Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lying fallow?

Like a number of bloggers I follow, I’m finding that after the intensity of Holy Week and Easter, my mind seems to have gone on to standby as far as inspiration is concerned. Or perhaps it’s just that all my available mental energy is being absorbed by my new acquisition.

Yes, dear readers, all the detailed and careful research I mentioned in passing in my last post came to fruition last Saturday with the delivery of this year's birthday present and my brand-new pride and joy – my very first laptop!

Sales Cartoon #6021 by Andertoons

I feel I should apologise for teasing you all with such secrecy about a basically mundane purchase. Yet to me it feels very far from mundane. Since the moment I first clicked tentatively on a computer mouse nearly 20 years ago now, all my computing has been done on a series of desktop machines, mostly DH’s cast-offs.

Not for me the app-laden smartphone or glossy tablet: instead I’ve been nursing the same ageing desktop since before I retired 5 years ago and it’s still going strong, albeit rather more slowly, like its owner. I blame my addiction to blogging for making me realise I needed a means of mobile computing, and for me a laptop was the only sensible solution.

Hence the poring over internet searches - reading reviews, comparing specifications and looking for reliability reports - which took so much time early last week. The Transit household really doesn’t go in for off-the-cuff purchases. J

Now that DH has finished setting up my new baby, I’m spending every spare moment getting to grips with Windows 7 and all the other innovations which have passed me by for so long. It’s a steep learning curve and my brain is beginning to hurt a bit, but I’m gradually getting there and am enjoying the process enormously. It doesn’t take much to make me happy…….

51 comments:

  1. Hello Perpetua:
    But this is absolutely wonderful news and we are certain that already you are wondering how you managed before. Apart from all the very latest technological advances with which your new lap top undoubtedly comes, it is the flexibility which we really believe you will wonder how you lived without. We wish you much enjoyment and many happy hours with your new 'toy'.

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    1. Thanks, Jane and Lance. I don't think I'm quite at that stage yet, but I'm starting to see how much more it will do than I'm used to. I'm certainly looking forward to the flexibility of not being tied to the desk all the time. Once all my photos and internet favourites are on there, I'll be ready to do my first blog post with it. :-)

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  2. Welcome to the C21st!

    We have found the first laptop we bought two years ago such a boon that The Husband has decided against buying another desktop PC with his tax rebate. Last week he took delivery off Amazon of a "bright shiny thing that goes beep" (always his preferred type of purchase, myself, I am happy to stop at bright and shiny) that he can carry about with him and use in any room in either house as we already have wifi broadband set up for the first laptop.

    Windows 7 is quite user friendly. You'll soon get the hang of it. Also persevere with the integral mouse on your laptop. It's hard to control at first, but the technique comes with time.

    What make and model did you go for?

    I watch TV in bed on mine, and log back on with my morning tea. It's like a fifth limb!

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    1. That's what it feels like, Baby Sis. We have wifi here and a good broadband connection, being within hailing distance of the local exchange. At home it's a wired network with a router and with our poor broadband speed (distance to the exchange and a lot of contention) wifi might prove very slow. It's probably a case of getting a new router and trying it out. I certainly won't be watching TV on it in bed or anywhere else as I often can't even watch YouTube clips or BBC news reports without constant stuttering and buffering.

      It's an Asus K73E 17.3" and is definitely bright and shiny. :-) I'm getting the hang of the touchpad and mouse buttons, but I don't think they will ever have the ease of a separate mouse for sustained writing, though they're fine for browsing and commenting.

      You'll not be surprised to hear that reading in bed, both at bedtime and with my morning tea will never be superseded by TV for me. In fact we don't even have TV up here or in France, just DVDs and I get through lots of books....

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  3. Wonderful - I'm going to suggest to the better half that it might be an idea for me to have one too (but I'll keep the desktop as well as I can't face transferring everything on it!) His has got Skype as well as all the other useful things, and although I've just got it on my d-tit could be useful for travelling, too. No, I'm not being a copy-cat - it's been on my mind for a while! Wow, goldenoldenlady - watching TV in bed? How amazingly decadent, and what fun! Hope you have fun with it, Perpetua. When do you return to these (slightly more) civilised parts? Tim cancelled today's meeting as there were only going to be him & V (although I was going to be able to go after all, but hadn't been able to get holfd of him to tell him!) LOL.

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    1. I've had a TV of sorts in my bedroom for years, Helva, firstly a little B&W portable (in about 1983), then that was upgraded to a colour portable with oooh, FOUR channels...

