Monday, 25 March 2013

Life with a New Computer - A Rant: or TheTribulations of a Soft Toy Maker

Getting a new computer has been a mixed blessing in recent days - great excitement to begin with, followed by increasing frustration as the days go by and I'm still not functioning on all cylinders - please forgive the mixed metaphors but it does describe my current feeling.

Cy Bear with Little Red Ted and Big Red Ted 
The River Wylye passes through Heytesbury Village:  the bench was Peter's favourite seat when he rested on his daily walks about the village.
The computer itself is a snazzy HP Sleekbook laptop, crimson and black, and looks magnificently efficient on my desk. ( I'd take a photo and upload it here - but at the moment, that's not an option.  More anon!)  Open it up and boot it in, however, and one is faced with Windows8 which may well be snazzy to look at, but for one used to the old Microsoft Operating systems, somewhat daunting.  (I had been warned - but breezily decided I could live with it!)   User friendly it may be - for the techy-minded, but for this silver surfer at any rate, sometimes frustrating in the extreme - because it is SO non-logical!! (at least to a 72+ mind).    Also, I suspect I have discovered the reason why computers are now so much more reasonable to acquire (I don't say cheap, you will notice!)  Previously, they came loaded with all the programmes one could reasonably need:  now they have to be acquired separately or the accompanying relevant APPs downloaded (if you know how) from something called the APP Store, included in the computer programme.  Thank goodness, Alan, my wonderful son-on-law was on hand to do most of this for me initially!   Since then I've been on my own - thinking I was making progress, but finding it's not as fast as I would like.  I appreciate that the best way of finding outhow everything works is to have a go - but........

This last week has therefore has  been spent by me getting acquainted with my new tool of trade, getting annoyed that I am so far unable to exercise that trade fully, and waiting patiently for some extra tools (e.g.  external disc drive for loading vital programmes) and happily clicking on buttons relating (I hope) to programmes that are available free as APPs!  Many of my Followers and Friends are aware of my ability to click on buttons - with far reaching, not necessarily, correct or helpful  results!  So far, nothing too dramatic has occurred, but..... watch this space!

The Christmas Bazaar in Heytesbury Church - 2011
Now, to date, I have lived happily enough without the need of such things as APPS - indeed, if invited to use one in the recent past, I have hastily declined.  This computer has a whole section with APPS for almost everything under the sun that Hewlett Packard consider to be necessary for successful operation of this machine - alas, the titles by which they appear in their APP Store (for free, I hasten to add) are labelled in such a way that I'm not actually sure whether I can operate without them - or absolutely need to have them.  I'm not keen to overload the machine, although Alan did assure me that everything on the old machine only took up an eighth of the space available to him on his Data Key when he was removing stuff from my old Presario (of fond memory;  still with me, but unused - although I am tempted), so I can upload as much as like, without fear of choking the machine.

Oh, yes, and I've had to get one of those too (a Data Key I mean) - because the memory disc that came with the Presario is now extinct as a means of transferring data from one machine to another!!  I believe that is classed as Progress?

This morning - a Monday, and not necessarily the best day of the week for me - the External Drive arrived and was immediately unpacked - in the hope that by day's end I would at least be able to upload my Camera programme and user manual discs,  and edit my pictures of the two newly-constructed Gentleman Foxes, with a view to listing them and offering them for sale at  (Despite Alan's best efforts to find a free download on the internet, the specific model of Canon Camera I use and of which I am very fond, I hasten to add, could not be found.  Hence the External Drive acquisition.  Alas, once I'd got the darn thing out of it's tightly-packed cardboard packaging, the black, fearsome looking object - which so far I cannot fathom how to open, let alone use - has been replaced within it's packaging.  The sellers had somehow omitted to include a user manual - which they recommended I use!  So, a feedback message has been left via Amazon to that effect, and I patiently await developments on that particular front.

Thus.... no new pictures to offer I am afraid, but having now found out how to upload the pictures I already have on file, here are a few random ones just to break up this post - and hopefully relieve the gloom being cast by my current rant against all things technical.  I presently cannot upload all the pictures in my Picassa Library, which is duplicated on my computer via and my desk top file/folders or what have you.  However, I've discovered I can upload them from the latter, so all is not lost. (Little Red Ted, featured in the top picture here, is the inspiration for the Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic (Etsy Listing #79124185).  He was the very first patient.) 

 It's been very exciting looking at the Picassa Library by the way - photographs I thought I'd long ago expunged from my collection are somehow miraculously still available - even if I may not be able to transfer them as yet to my blog or wherever else I may decide to try and show them.  It's been lovely to reacquaint myself with some of the original ColdhamCuddlies - and I cannot wait to show them off, because many of them pre-date!  Indeed, some never made it onto the Etsy Shop site at all.  Think I have to upload some 113 files to Google+ or somewhere, and then I'll be able to upload them from that source!!  So, have plenty to find out - and do - in the coming days and weeks.

As mentioned above, I have not been idle in between attempts to master my new Big Toy.  Two Foxes - one dressed in Hunting Pink (scarlet to the rest of us) and a relaxed Country Gentleman in a Royal Blue Velvet Smoking Jacket are ready to be listed and to join the Buchanan Foxes (Etsy Listing #654656642) as their dancing partners in any foxy jamboree on offer.  Turner Bear is about to begin his treatment in the Stuffed Animal Restoration Clinic (Etsy Listing #79124285) - the mohair fabric matching his existing skin arrived about 10 days ago, but I have been somewhat otherwise engaged!!

Now that the Foxes are complete, I decided not to delay Turner's treatment - apart from anything else, funds to cover all my new technical purchases are needed - so once I have completed this post, the Quic-Unpic will be flourished, and Turner will be "attacked" - ready for his warm-water soaking prior to being rebuilt.

 Cy Bear and I will be back as quickly as we can.  Meanwhile, if I don't blog again this week - we both wish everyone a Blessed and Happy Easter!  Looks like we're going to have a White One!!

One last thing:  like Alice in Wonderland, the machine somehow managed to shrink this page siz twice:   I've now corrected it to the normal twice while preparing it for publishing:  so far, without knowing how I achieved either result!  Life is exciting .....  as I said before - watch this space.......!