Sunday, July 11th 2010

Wrestling with the technology again!

Looks like keeping my fingers crossed just didn’t cut the mustard! By 4 p.m. on Saturday my laptop was up to its old larks again; that is to say, locking up, rebooting itself, blue screens, attempted system recoveries and various graphical glitches across the screen. And it had been going so well up to that point! I’d gambled that I could get through the weekend without problems. Oh well at least I’d managed to get my data backed up a couple of days earlier in the week so losing access to my computer was more of an annoyance than a disaster. With the assistance of one of the staff at St Michael’s we tried on several occasions to restart, it all to no avail. Eventually we gave up and I spent the early part of the evening sitting in the conservatory trying to suppress my frustration by watching grey squirrels scamper up to one of the bird houses and open the lid on the bird feeder and gorge themselves. I went to bed early.

Sunday arrived and things were looking bleak. What would I do to keep my mind amused all day? Well fortunately, Sue, one of the staff nurses, offered to unpack the laptop provided by AbilityNet and to plug in and connect up all the peripherals. Things were looking up! Only trouble was that when the machine had powered up I discovered that the software and operating system were a generation or two behind what I was familiar with. I spent the afternoon training the speech recognition software and trying to get used to less features and verbal commands than what I was used to. Also, without all the little utilities and customisations that I’ve made to my own laptop to make life easy for me, I felt like I was spending more time working the software then I was achieving results. Of course it’s hard to be too critical when in fact I should be grateful that a charity has helped me out at very short notice. But at least I had the very basics, and once I’d got things working reasonably accurately, I was able to spend some time this evening on the Internet searching for local companies who might be able to repair my laptop. One such company is just a few miles up the road and apparently repairs all the major laptop brands so I filled in an online repair quotation request describing in as much detail as I can the nature of the fault and my situation and am now just waiting for a reply hopefully tomorrow morning.

Mark

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