      Since living with The Husband my bedrolom TV has gradually improved in size, type and functionality until it was a digital LED flatscreen with multiple channels. This last has been superceded by the laptop since I've had it, as I can do all the pooting stuff as well as look for news and entertainment, so The Daughter has now been gifted that TV for her bedroom in her house.

      Bedroom TV is so much the norm it's no longer regarded as decadent, and most modern houses have TV sockets throughout in all rooms, upstairs and down. You can even buy beds where the TV slides upout of the foot of the bedframe at the touch of a button!

      Join in the fun when you get the laptop you crave...I particularly enjoy flicking through YouTube to find performances of much-loved music, and have recently watched all 26 instalments of The Pallisers on there as I missed so many of them when it was on TV in 1974.

      I have seen the future, and it WORKS!

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    2. Goldenoldenlady - doesn't it just go to show how far behind the times I am - despite having taught IT for several years (back in the days when BBC Masters were the in thing) and having a better half who was a chief designer for the first digital telephone exchange (System X). I must have had a very puritan upbringing - the only times I've watched TV in bed has been in hotels, on the rare occasions we've stayed in them!! I wasn't even suposed to read in bed as a child - although a torch under the bedclothes and acute hearing were quite useful then! And the wireless was strictly supervised - no Radio Luxembourg, and only music on the Third Programme. I do remember Light Programme comedy like 'Much Binding in the Marsh', though, so it wasn't all so very straight-laced. Looking forward to getting to know you when Perpetua (& we) return to Wales.

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    3. Our upbringing was very governed by similar slightly puritanical protestant work (and rest) ethic, but I am pleased to say that I have been able to throw off most of its strictures in my adult life!

      No reading in bed unless ill for us either, no lights on after prayers and night night said, and on the weekends much snorting about "are you listening to jazz on the wireless? No mother we are listening to pop on the radio". Reading for study might be acceptable, but if mummy felt harrassed with her work reading for fun was made to be put aside and sharing the housework expected instead, but as the years have passsed I have loosened my stays. let my back hair down and set my own standards of conduct. My daughter grew up in a very different climate...

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    4. Helva, I will certainly be keeping the desk-top and probably go on using it at home, unless we can get a decent wifi connection, which doesn't seem likely at present. The laptop will be my travelling computer and DH is busy copying all my files and folders to it, so that it will be a mirror image and act as a backup. Given that our broadband connection here is so much better than in Wales, it will feel like returning to less civilised parts when we get back in the second week in May.:-)

      Good luck in your search for a laptop - there are an awful lot out there to choose from....

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  4. How absolutely lovely. I got my first laptop two years ago and I love it... no need for trendy phones and fancy apps in my world either. Do enjoy your new toy. Happy Birthday, and here's to many happy years of tapping away on it.

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    1. Thanks, Catriona. I do feel like a child with a shiny new toy at present and am really enjoying finding out what it will do. By the time my birthday arrives (this time next week) I hope to be blogging away on it. :-)

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  5. How wonderful, Perpetua. I'm sure you are going to enjoy your new toy and find it eventually makes posting even easier. I've also felt a little less sure of what I'd like to share...perhaps it really is a little post-Easter lull! We will all be humming again soon! Debra

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    1. Thanks, Debra. I'm enjoying it already and can foresee that it will become invaluable before long. I just hope my faithful old desktop won't feel rejected and sulk....:-)

      The post-Easter thing has been really marked for me this year. I wanted to post about Holy Week and all the things I've been doing, but the post just wont let itself be written yet.

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  6. Congratultions...on the birthday and on the new purchase. I'm sure you will never look back. Within weeks you will be wondering how you managed for so long without it ! Enjoy.

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    1. Thanks, Janice. The birthday isn't until a week today, but we wanted to get it ordered as soon as we'd decided, as models change so quickly nowadays. It's certainly not as frightening as I thought it might be, but I still feel like I'm all thumbs...

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  7. Ah..I actually wondered if it might be a laptop. I remember when I got my first one. I was very reluctant..well you know I don't like change! But it was brilliant. I've had another since that one and now I have a notebook (again reluctant at first) but it's small enough to pop in my bag and much easier to take to England with me.
    Enjoy your new toy xx

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    1. You must be psychic, Ayak. :-) I never felt the need for one until I started blogging and wanted to be able to keep in touch wherever I am. It still took me a year to make up my mind and then only 3 days to research and order it. I had to get a large-screen one because of my poor sight, but it's still perfectly portable and has the advantage of full-size keys for my clumsy fingers. How can you tell i'm starting to love it?

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  8. Happy belated birthday! You will just love having a laptop. I've had one for many years now and am now on my third. You will not have any trouble with Windows 7 -- it is indeed very user friendly. Have fun -- but don't stay away too long -- we would miss you!

