can launch other programs from it and add & delete which ones you want on there; you can have a button for just about any menu command; you can have two windows in one; and best of all, it recognises my pen drive when I plug it in (sometimes Windows Explorer does, sometimes it doesn't). It also hasn't crashed yet, but since Explorer's currently going through a non-crashy phase, that doesn't prove anything.

And now it's dark, I'll actually get round to some writing...

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Stargate: Arena
Monday 25th December 2006 11:48 am

It's quite handy having my dad as my web host. He had an email this morning (as did I, but I thought it was spam) to say I've used 80% of my bandwidth. I have no idea how much I've used at any time, but it's academic because I never knew what the limit was anyway. But now it's twice what it was 🙂

I dreamt last night that I'd woken up and although it felt like the next day it was actually one year later. The latest version of listening to music was called torrenting and involved a standard pair of headphones, but they were connected to the biggest power pack ever. Stargate was still going for another season, although it had General Hammond back in it. And Stargate: Atlantis had been renamed to Stargate: Arena.

I've had a play with Windows Vista on dad's computer (he has it as a virtual machine) and it's not too bad - it's not such a big jump from XP to Vista as it was from 98 to XP. So I'm not hating the idea of having a computer with it on so much. I'm still reserving judgement on Office 2007 and the whole ribbon idea. But as I use Open Office at home and work are still on 2000, I don't think it'll be an issue.

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