Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Today's Rant - New PC & Related Issues

I'm all for the latest techno equipment. Its unbelievable how we have evolved - does anyone remember when AOL 3.0 came out? And how (sadly) we were so excited about it...then there was the 5.0, then 6.0 - wow - Now where is AOL? Though I do hear they still have great filtering of email's, but I was recently working at a firm that sent their customers via email links to their proofs online. Everyone who had AOL had issues, they couldn't get their printing proofs. Mind you, their customers were across the United States of America and not everyone has updated to the latest versions of anything.

And this is where I start my story. So I purchased a new laptop - very happy with it, for what's it worth, I had to get a few things fixed prior to it working properly - Note to Microsoft, please fix all Vista issues prior to sending it out onto the store shelves - why let your customer's suffer unneccesarily? - Just a simple point I am making. I had issues that when I went for help; services and companies such as and couldn't or hadn't even learned how to handle my issues due to the nuances of Vista. I was plagued with the Blue Screen of Death. Well, that's what I learned through my research this issue was called.

The Blue Screen of Death - you would think that with that name is really did something, like catching terrorists. Nope, in fact it kept your PC in a frozen state of mind. Having said all that, it wasn't my only issue. Yes, I have many issues, but that's not important now, nor is it your concern, and lastly, no - you cannot help me.

In fact a person, a wonderful person normally, did help me get my old files from the old burnt PC over to the new laptop - but not without us screwing up my new versions of Dreamweaver and Photoshop. Nice... I am still trying to get over that one. It was partly my fault so I can't blame this person entirely. But as I look out the window - an actual one, I see wind blowing the trees around and I know change is inevitable.

I was able to find most of my files, but nothing is organized anymore, so I revert to what I mentioned before about organizing your office and home. Do the same with your computer. And wow does it take up a bunch of time! But get rid of all those files that will certainly never serve you well.

Start with one folder then another. Attacking one folder daily, will allow you the presence of mind that within one month, without much effort, your files are all nicely lined up and you will easily find what you are looking for. Especially for such storage cows like me who have all sorts of files for the various businesses I run.

Think about it - look at the emails we generate - why let them take up so much space. Do you ever need that many from your Mom - hey no offense to your Mom by the way, and I am very proud that your Mom is even PC/MAC literate or for that matter you are even communicating nicely with your Mother. But back to storage issues.

I know people who use external storage like it was going out of business. Why do we think we need such storage in the first place? Remember the old and original PC's and how slow they went. In almost every job I had in a office, I was there upgrading equipment like you change the water jug every 2 weeks - at least that's how it seemed.

And I am no techno guru...I have simply been fortunate enough to be slightly young enough to get on the ride of this technology-driven enhancements to our work environment. In fact, while I was still in high school, we had terminals hooked up to a Riverdale School System. I was im'ing back in get this (and I date myself too) back in 1980.

In fact it was then I almost got expelled from High School since I had learned a little about programming (back when it was basic and the beginnings of pascal and dos - yikes) and had broken into some kid's account from a different school. Not only did I use up all his time allotted - at my school we had no limitations, but were encouraged to learn all about computers. I even changed his password, the twerp that he was. His password, and I can still remember it because I thought for such a nerdy-sounding guy, the use of 'James Bond' as a password was literally ridiculous. So after my almost expulsion from school I decided to stay clear of programming and stay inline with my artistic side and try design instead - this was before we even have the easy HTML editors we have now in place.

Try writing straight HTML code now with Java, XML, etc. - forget about it...your eyes alone would get dizzy. And yes, I know there are still purists out there, and I applaud you all! Bravo!!! Encore!!!! Woo hooo...

But I digress, as I usually do. So get into that PC/Mac of yours, and start deleting files you will never ever need. Keep several copies of your files on DVD's in several places, in case of fire or emergency. I would keep several copies, one in the bank, yes in the bank's safe deposit box, your office, besides someplace in our house.

Think of sadly, all the disasters that have happened as of late. Image what people lost in the fires out west or down south with the floods. Your computer has become a life unto itself which contains so much information, that being without one - which I was for two whole years would truly unbelievable and a serious hardship.

And believe me you, for someone who made and still does makes a living working online, to be without a computer is truly something. Image having to go to the library to send out your resume ever time? Or the need to pay for faxing away from home. When you are looking for a job, not having a computer at your easy convenience at home is disturbing.

I know several people who will never touch a computer, don't have one, nor care to. And they are my age (early 40's) - yes these people do exist, and no I will not become one of them. Do they live happy and productive lives, yes! Will they stay my friends, of course! And if they ever need a helping hand when they do decide to get a computer, yes I will be there.

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