Well, it’s not all set up, but my new Dell computer is up and running. And it only took three or four phone calls to Greg White.
The first step was to install the APC BE550G Back-UPS 550VA 8-outlet uninterruptible power supply that Greg suggested I order with the computer, and to plug everything into. All that was required was connecting one of the battery cables (they are shipped with one cable unplugged) and plugging it into the wall outlet.
Overall the computer setup went well. It was basically a case of connecting the monitor and power cord, sticking the little wireless receiver for the mouse and wireless keyboard in a USB port and turning the computer on. There are 6 USB ports on the back of the computer, two on top, and two on the front, some of which are 2.0 and some 3.0. I started out with the wireless receiver in one of the ports on the back, but the mouse and keyboard were both very slow, so Greg suggested trying one of the ports on top or in the front, saying that even a few inches distance might impact the signal strength. And he was right. I moved it to one of the ports on top and things worked much better.
I have never had a Windows 8 computer and quickly found myself lost trying to find my way through it. So that required another frustrated call to the wise and powerful Greg, who had me install a program called Classic Shell, which replicates the Windows 7 screen. That made life easier.
There were several problems that were software related. I couldn’t get Live Writer to work after downloading it. That is the program I use to format the blog for publication but for some reason it would not cooperate, so once again, Greg to the rescue. He figured out a workaround that will work.
The description of the computer on Amazon said it came with a trial version of Microsoft Office installed, but if it’s there I sure can’t find it. We bought the program a while back for Terry’s Toshiba laptop and I think we can install it on a second computer, if we can just figure out where we put the dumb thing. If not, I’ll have to buy a new copy.
There is one other software problem I need to try to resolve. When I tried to install Microsoft Streets and Trips I got an error message that said “Microsoft Visual C++2010 Redistributable” had to be installed and then it would close the install program. Greg suggested I go online and see if I could download the required component, but when I tried, I got a message that it could not be downloaded became the computer already has a newer version. Microsoft stopped making Streets and Trips a while back and Greg suggested I switch to DeLorme Street Atlas. The problem is that I have all of our past years’ travel routes plotted and saved in Streets and Trips and I’d like to have them for reference.
Between all of that, running some errands, and my daughter Tiffany coming over for dinner, I ran out of time and did not get the new printer installed. That will be today’s project.
Several people e-mailed to ask me why I didn’t sell my old iMac or donate it to charity instead of blowing holes in it, as I jokingly wrote in yesterday’s blog. A friend wanted it for parts, but we won’t cross paths for at least a year and I don’t want to haul it around that long, so I’m giving it to my daughter. I figure being a single mom with two girls doesn’t bring enough frustration into her life, so I felt it was my duty to add more.
Finally, I received an e-mail yesterday from blog reader Cathy Williams, who said that a cat had stowed away in their motorhome and they suspect it had been with them since they left Catalina Spa in Desert Hot Springs, California. Along the way, they stopped at Camp Verde Resort in Arizona, Hidden Valley in Tijeras, New Mexico, Double D in Texola, Oklahoma, and Bears Den in Grove, Oklahoma. The cat is a male black and white tuxedo cat, with a white face and pink nose. He is neutered, overweight, and friendly. Cathy would really like to get him home to his owners, so if you lost this fellow or know someone who did, e-mail me at email@example.com and I’ll put you in touch with her.
Thought For The Day – The company you keep becomes the character you reap.