Friday, June 28, 2013

Lament over computers

I started this week with two of my three desktop computers sorely needing attention.  One needs to have the dust removed, I am sure.  It keeps overheating and shutting down.  I have used it for some time as a server and is the oldest of the systems.  The other system stopped functioning shortly after I installed Windows 8 on it.  It's non-functioning may just be coincidence, but i am not really sure at this moment.  I have dragged my feet on fixing these systems because I had a fully functioning Laptop, which I use along with my ipad (yes, I have an Apple device!)

My Laptop was fully functional until just recently when it began to slow down drastically.  This is alarming since it is a Quad Core AMD and usually functions well.  I noticed several things:  no-matter what I changed or disabled nothing much changed in performance and disk utilization was almost always at 100%.  This also has Windows 8 on it.  I installed it so I would know all the ups and downs of the system.  One thing I have learned -  I really hate Windows 8.  Several months ago I upgraded the hard drive on the system, because the 500 G that came with it was getting crowded.   Well this week the new drive would no longer boot the system.  It kept going into a drive check and staying at 27% completed - no further.  I eventually replaced the new drive with the old one, but now I have a system with old data.  I put the removed drive in a case and attached it with USB and ran tests on  it.  It tests perfect!  WTF!  Well at least I can copy data off it.

Long story short, I now have a NEW laptop with core i7 processor, 8 G of RAM and 2G of graphics memory.  The only downside to it is that it came with Windows 8.  Microsoft is now testing Windows 8.1 and it is supposed to correct some of the problems and be available in a few months.  It is available as a testing system now, but there are sure to be changes before the final release.  I am really not up for Beta testing right now.   I just need to get my software on my new system and get back to business.

What am I using now? I am doing this on my old, old laptop at the Church Office.

Peace, prosperity and working technology,
Love, Shel


Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day 2013

This Memorial Day is kind of laid back.  I am called to remember those in my life who have moved on.  I think most of my father who died a year and a half ago.  The grave marker is of his grave in Arlington National Cemetery and was taken near Christmas, hence the wreaths.  My father was in the Military for 26 years and served in both WWII and Korea.  Military life colors my early childhood. 

All my father's sisters and brother predeceased him as did my mother.  He died at the age of 100 and I clearly miss him.

Strangely, I have also been remembering people who have been in my life and gone, but are still alive.  I am not sure why that is, but I miss them.  I don't dwell on missing them but occasionally I do think of them.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend and a great Summer.

Love,
Shel

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Identity

I need to renew my Connecticut Driver's License.  The last time I did this all I needed to do was bring my current license and the fee.  I then had my picture taken and Voila!  I had a new Drivers License!  Now I need to bring my state verified birth certificate, current drivers license, social security card, and two computer generated bills with my current address.  What has happened?  Is my identity really in doubt?

Oh well, I have all that stuff so I am good to go, but it seems like a lot of foolishness to me.  Just a thought.  What will I need next time I renew?  Proof of DNA?  Life is very interesting.  I just have to think of what people who don't have all the documentation in hand must go through.

Love,

Shel (or am I someone else?)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sandy Hook

My heart breaks at the scope of the tragedy experienced by the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School.  I cannot imagine the depth of grief of those whose lost loved ones, children and school staff, to senseless violence.  I can only pray for them in my helplessness.  "God be with them and give the solace and Peace."

I have done supply service at a church in the Sandy Hook area.  These are fine people and in no way deserving of this tragedy, though I cannot conceive how kindergarten children anywhere would deserve the violence of Friday morning.  I can only hope that the families can find God's healing grace in their lives. 

This was senseless violence and senseless loss and I cannot imagine what might lead a person to do what that young man did.  I only know that the technology for that violence was all too readily available and that is a failing of our society.  Guns don't kill, but a person with a gun can kill all too easily.  We as a society and a Nation need to do something.  The violence in our country is deadly and insane. 

I need to go back to writing my Sermon.  Hopefully i will make some sense.

Love,
Shel

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Politics and the land of crazy

I don't usually write a lot about politics, but it seems to me that politics has taken a decidedly crazy turn.  Several things lead me to this conclusion.  In what world is there a war on Christmas?  Just look around you and tell me the season.  There is NO war on Christmas in the USA!  Can any politician be seriously considering taxing feminine hygiene products?  I guess one might consider this if one were planning political suicide.   The next crazy words from a politician are that vaccines are causing people to be Gay.  Since virtually everyone in the USA is routinely vaccinated then there should be an epidemic of Gayness.  As far as I know the percentage of gay people has remained stable.

