Monday, April 11, 2011

Don't Ring Dem Bells for Me

I think (mind, I say I think) that I have lots of virus protection, and I run them daily. The computer keeps proving me wrong, however. I am trying not to think that I bought this machine in 2003, which makes this ancient in computer years. As with our car, I love my computer and hate having to adjust to a new one, and even worse, adjust to a new operating system. Please let me keep my XP. We have worked so well together for so long.

However, "little things" are starting to go wrong and I am hoping this is not going to signal the beginning of the end of my beloved Dell.

For one thing, it's running slower. I am not talking about internet connection, I'm talking about everything. Sometimes photos that I move into PhotoShop pop right up, other times it may take 30 seconds or longer for a photo to load. I run mail through Mail Washer to weed out the spam and possible virus programs. I may be left with only four emails that are actually going to load into Outlook Express...sometimes this can take several minutes. For four e-mails.

But in my old age, I am starting to be peaceful about waiting. I no longer tap my foot impatiently during traffic slow-downs. I enjoy the extra time to listen to my audio book.

I don't sigh angrily when I am put on terminal hold on the telephone. I play few extra games of Free Cell.

I have decided that it's not worth the stress or the irritation to let stuff like this bother me and so I have resigned myself to my computer dealing with its aches and pains of old age, much as I am resigning myself to my own.

Some time ago I asked people on Facebook which browers they preferred, Firefox or Chrome, since I had heard good things about Chrome, but really like Firefox and know it very well. The verdict was overwhelming for Chrome vs. Firefox.

I was curious, so I downloaded Chrome and found many things I liked, but I also found things that I didn't like. I can't set it up to look like Firefox, for example, with a nice little bookmark column down the left side of the screen. But I am learning how to make the bookmarks work to my satisfaction, most of the time.

It's probably a good thing I have been working with Chrome because lately I'm having serious Firefox problems. Mostly this involves any time that I have to input additional information on a page that I have already connected to. For example, if I am adding a blog entry in Blogger and want to add a photo to that entry, when I click on the icon for adding the photo, it brings up the "add photo" box and then freezes. I have to close down Firefox completely to unfreeze it. If a guestbook entry calls up a separate box to sign, that freezes Firefox too and I have to shut it down. Pretty much any web page that brings up a separate box for anything will freeze Firefox.

Now, granted, this is a minor inconvenience and I'm learning to work around it, but I'm wondering what little gremlins are mucking around in my system to cause it in the first place.

The "work-around" is to call up the same page in Chrome and add the photo or guest book signature or whatever in Chrome.

It would seem logical, then, that I should just switch to Chrome completely. Ahhh, but that doesn't work either. Adding photos in Chrome is great, but I can't add the text where I want it to go. (This is probably because I'm using the older version of Blogger...damn all those new "improvements"). So now what I do is add all the photos in Chrome and publish the page, then call the page up in Firefox and edit, so I can add the text. It's cumbersome but it works.

But it's also damn inconvenient. Today, Chrome froze on me when I was trying to add a photo. I just hope this isn't a sign of things to come or I'll have to start adding photos on my LAPTOP and then calling them back up in Firefox on the desktop to edit the page.

I know that even with all the frustration I'm going through right now, this is still 1000% better than it was 10 years ago and I shouldn't complain, but it frustrates me when things stop working the way they "always" have.

And I'm also thinking back to when this machine was last serviced, about 3 years ago, when my guru told that "if I was lucky" it might last me another two years. I am putting my fingers in my ears and refusing to hear that death knell bonging ominously off in the distance.....


Harriet said...

My computer -- about as old as yours, with XP -- is dying and is in the shop. My son and I will discuss it this weekend.

I agree, it's a lot easier once you learn not to expect instant gratification. (It's no problem if you remember dial-up) I told the girl at U-Verse I don't need a faster connection. Just as I don't need a car that can go 300 miles an hour if I can only drive 40 mph safely. And she said, "I never thought of it that way."

jon said...

Don't give up on your computer yet,Bev. There are a few things you can do. Some of the things suggested below may keep it running for a while.