I know it’s been said before by so many others…

funny cat picture, lolcats on interwebs

Well HERE’S your problem! Your intertubes are clogged with lolcats.


I won’t even go into the many reasons we’ve all sadly been subjected to, as that horse has been beaten by others far more tech-savvy than I.  And I won’t discuss how it conflicts with an otherwise reliable navigation program I was running on a laptop last fall, shutting everything down just as it’s getting dark and we’re approaching a tricky inlet with rollers curling over the breakwalls. Yet another reason why you always keep paper charts out and ready, and stick to them. Electronics are only a backup. But that’s another story.

Most times, I write on my vintage 1998 Toshiba laptop, 3 pounds of portability wrapped in a bumper-sticker covered titanium case. I’ve vowed not to replace it until (gods forbid) it stops working or something that better suites my needs comes along. Needless to say, the old Toshiba keeps ticking away, running Windows 98SE. I’d love to bring it up to XP, but if it ain’t broke…

There is one shortcoming this little ‘puter has. Norton’s antivirus has bloated to such a point, it slows the limited memory and such down to a virtual stand-still. So I’ve stopped with the vaccinations, removed Norton’s, and basically don’t go on line with the laptop. It’s purely for writing, and I have a new desktop for all online activities. This actually makes the laptop ideal for writing, because it’s eliminated all other distractions. However, it means if I’m printing or sending a file, it goes to on a USB chip and into the new computer. As I’m working, Vista tells me it’s found some new updates, and wants to reboot to install them. Click ‘NO’. As in, I decide when you reboot, and I’m busy now. I’m down to some final revisions, a mere word here, punctuation there. I’m making some last fixes, and ……..


Oh, wait. The computer’s turning back on. Vista has updated (thank you so very much) and almost seems pleased with itself. Oh, and here’s your file, recovered since your last save.

Omit extensive cursing, similar to when the nav program on the boat went black.

Okay, Everything seems alright. And I’m tired. And back on course. I just want to get done.

And everything looks okay.

But it wasn’t. I’d lost changes. But which ones.

Thankfully, like paper charts, I keep paper notes.


5 responses to “I know it’s been said before by so many others…

  1. Hear hear.

    I’d say buying a laptop with Vista was the biggest mistake I ever made, but it’s not like Microsoft left me with a frickin’ choice.

    My biggest pet peeve is it takes six minutes from the time I click SHUT DOWN until the time the screen goes blank. Six minutes to shut down.

    And if I get impatient and close the lid…

    When I open the lid the shut down process is exactly where I left it. So now I have to wait four minutes for it to finish shutting down before I get to wait five minutes for it to boot back up.

    …And when the kids leave me with a barely shut down laptop… …And I pick it up to find that 1.) They left the battery almost dead and 2.) I have to wait five minutes before I can boot up… Boom! The back of my head comes off like a Martin Scorcese squib shot.

  2. Another plus for the Windows 98 Toshiba… it boots in 45 seconds. Seriously. I’ve timed it. I think it shuts down even faster. Like I said, it’s bare-bones, just an OS, Word, Excel, and NOTHING else. I don’t go on line with it, no email, no surfing, no distractions. I’m very productive on that thing, and the 10″ screen shows exactly 1/2 of an equivalent printed page, which makes editing easy.

    As for online purposes, I’ve dusted off an old XP desktop, again, run bare-bones, and it boots pretty fast.

    As for the Vista laptop, it has been relocated off to the needy college student, (It was that, or boat anchor) as college students will suffer lousy, bloated operating systems over no computer at all. I’m seriously considering A.) trying to see if my Toshiba can run the GPS/Nav program, though the screen is next to impossible to read in sunlight, or B.) Buying some cheapo second-hand XP laptop at a computer fair for that purpose.

    You know, if you play the Microsoft Installation disk backwards, you hear Satan talk. Which is better than if you play it forwards, and it installs VISTA!

  3. Why, this person had no problem installing Vista on his machine!

    I still do most of my writing on a manual typewriter. Instant hard copy and not a word lost to power failure!

  4. Hello again. That video is perfect. That should be mandatory watching for anyone considering Vista.

    I do most of my writing and navigation on paper first, then move it over to electronic. Writing-wise, it lets me polish and fine tune, not to mention it helped vastly in the submission process. Navigation-wise, I want the course marked out on a paper chart, though the GPS on the display is a nice back-up, showing actual speed and location. The key word there is BACK-UP. Had electronics been our primary, or worse yet, sole navigation system, it wouldn’t have been pretty. Murphy’s law is things will fail at the worst possible moment, and this was no exception. Fortunately, good old fashioned paper charts showed we were right on course and safe to proceed.

    As for my revisions, I always print out a hard copy, make my notes accordingly, then mark off as I make changes on the computer. Unfortunately, when the system rebooted, it lost some of the changes I’d checked off as done. The big question was, which ones? I spent the next three days hunting down revisions I’d already revised.

    BTW, how’s the baby, other than very cute. I sent a reply, but maybe the computer ate that too.

  5. Baby is recovering from a head cold and a touch of stomach flu (as am I), but otherwise he’s just marvelous.

    I guess the computer ate your reply.

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