Now that is off my chest I can go back to other things in my life.  It does make me wonder though, how on earth did these people get elected?  Oh well!  Some things in life are ment to be mysteries.

Monday, December 03, 2012

More Windows 8

I am still on the Windows 8 kick.  I have been using it now for a while so I have more experience.  One thing I want to make clear, is that it works!  It is not fatally broken.  I am still having some problems, but they may just be my issues.  First, my desktop is still broken.  it may be a coincidence but my desktop will not fully boot after installing Windows 8.  I still have not fully diagnosed the situation since I have had more pressing issues.  I will let you know wen I know more and fi the problem.

My laptop has been running fine with Windows 8 with some provisions.  I still have some issues with Windows Update, namely 5 updates that consistently fail.  I have tried all the recommended remedies and they all fail.  I am hoping that there will be some new fix for the issue.  I want to avoid the drastic move of cleaning everything off and starting fresh.

I have added a free program to the mix called "Classic Start Menu."  it has made Windows 8 run more like I want, just like Windows 7.  I need to say now that Windows 8 looks like it is a great fit for the new generation of touch screen laptops and tablet like devices.  Tablets under Android and IOS have become very important additions to personal and business computing.  We will just have to see if Windows 8 brings Microsoft into a major position in  this market.  I still do not see the advantages to the user interface if you are using a more traditional desktop, laptop or netbook.  The interface is so different that there will be a big learning curve.  This probably won't be a problem for the younger and more adventurous, but will for the more established users; those who are comfortable with Windows XP and Windows 7.

One overall thing I have noticed Windows 8 seems to be very disk intensive.  It reads and writes to disk a lot more than Windows 7.  This causes congestion and subsequent hanging.  Interestingly, task manager shows this much clearer in Windows 8.  Again I think that the problem is that Windows 8 has been optimized for devices that are using primarily solid state disk storage.  This is just a guess.

On a personal note,  I am finding it a bit difficult to deal with the Holidays this year.  This is the first year without my father around and I am noticing his absence. This is just a part of life and I am dealing with it but it has added a somberness to the season for me.  Speaking of the season, it is Advent.  I know our society insists on making this time an orgy of shopping and parties, but in the Church we celebrate a season of expectation and preparation in Advent.  Last Sunday we remembered the prophecies of the coming of God's Kingdom and the coming into this world of the hope for Peace and Salvation.  Blessings to one and all!

Love,
Shel

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Windows 8 adventure


I have been experiencing Windows 8 Professional.  Sigh!!!  Microsoft seems to get it right every other operating system. Windows 7 is great!  I only switched to practice working with it.  I will eventually have someone call me with a Windows 8 problem.  New computers will come with Windows 8 and people will be stuck with it.  Yes, I said stuck with it!  I installed Windows 8 Pro on my desktop first.  It now isn't working.  I haven't fully trouble shot it so I don't know what to blame yet.  I'll let you know though. I then put it on my Laptop.  That is what I am using now and it works.  It did not kill my Laptop.  I must say there are still some driver issues which may be Toshiba's problem. 

The major issue I see with Windows 8 is that Microsoft drastically changed the user interface, without asking it's user base.  Much of my time with the operating system has been spent trying to find easy ways to use it.  The interface was clearly made for a tablet and would be reasonable for a tablet device.  I have two tablets, one running Android and an Apple Ipad 3.  They are distinctly different from a Laptop or Desktop.  The needs are different and the access methods are different.  I could have seen it if Microsoft had made it easy to use the Start Screen (formerly Metro) or the Desktop, but they have gone to great lengths to MAKE you use the START menu.  There are few options (some third party solutions exist and there is a way to use the scheduler to run the desktop) to avoid the use of the START screen.

If you haven't heard or figured it out the start screen is NOT the start Menu! They are quite different ways to achieve similar results.  If you have been a Windows user for a long time you will scream in horror with the new system.  My figuring is that Microsoft was looking for a way to solve a problem that doesn't exist.  They saw the increasing tablet use and panicked.  Apple has been much more sane about the whole business and maintained the integrity of their OS X versions on Laptops and Desktops and used IOS versions for the mobile devices (iPhones, iPods, and iPads.)  In fact, Microsoft has a special Windows 8 for their Tablet devices and for their Phones.  I wish they had taken more of a lead for Apple here.

I am working at Learning and adjusting.  I have tried to work with "out of the box" Windows 8 Pro but admit I have gone to some third party solutions.  My favorite so far is Classic Shell.  It is free and it works.  I'll let you know more later.

Until then,
Love Shel