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    1. Thanks, Broad, but as my little sister has just said, you're not late at all. I knew you were a laptop user, so thanks for the encouragement about Windows 7, which at present does still seem very different. But I will persevere and by the time my birthday arrives, I intend to have mastered my laptop and all its ways!

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  9. Happy belated Birthday! Enjoy your new toy finding and out what it can do! We both changed over to laptops quite a long time ago; I'm on my 5th and would never go back to a PC.

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    1. Thanks, Antoinette, both for the not actually belated birthday wishes and for the encouragement about laptop use. At the moment I can't imagine not having a desktop machine at all, but am guessing this could well change with experience. Certainly i'm very pleasantly surprised with the quality and clarity of the display which is really important for me.

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  10. Perpetua's little sister here! Pleased to be able report that none of you have missed her birthday. It isn't for another week (24 April), so you can send her felicitations for then well in advance if you wish!

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    1. Thanks, Baby Sis. These greetings are early, but not as early as those from my German penfriend, whose new computer calendar reminded her a month too soon. I now have German birthday greetings held in reserve for next week. :-)

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  11. Congratulations on your induction to mobile computing, Perpetua. I hope you get great pleasure from it, and that you aren't exposed to any of the traumas I experienced with my last purchase!

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    1. Thanks, CB. So far, so good, I'm glad to say and i'm having fun with it. I feel lucky it's all working well, as I know your tale of woe isn't unusual, unfortunately. I trust the replacement is still doing its stuff.

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  12. Well done that girl! Since my introduction to the techie world was via a lap-top, I know no other, but have to admit to being only dimly (and I use the word advisedly) aware of its numerous other functions.
    When you have absorbed them all - in other words in a day or two - you can be my guru.
    No, don't worry. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.
    Enjoy!

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    1. LOL! Thanks, Ray, but I think it may take a bit longer than that. :-) Even DH, who is my techie guru, is still discovering how to do things on it, including pretty basic ones like sleep mode and closing it down. Not everything is as immediately apparent to the naked eye as with my old desktop which is still on Windows XP. What with this and Blogger about to push us all onto the new dashboard, April is likely to prove an interesting month....

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    2. I have read some very amusing satirical reviews of Windows 8, and the proposed three "flavours", but the language is a little too shockingly trenchant for me to provide a link to the best ones here in your blogspace. Just think Tom Lehrer swearing like a navvy and you have the general tone, very very funny but not for sensitive ears...

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    3. LOL! One of the reasons we didn't hang about once we'd decided which one to get. I did NOT want to be landed with a Windows 8 laptop.....

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  13. I should really begin this comment with just one word Perpetua - Snap!

    Last Thursday, the main trip switch in the Chaplaincy Flat tripped, causing my ancient desktop computer, (also running on Windows XP - the Czech-speaking variety), to crash. We isolated the cause of the tripping to our oven & the problem has since been diagnosed as the failure of the heating elements. We're awaiting the fitting of replacements at present.

    However, resurrecting my desktop computer was another a matter. It refused to reboot because the on-board battery was dead. This is what stores all the data when the computer is switched off. My computer-savvy wife has eventually managed to re-start it, hence I can now write this comment, but Sybille's online research since has indicated that we would need a technically competent computer engineer to fit a replacement battery. And the failure is indicative that the computer itself is on its last legs.

    So yesterday we bit the bullet & went out and bought a new laptop. At least during the initial set-up, Windows 7 asked whether we wanted it to speak Czech, Slovak or English :-) Tomorrow starts the major task of transferring all my files across. I can feel a new blogpost coming on.....

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    1. Great minds think alike, Ricky! :-) Sorry to hear about the crash and the problem oven, but glad to hear that something good has come out of it all. My old desktop is still working, though it does make some odd noises at times, so I'm pleased we did something before it too decided to give up the ghost.

      Being a total laptop novice, I'm still feeling my way, but its getting easier and I too am lucky to have a computer-savvie spouse to do the hard bits for me. Enjoy the speed of your new laptop - it makes a huge difference to everything you do. :-)

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  14. Oh wow - new laptop! Perpetua - enjoy. I have a cumbersome desktop sporting XP with lots of gigabytes left so can't really go for a laptop yet, though we did splash out and buy our grand daughter one last year. You are really clued up on the computer so I'm looking forward to your next blog post.

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    1. I know, Molly - wow was the first thing I said when we unpacked it. :-) So small, sleek and powerful! I still have plenty of storage space on the old machine, but it's showing its age and having something that can be used away from one fixed point in the house is already proving very useful. And I love the clarity of the high definition screen - so easy for these old eyes to read. I hope you manage to treat yourself soon.

