Our first home computer was huge and expensive and didn’t have a modem, but it did have the newer 3.5″ floppy drive instead of the 5.25″ old fashioned one. It ran Windows 3.1 and I believe we had a dot matrix printer to go with it, but it used regular paper instead of the rolls or fan-folded stuff.

Over the years we have upgraded several times. I had something for a very short time that was an IBM computer with an odd operating system and it was horrible and we packed that up and took it back to the store and I got a Windows 95 computer instead. Then I had Windows 98 Second Edition, Windows ME, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 7, and two netbooks with Windows 7 Starter.

Going from a DOS based Windows 3.1 to a GUI interface in Windows 95 was a joy and even though there was much to learn, it really was rather intuitive. Point and click and plug and pray really mostly worked.

With each iteration there were improvements and there were irritations. I KNEW how to do stuff and then all of a sudden, I didn’t. I hate not knowing stuff that I think I should know.

I had an old XP at work and the company would no longer let me use it because Microsoft would no longer support it after some time in June of this year. I was very upset with having to learn a new operating system because I had heard nothing but complaints and bad things about Windows 8. Luckily, Windows 8 does not work with our proprietary software and so we had to special order and have specially made a new computer with Windows 7 on it.

Now here it is, a couple months later. On Wednesday, my computer was working and then all of a sudden the screen went to a lined gray and white thing that was first very light and then ate the entire screen. I closed the lid of the laptop and waited until it powered down and then opened it up and it didn’t want to work. Since I couldn’t see the screen, I forced it to shut down and then restarted it. A helpful screen came up that said it would try to fix itself and I was pleased with the technology that would be helpful.

I went off to work and when Dick came home from golf I called and asked him to check my computer. It was still on that screen and so he restarted it and all was well. It looked like the computer was fixed. I was happy because I really didn’t want to buy a new computer.

Well, the screen went to gray a few more times but it always came right back after shutting the lid and restarting itself. Until Saturday afternoon. I was playing a game and it just locked and faded. I tried several times to get it to restart and behave all to no avail. I have a second monitor and it was set to be an extension of the laptop and not a second image. I could not get the screen that would let me change that to pop up on the monitor that worked and let me make them identical images and so the screens were hidden from me.

I finally managed to get the thing to work enough to make the second monitor the same as what showed on the laptop. Now I was safe. I started gathering together all the files I would have liked to have had on a new computer but weren’t essential. I did have all my essential stuff backed up.

Then we ate and ran out to Best Buy to make my evening even less enjoyable. The only way to get a Windows 7 computer is to special order it and it takes from four to seven weeks to get it made and shipped. What they sell in the stores is Windows 8. I was stuck with Windows 8. I whined and carried on like a spoiled teenager about not wanting this crap. I didn’t have a choice.

I looked and looked and found one with a CD drive which is no longer standard. It also had a touch screen and it had both the new and the old ports for connecting a second monitor. My monitor has an old port because it is about five years old. So that is the one I would take. It was out of stock.

So we looked around for something comparable and I found a ASUS that seemed like it might work. It did not have a CD drive, but I did own an external one already because one of those old laptops had a broken CD player and I needed the external drive. I bought it and brought it home and started it up.

I had to create a Microsoft account because although it looked like it might let me skip this part, it really wouldn’t. So I created the account with my email address and I already had one, but I didn’t know the password to get in. Luckily my old laptop was behaving and I could access stuff there and find the account and get a link to change my password. So now I could continue getting up and running.

First thing I did was load Chrome and move the IE charm (really, the icons are called charms because “fucking large pictures that take up too much real estate” was already used somewhere else apparently) far down the list of charms that one has to scroll through because we all love doing that with our smart phones and this is supposed to be like our smart phones combining the worst of all possible technologies into one piece of shit box.

My browser window will NOT do what I want as it has no minimize or change size of the window or anything, but it is just there on the screen because no one ever wanted to use both a website and document at the same time or anything useful like that. I HAVE to find a way to make this work so I can research and write at the same time and I can’t hook up a second monitor.

There is just so much stuff that I absolutely HATE about this computer. Its only saving grace is that it actually works and my old one doesn’t.

Steve Ballmer has done what Steve Jobs never could. He has made me consider buying an Apple. And if anyone asks me, it is what I would recommend. Get an iBook and you will have to learn all sorts of new stuff, but at least you can have more than one program running side by side and use your computer as you wish.

Do not buy a Windows 8. Unless you just want a gaming system and then this is the thing to get because you can play Angry Birds and Candy Crush right there on the screen instead of on your tablet that fits in your lap so it would be much more betterer.

I’m trying not to cry about this, but I abhor this computer. I have never spent so much money on something I hate so much. Every other computer I have ever bought brought me some joy and it was a thrilling purchase. But I knew I hated this in the store. I just didn’t know exactly how much I was going to continue hating it when I got home.

Charming charms

Charming charms

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