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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Saturday December 18 2010

Today (this being the small hours of “tomorrow") I had a huge new computer delivered.  Well, it’s actually the same size as the old one, but being much more formidable in what it does, in particular in how fast it does what it does, it seems bigger, the way formidable people also seem bigger.  The old one was Windows XP.  Now it’s Windows 7.

I admire the new machine, but have yet to bond with it.  I respect it enormously, but do not, as yet, like it.  It has as its regular screen picture a succession of horribly Photoshop-enhanced photos of classic British Isles coastal scenes, which I did not take, the sunset behind what I think must be the Giants Causeway (somewhere in (Northern?) Ireland) being particularly garish and ugly and tasteless.  Everything else on the screen also looks more or less different, and hence more or less wrong.  The keyboard is the usual huge nuclear power station controller, ostentatiously crammed with an unprecedented gaggle of incomprehensible bells and whistles doing who knows what, and this keyboard, unlike any of its predecessors, is physically unconnected to anything, instead communicating telepathically with a pod on a wire.  I have already plugged in my lovely old Mac keyboard.  But, I’ll get used to it.  I’ll have to, because the old one was also taken away, what remained of it after its various hard discs of data had all been removed or transferred.  That boat has been burned.

The first laptop was Jesus.  Which made the previous mainframe God.  The current laptop is Judas.  What is this new mainframe?  Allah?  I think not.  No, I think the name for it is: Dawkins.

Any pictures of Dawkins?  I’ll second your sentiments regarding the wireless Mac keyboard.  I purchased one a couple months for myself (for work) and I love it.  I don’t miss the numeric pad at all (probably because I don’t usually use it) and the closer distance between the keyboard and the mouse is a definite productivity enhancer.  Oh, and the keys themselves are amazing!  I don’t type any more...I fly...I fly over the keys.  It makes me wonder why I ever liked the old IBM behemoths (circa 1986) which made an annoying (but somehow satisfying) loud “click” whenever a key was pressed.  Congratulations on the new system.

Posted by Brian Mullins on 18 December 2010

Blasphemy! Blasphemy!

He spoke the name of D-----s!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYkbqzWVHZI

Posted by Antoine Clarke on 19 December 2010

You’ll be pleased to know that Jesus yet lives. The older-boy still uses it, most of the time, for simple viewing stuff in bed, or lounging on the sofa, or whatever.

I think he prefers it to the Dell (rather old but robust) which he also still has.

Posted by David Davis on 19 December 2010

DD

I am indeed pleased that Jesus lives.  Please give my best to older-boy.

I hate just throwing away complicate things, this being one of the many symptoms of advanced age.  Things that used to have second-hand value now don’t, but still look to oldies as if they should. 

I now have a new scanner, because the old one, although working fine, didn’t work with Windows 7.  An eighties Eastern European would have been able to make it work (if you will pardon the anachronism of the notion) with Windows 7 (because they could make anything work - they could turn a Sinclair ZX80 into a Cray), but the cost of a new scanner meant that it just wasn’t worth the bother.

But good news: The Guru took away the old scanner, and may be able to find someone who still uses XP who would like it.  Much better than chucking it away, which of course is what The Guru may well end up doing.  But at least I won’t see it.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait on 19 December 2010

I had the same reaction to Windows7 when I got my present laptop (oops, sorry, ThinkPad) as last New Year’ present. 

Interface was foreign, directories- weird, I didn’t know where to find anything...then gradually, didn’t even notice how, it all changed little by little. Not that I use half of its capacity (my Windows7 is a Pro installation, not a Home)

But once you figure out how to change the screensaver, you can put on one of your gorgeous footbridges!

Posted by Tatyana on 20 December 2010

Tatyana

Yes, I have been using the new machine for only one day, but I can already believe I’ll become very happy with it, with the passing of a little time.  Your description of how the directories will gradually make sense also makes sense.

I have already worked out how to put a nice picture at the front, which helps a lot.

Posted by Brian Micklethwait on 20 December 2010

I frequently have to go back to Windows XP and I don’t like it. There are lots of subtle improvements in 7 that you end up missing. Example: the way it handles copying large numbers of files when some of them are already exist at the destination. XP will give up, leaving you with half of your files copied. 7 will give you some sensible choices for dealing with the situation. Another example is the ability to type in the Start menu to search it—in XP you usually end up with a huge list of programs that you have to search by eye.

I’m sure you’ll get to like it.

Posted by Rob Fisher on 20 December 2010
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