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    2. Enjoy your shiny new toy Perpetua - something this household is considering to save fighting over our sole PC!

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    3. Oh, I am, PolkaDot! I would think you'd find a laptop very useful and there's no doubt that modern laptops are very fast and powerful with huge storage for all those lovely photos you take. Ours was a budget one - under £500, yet ii has far more capacity than either of our desktops.

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    4. No house with two intelligent people each with a vibrant interest in the world should have only one computer, PolkaDot! Get researching and buy yourself a laptop, PDQ, just DO it, as Arnold (Scharzenegger, not our old dad) would say.

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  15. Oh lucky you, Perpetua! I have been trying to persuade my fuddy-duddy husband (OK, he's not really) into going for laptops instead of the PCs we have but we do have 5 computers in the house - 2 for the boys from school, an old laptop (which I dislike) and 2 PCs that take up all the table space. I want a posh thing but maybe next year...Hope you enjoy your new 'toy'- you really don't need inspiration but I look forward to trying to spot the difference!
    Axxx

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    1. Poor Annie! It's taken me a while to persuade DH that a laptop is a good idea as he'd read so many horror stories of unreliability and poor service. Hence all the research about reliability which led us to the Asus. Knowing how much space our two desktops take, I can't imagine a house with 5! Just think - with WiFi you could perhaps sit on your gorgeous roof terrace and blog. ;-)

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  16. Happy coming Birthday Perpetua!

    Congratulations on your new laptop. I love having one myself. What brand/kind did you buy? I need to buy a new one myself before too long. They make all the difference in the world compared to a desktop.

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    1. Thanks, Rubye. It feels nice to have at last joined the ranks of laptop users, for the sheer flexibility, if nothing else. We finally decided on an Asus, as it came second to Apple in reliability reports and we didn't want to go down the Apple path. It's a K73E with a 17.3" screen and the exact model is the TY210V. The trouble is that models are always being updated, so it's really the make you need to research above all.

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    2. Mine is a similar sized and priced Compaq bought from Staples two years ago and it's never been a bit of bother. The Husband's new one is a singing and dancing, bells and whistles superfast gaming Samsung which cost him an eye-crossing amount and arrived only last week, paid for out of a windfall tax rebate (one of the several million rebates that have gone out in the last few months in the UK; so nice of HMRC to save up his money for him in secret and look after it for six years!)

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  17. Happy birthday and many more of them!

    Your mention of laptops pushed me into disinterring the laptop I bought when last in the U.K. and which I shoved in the cupboard in panic on discovering the 'navigator' thingy.
    I have managed to set it up.....the navigator pad giving rise to rich oaths...all but the internet.
    I am now stuck. Do I plug it into the modem? No cable is provided.
    Do I set up a wifi router on my existing modem? It seems to want to know all sorts of things like the password given me by my server.

    Please send out DH by DHL.

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    1. Thanks, Fly. I'm so sorry to hear about your trials and tribulations with your new laptop. I can well imagine the sense of panic and sheer ignorance that I'd feel without DH to help and do the hard bits. I'll pass your comment across to him along with your email address and see if he can help you remotely. He spent most of yesterday helping a friend up here solve a problem with her computer and he's always happy to try.

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    2. It's most kind of you to volunteer him...and most kind of him to agree to be volunteered.
      No rush...it's been in the cupboard for months without being missed...

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    3. He's used to it, Fly. :-) I've been volunteering his skills for years and he never seems to mind.....

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    4. They are queueing up for his services... :-)

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  18. Welcome to the laptop world Perpetua! I dismissed my big tower computer years ago and now have two laptops. I love them and can't remember why I ever had the big thing. Now, if I don't feel like sitting at my desk I can take my computer out onto the lanai, catch a lovely breeze, stare at my mountains and wonder what to write about in my next blog post :)

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    1. Thanks, Astrid. Your laptop use in Hawaii sounds idyllic. I don't think it will often be warm enough for me to try the same in the UK. :-) We don't have wifi at home in Wales as yet, because we've always used a wired router. Sounds like I need to change that as soon as possible.

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  19. That is so wonderful, Perpetua! I've been wanting one for some time and, while I will need to wait a bit longer, I look forward to the day I can pick up my laptop and go wherever I want with it. You will get the hang of it soon, I'm sure, and will enjoy the portability of it for a long time to come.

    I's say you had a pretty good birthday. Here's to many more.

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    1. Yes, it's great, Penny. I do hope you manage to get your much-wanted one before too long. I know you'll enjoy the sheer flexibility it brings.

      Actually, the birthday itself is yet to come (next week). The present came early this year. :-)

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