Thursday, February 17, 2011

Elvis has left the building

Every year I treat myself to some new business toy - a new printer or computer or fancy shelving or pricey wall decor. Three years ago I replaced my five year old Dell computer with another Dell. The machine bought in 2003 was having compatibility problems with some of the newer hardware components and software programs and face it, five years is a long time to ride one computer.

Unfortunately, I picked the window of time (early 2008) during which computers only came with the Vista operating system. Blissfully ignorant of the trouble ahead, Ricky assembled my new computer and began moving software and data from old to new. After about fifteen hours of trial and effort, nearly everything worked. We had come "this close" to giving up and paying the restocking fee. But like many things in life, the more time spent getting the computer to work, the harder it was to cut our losses.

There were some programs and a printer that absolutely would not work with Vista. But my tax season was already fast and furious, so I made do. There were constant issues and a steady stream of Vista updates that fixed some problems while creating more.

We were miserable - the "we" being me constantly tearing my hair out over computer induced work stoppages and Ricky having to listen to my wails and be my IT guy while I hovered. I'm not a patient hoverer.

As the year progressed, Microsoft, admitting to its Vista disaster, began re-offering the XP operating system for new computers as they worked on a replacement for Vista. Fat lot of good it did me.

In surrender, I bought another new computer in early 2009 - an Apple laptop I used along with a desktop monitor. It has been much more stable on our home network and with the Intel chip, I could run my Windows based business software successfully.........for a while.

Approaching a critical deadline, the Apple hard drive crashed last summer and had to be replaced. Fortunately, I had my data backed up, but the Windows stuff never worked quite as well from then on. Meanwhile, Windows 7 released with good reviews. I put Windows 7 on the stupid Vista computer and got it back in business.

For the past six months, I've run all my tax software on the Windows 7 computer and my email and Office programs (Word, Excel) on the Apple. The two are networked, so that's all good.

It's kinda' like having two monitors with one computer. eyes are tired of the small laptop screen. I'm constantly shuffling keyboards and mice and could use more space on my desk. And good grief, keeping up with the cords is a job itself.
My little corner of the world
I have decided to put everything I use at work back on the Dell computer, including email and Office so that I will have one computer and one keyboard and will use two desktop size monitors.

Anticipating the laborious process of converting email, loading programs and getting everything working efficiently, I started thinking about this now three year old Dell computer. That's like fifty something human years.

Bottom line - I ordered a new computer, with the features I need and speed I can count on. And in this world of strange marketing, it was actually cheaper to customize a package deal they were offering with a monitor than to buy the same system without a monitor. So I will have two (nearly) new large monitors instead of one large and one medium. (Pizza, anyone?)

Ordered a few days ago, today it shipped!

The strange things that delight me - I can't wait for Elvis to arrive.

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