Ok, so I decided to replace my aging computer, sounds like something any simpleton should be able to do. The basic instruction that come with the new machine says “anyone can do this in three easy steps”. They obviously don’t know the Ranger very well! I really need some basic instructions that you would think would come in the package. When I buy a three shelf bookcase, there are twenty-nine pages of written (in English) instructions that come with it. I usually immediately pitch these in the garbage because I know what I’m doing and how to do it. If you need more help, Acer the computer manufacturer says simply go to our website to download a user’s manual and even a tutorial…great news, there is hope for me!
Okay, that sounds easy enough to do right? Wrong, first of all this new machine is Windows 8.1 replacing the old Windows7. So what you say? This new 8.1 has mostly icons of everything, I can maybe get used to them…after all I still have good eyesight and with some practice will recognize the symbols for what they are. Thanks to the Window’s people, I am going to have to spend many dollars a year on a gallon of screen cleaner. ‘Touch screen’ sounds great but what a mess of finger prints!
Oh…I forgot to mention, to get all that great on-line information and help…I have to get onto my Bell internet modem! When I first started thinking of updating my computer, I had ‘my computer guy’ go with me to Staples last winter (click on this link “Master Procrastinator” to see my previous blog) instruct me on the best features to look for on a new machine. How much memory, the screen size, laptop or notebook and to get as many USB ports as possible etc. The first question I asked the kid at Staples was if this computer is equipped with a ‘wireless card’ compatible with my Bell modem? The sixteen year old salesman assured me it was. Thanks ‘computer guy’ for the USB advice. It just occurred to me that I will likely need to reset my printer for this computer…guess what, this computer does not have a CD drive or ‘optical eye’ as Acer calls it for the printer set-up disc! It never occurred to me to check, but it seems that CD drives are being replaced with portable data sticks but I can purchase an add-on CD drive. Another option here is to buy a new printer. Why is it much cheaper to buy a new printer than it is to buy the inkers for the old printer?
Back to getting on the internet…I had to call ‘my computer guy’ again for help. This worked out well as we just cut short our weekly Wednesday back road tour and picked up our favorite pizza for lunch and enjoyed it at Rangers apartment. Knowing we would have to call the Bell Help line and the problems I have had in the past with these folks, my ‘computer guy’ was a necessity. Unlike me, when he calls this line he gets someone who actually speaks English and he knows what they are asking him to do to solve problems. After a couple of hours with Bell it was thought that our problem was with the computer and not their modem. ‘My computer guy’ is a determined son of a gun and comes up with enough new information to go back to the Bell people. After setting up a new account number and a new password, things started going pretty well.
The next day I felt confident enough to try to install my Office 2013 program which I really need to continue blogging. This procedure is relatively simple, you simply set up a new account and password and then type in a product code that is under a ‘scratch off’ coating on a card that has been registered at point of sale for extra security. Well, after all this I cannot find an icon or any other clue to actually bring it up on screen to use. I now discover a great chat help line and the young lady at the help centre is very helpful…it’s almost as good as having ‘my computer guy’ sitting next to me! LOL.
On Friday, I am finally ready to get going on some overdue posts. Of course my computer starts acting up again and will not allow me to do anything I want to do. By now I am thinking this ‘demonic’ thing has a mind of its own and is playing games with me, and it appears to be winning! It has now peeved me off so much, that it came so close to me throwing it off the balcony and rendering it a $600 piece of junk! My niece shows up for a visit, I am really in no mood for this interruption but she does not seem to notice! She suggests that we reset the computer to factory settings (without changing recent changes) and she sounds very knowledgeable and has done this many times. By now I am ready to try almost anything…big mistake! The computer is now more screwed up than ever and the niece has just left for a two week vacation!
Man, it is time to swallow my pride and phone ‘my computer guy’ once again. A phone call is necessary of course because my email is inoperative. Those who know the Ranger know that he is so independent that it really hurts him to have to ask anyone for help. Well, once again, ‘my computer guy’ comes through and gives up some of his Saturday time which I am pretty sure he would rather spend with his wife. We now seem to have wrestled back control of this cantankerous machine. I must admit that I have learned a few things from this 8.1. Seems ‘cloud’ storage has nothing to do with the sky and I now know how to turn on or off my ‘airplane’, and what makes 8.1 think I even own one?
How do you properly thank a great friend for giving so much to helping you out so many times? On chatting with him today on our Wednesday back road tour it seems that he really does not need or expect a lot in thank you department. He genuinely likes to help someone in need.
So, in ending this blog, I will just say Thank You very much Bushwhacker, my Friend.