Not on holiday, that’s for sure. I don't do holidays.
No, I was still struggling with the new PC, and all that entails. Those things are supposed to make our lives easier and save us time. Yeah, right!
And that’s when the user is not a novice and knows her software from her underwear.
Even when everything is as it should be, i.e. when the computer purrs nicely and accepts new programs without spitting them out, you’re still at the mercy of those frauds, those people who get jobs with Virgin, or Symantec (don’t start me on those crooks), and call themselves helplines. If I had made a note of the name of that woman at Virgin who told me beforehand that, no, they didn’t have a specific broadband installation download for Vista and I could use the Windows XP one, I could have made a voodoo doll, named it and stuck pins into it. OK, the connection is working, but only because I had installed broadband on two other computers already and knew what I was doing. Since they charge something like £1.50 per minute and usually spend the first 20 minutes asking for your life story, you can imagine how much the poor people who don’t have a clue have to fork out.
And then there are the peripherals that are in perfectly good working order but that won’t work with newer computers because Microsoft or Apple have decided to produce a new OS (are you following all this jargon?) and the manufacturers of those peripherals haven’t bothered to make patches for them (still with me?), so said peripherals can’t work with above-mentioned computers (phew!). My lovely flatbed scanner – so flat, so bed – should be working with this beautiful PC (coochycooch). I need it for the OCR function (there she goes again with the jargon!) because it’s easier to translate stuff when it’s on the screen in front of you than to have it propped up on the side of the monitor. Much. Anyway, I cannot throw away a machine that is not broken. I just can’t. And is it possible to buy a cheap flatbed scanner these days? ’course not. At some point you could get one for, like, £20, now everyone’s buying those 3-in-1s and they’re no good if you need to scan a book. Luckily, my partner still has an older Mac and we’ve managed to make the scanner work on it. Hooray! That’s one in the eye for Bill Gates, Vista et al.
Now if only I could make my old speakers work on the HP (Hewlett-Packard to you). Why do some new computers come without speakers? They keep telling you about what sounds you can have to alert you when you fall asleep at the keyboard or when you need a pee, and there are NO speakers!
So, as you can see, the saga isn’t over: more potentially stubborn programs and devices to install...
While I’m on the subject of waste: we’re all doing our bit to save the planet. We sort out our rubbish; we don’t leave our machines on standby (well, not all of them); we reuse plastic bags, and then we buy cook-chill stuff (I don’t, but some people not a million miles away from me do) in Tesco or M&S, and we’re asked to cook a minute portion of dog food for 25 minutes in a hot oven. Twenty-five minutes for a few mouthfuls. You can cook a meal from scratch in 25 minutes!
* I know I’ve already used that heading for another post. So what?