The acid test. I switched on the new laptop and . . .
Let’s just say that things did not go quite as well as they could have done. I forgot my PIN number, then had to recover it. That was when I forgot the password to the new email account I had set up to use this machine. After that it got slightly trickier. However, it finally came right and I have stored the passwords, even though this sort of misses the point of passwords.
I really must get myself sorted out, but after what happened last time I set a computer up I don’t want to take any chances. What happened, you ask? I wish I knew. Somehow I got locked in a circle that I couldn’t break out of. Eventually Microsoft refused to recognise me at all, wouldn’t allow me to access any features and the only thing I was able to do was to pay. I corrected that by cancelling the payments via Paypal. That’s why I started using Apache Open Office, and, eventually, lost all my work. I can only blame myself in the end, but Microsoft and its intransigence played a part.
Something else I noticed tonight was that it is no longer possible to select a default browser with one push of a button. I’m used to using Chrome, so that’s what I want to carry on with. To replace Microsoft Edge as the default browser you now have to sect it a dozen times, once for each confusing thing that it apparently now does. If I was a cynic, and if I’d ever read Inside the Nudge Unit, I might suggest that Microsoft is trying to manipulate me.
All in all, I think it’s time for a revolution. Half of me wants to stick to Apache, but the other half of me wants the easy life of rolling over and surrendering to Microsoft. I am going to have to do some serious thinking.
That’s not me in the picture, but it’s the only picture of a laptop in my media file.
A woman rang today and asked if we bought unusual American coins. I passed her on to the proprietor, as he has a wide-ranging knowledge of American coins. It turns out she had found a rare Buffalo nickel (1913 San Francisco Mint – I’m hazy on the rest of the detail as I wasn’t listening). The Buffalo Nickel is a lovely coin, and if I were American I am sure they would be a pleasure to collect.
This was unusual because “rare” coins usually aren’t rare.
Earlier in the week we bought some coins off a man. He brought two small lots in- one bag of coins from his wife and one from him. He told us his wife was making him sell the coins he had inherited from his mother when she died last year. They came to £17.50. The wife’s coins only came to £5. So he signed the form and went off with his money. Six hours later we had a phone call from the wife telling us he shouldn’t have sold hers. He had to sell his but she wanted to keep hers. Then she told me she wanted hers back. That was, off course, a problem, as we had already sorted the lot into various other places.
She told me they were worth a lot more than £5. I couldn’t help it, I just laughed. It was the end of a long day (in fact it was 15 minutes after closing time and we were just parcelling up a couple of late orders) and I really couldn’t be bothered. They coins were rubbish, her internet search was misleading and her grading, as usual, bore no resemblance to the reality of the condition of the coins.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, we sorted out a selection of coins that resembled the ones she had and the boss, worn down by her whining, just gave them to her to get rid of her, and to reinforce the idea they were virtually worthless.
It’s her husband I feel sorry for, he had to get rid of his but she keeps hers. (He’s a little older than me, by the way). His must be quite a cheerless existence.
You see all sorts in a coin shop . . .
In other news, my blood test was OK this morning, though I still have to go in next week. I really must start applying pressure about less testing.
Wednesday produced some brilliant service from the NHS, who sorted a problem out in five minutes and had my delivery with me inside 24 hours. If I were a curmudgeonly sort I would point out that if they had done their job right in the first place three weeks ago there would have been no problem. However, it is the system that is at fault and an individual who sorted it out, so credit where it’s due.
Then tonight the warning light came back on in the car. Did I tell you about that? Ys, I checked and I see I did. So far that Engine Management System has failed to flag up a single problem but it has cost me hundreds of pounds for replacing a faulty valve and several trips to the garage to get lights reset. It’s the next step in consumerism – first we had planned obsolescence, then we had vacuum cleaners that need replacement filters all the time instead of a new bag every few years, and now we have systems in cars that need repairing even though there is no actual fault with the car. This is either brilliant or very annoying, depending on your point of view. To me, it feels like Volkswagen are picking my pocket on a regular basis. Technology does not seem to be good for me.
And that’s before I get on to the story about how I had to open a HP account to use my own scanner on my own computer. I couldn’t work round it by downloading a fix from Microsoft as they don’t recognise my account details. I answered a lot of stupid questions to try to retrieve the account and they told me I hadn’t answered enough. A big sort out is coming and the machines are going to come off second best when I raise the New Luddite standard. Thirty minutes messing about just to scan something for Julia, when in the old days, before the “new and improved” system, I could have done it in ninety seconds.
Am I the only one objecting to having to write an autobiography before being allowed to use a computer I just paid for? because I once used my email address for a Google account I can’t use it again, so have had to start a new email account. Why do they always need my date of birth too? If it’s because of “adult content” issues I would be quite capable of lying about my age and if it isn’t they don’t need it. As far as a computer company is concerned that is as relevant as my shoe size. That is 11 or 12, depending on width and fit, as my left foot is half a size bigger than the right and I sometimes have to buy twelves to accommodate that. It’s not a secret, it’s just not something that Microsoft needs to know. Meanwhile, in asking me for details, they applied the password not just to the Microsoft account but to the computer. I don’t need a computer password. If Americans want to know why the rest of the world sometimes has reservations about them, just ask Bill Gates why this should be. First of all he rents us software we used to be able to buy, then he makes us open accounts just to use our own computers. Next thing you know he’ll be cutting off our access if he doesn’t like what we say.
If the Chinese Government ever brings out a word processing package I will seriously consider using it on the basis it can’t be any more intrusive than Microsoft already is.
At last the changeover went comparatively easily, apart from writing the autobiography and then providing some of the information in duplicate. or triplicate. WE can invent computers (which is a bit like alchemy or witchcraft to a simple soul like me, and we can travel to the Moon ( or a TV studio in the desert) but we can’t, it seems, design a system that allows you type a phone number in one place on a form and allow it to show up every time they want your phone number.
AS for picking it up, it was interesting. They sent me an email in the morning telling me it was ready to pick up, but I had just started watching Sharpe, so I left it a while. You have to tell them you are outside the shop by pressing a link they send you. This, of course assumes you have your phone set up for email. I did when I was managing junior rugby teams but I don’t need it now so I never set it up on the phone. ASDA do the same with their Click & Collect. They assume the whole world are slaves to their phones. It isn’t true. Some of us still retain the power of thought and don’t ned all that electronic pap. It’s a plot I tell you, encouraging stupidity, mediocrity and self-centred behaviour. Our current House of Commons is quite clearly the result of early experiments in this direction.
I long for the old days when it was all about back-stabbing, naked ambition and class war. They were still a waste of space, but at least they were comparatively honest and straightforward.
That meant I had to forward the email to Julia who came with me to the shop and pressed the link once we found our way through the badly marked slalom course that was supposedly the system of collection bays. How difficult can it be to draw an arrow that looks like an arrow rather than a hockey stick. There are some well-established conventions on this, Pointy bit and shaft. It most definitely isn’t either rocket science or a hockey stick.
I interpreted it to mean that I had to turn back on myself and as a result, lost two places in the queue. I hate it when that happens. Anyway, it’s all running now, just leaving me to chunter that I can’t see why Windows 10 is necessary as it’s no advance on the old system.
Oh, hang on, I’m wrong. It is an advance on the old system because it enables Microsoft to make you buy new stuff.
One small backward step for mankind, one giant leap for Microsoft profits.
My new computer looks nothing like the one in the picture, but it’s the only computer photo I can find. Mine is more of a chunky black box attached to things (including a twelve -year-old screen, with a mass of tangled wires.