If I Could Put Time in that Bottle…

And smash it against a brick wall!

All good things must come to any end and these past few months, as I look ahead to some improvements in lifestyle, and some successes and projects that take less time than in the past, I’m doing pretty well.

There is that matter of my computer club. After about four(?) years, there has been no improvement or time-saving progress whatsoever.

When I first joined the club, it was for a purpose. I had begun to work as a computer instructor, a totally inexperienced teacher, but a very experienced administrator and office technology user. So it was a logical step. For support, advice, mentoring and keeping abreast of the latest developments in technology as it related to workers and also to personal needs.

At that time, I was fighting a spinal issue, and as time moved on it became harder and harder to stand to give my lessons, until I discovered I had breast cancer in 2008 and my 11-year teaching career began to come to a screeching halt. It was a little like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

A few pounds of flesh lighter, and a painful back condition later, I found myself unable to work, and retired in 2009, after a respectable length of time for a career in mid-life. So what now about the computer users group?

Being a loyal to a fault person, I remained a member of the club, but in addition, became more involved in some of the duties of membership. I ran a couple of workshops, I ran a monthly workshop in word processing, I became the programs chair for a couple of years, wildly surpassing any past efforts and raising the bar on using my connections network to help that along.

Being that this is a short history of my efforts to retain my loyalty, I’ll put it this way. I became active in a couple of interest groups, especially the graphics group, which soon revealed itself to be a monthly sales pitch for some video software, and some irrelevant technologies such as 3-D printing and virtual reality software. Enough was enough.

I realized what I needed¬†was to narrow my “causes” down to just a few essentials. So I picked and chose – my faith community; gardening; photography, and digital art. I redefined myself as a digital artist, and began to take day trips and network among some very creative people.

Albeit I found myself among younger, more vibrant, and actually people who used technology to create art. People who weren’t asking the same questions every month from the same seats in the same place. This was the opposite of the evening I presented a workshop in said video program, and nobody admitted to owning or using the program. That night was the last straw.

So, all this being said, it is the end of some things, time has been put in a bottle, stopped up with a used cork stopper, put on a shelf, and is already collecting the dust of ages.

Stanching the urge to crush and smash, I shall dust myself off and move on.

Take a Deep Breath, and, Reset (the Saga, Part IV)

So I took another plunge into the depths of #Microsoft’s push of Windows 10 onto us whether we are willing or not. These days, though, Apple isn’t making me very happy vis a vis their unwillingness to go the mile on the terrorist phone issue. Then again, I’m no expert.

I was so happy with Kuron, Jim’s Dell desktop, after I reset and downloaded all of my important programs and replugged all the backup drives, that I went for the same thing with Perdia, my new Dell laptop. Not exactly the same result.

I went to my settings, hit Update & Security, hit Recovery and reset. You can do this now. I remember studying and agonizing over wiping my former computers, and how technical it was for me. Now, it’s just a couple of clicks. Wait.

After Microsoft downloaded a fresh copy of Windows 10, which I was relieved for, being a skeptic and inexperienced but one other computer with this, the real work began.

I keep careful record of receipts and keys for my major programs, and was able to install them. Except for an issue with a ghost drive “j” which is persistent even after reinstall of the OS. When I have time, I’ll call Corel and see what’s the problem. Meantime, Kuron is running that small app that came along with PaintShop Pro X8.

So, the lesson is, to know that you need to sign in to your social media and other websites. LastPass is a good help here, as I try to maintain my spreadsheet as well.

As we go forward, it won’t be easier. But at least it’s not harder.

 

Saga Losses and Gains (the Saga, Part III)

Today is a day off. I have a sinus thing going on, and what it’s producing is a series of uncontrollable, violent sneezes. Best kept to myself!

So in between explosions, I decided to re-download my favorite programs into Kuron, who has become a Dell #Inspiron with a fresh copy of #Windows 10. I’ve already re-installed my old copy of #Roxio Creator 2011, which is just fine for making copies of CD’s and music disks.

Today’s project, however, included #PaintShop Pro X3 which has an incredible array of effects which I just cannot live without. Although this app ran just fine during the initial setup of Windows 10, as I suspected, it now was uninvited to the party, and would not run. But #Corel probably already knew that, and I hopped onto their chat window. My tech informed me of what I already figured (if 20 years of Windows hadn’t already taught me) – the app is incompatible with Win10. Oh.

Next step, what is available for me to continue using the program? Well, didn’t my customer service agent come up with an incredible, 75% off offer for a brand new spanking new download of PaintShop Pro X8 which was hard to resist.

Why do I like this app? It is simple. Unlike #Photoshop Elements, it makes no bones about providing at a reasonable cost, a full-fledged photo and creative interface without silly gimmicks and effects that you will never use. Like a button-adorned frame.

PSPX8 is designed for the non and pro alike in my estimation. It is a powerful program that runs quickly under Windows.

My biggest issue with this application is that it does require a learning curve, at least for me. I have not been able to grasp the full workings of the text feature, but once it is conquered, it offers a lot of benefits. The native save format is also different than Photoshop, but it can be changed.

So, off I go to download my copy for this laptop, and happily move along with my concepts and photos. Stay tuned!

wAXING Tecchy Twice Again

Turns out that to uninstall Office 2007 Pro from my new Win8.1 laptop, I needed to use the install disk #1(?) – every other attempt had failed.

Undaunted, I used the disk to completely remove the offending apps and am now in the process of reinstalling.

It’s not that I don’t like the apps on Office. But Microsoft chose to pull my (and others in BCUG) subscription to Office 365, which they gifted us as a user group, for one year. Well, that year was up and here we are. I do like Office 2007. Although outdated by some standards, it still has the full gamut of Office programs that will cover me for any work I do. I have my beloved Publisher, which is a baby graphics program that uses “order” instead of layers. I have my Access, which is not a big mystery as it may be if I didn’t actually teach it for 10 years, and use it occasionally to pick up a BCUG database.

I’ll miss Office 365’s usage of the cloud, but can get around that easily. I’m finding more and more people are getting used to accessing shared files instead of hassling with flash drives and disks and bloated email messages.

So, on to greater things, with a clean boot, and new horizons, albeit drawn in word’s shapes feature.