Posts Tagged ‘computers’

Blogging From A to Z

It all started with computers. The kids used them at school and kept asking if we could buy a computer for our house. It was around 1990. Their dad kept saying no. No computer. He didn’t think computers would be a big thing so we weren’t going to get one. The kids started working on them more and more at school and they even went to Computer Camp one summer. They asked for a home computer again. No way, said their dad. Then dad left. When it finally sank in about two months later, I decided the best thing to do was to change things, move things around so it wasn’t a constant reminder that he was not there. I took out his Lazy Boy chair from the bedroom corner and put it in the living room. Then I got a small desk and put it where the chair had been. Then I made the decision…we were getting a computer. We went out and got our first home computer, an IBM compatible, that was built for our needs. It was January of 1994.

They day we picked up the computer, I told the kids I would put it together that night after they were in bed so they watched a movie in the family room while I looked at all the instructions and a Windows 3.0 for Dummies book I had bought. As soon as the kids went to bed, I opened up the box and proceeded to hook everything up: tower, monitor, speakers. Oh, and of course, the dial up cable so we could get on the internet. Then I put to use what I had read in the Dummies book that evening and turned on the computer. I got a CompuServe account before there were screen names, only user numbers! It all worked and before I knew it, it was daylight! The kids were up and each one got to have a turn at the computer. We had bought a few games for them so they each got to use it for a fun project.

That day I went on the internet for the first time and I have never been without the internet since then. I think it was one of the smartest things I have done. Not only was the computer needed for the kids, it was wonderful for me. During that long, very difficult time of my separation and divorce, internet access was my salvation. I met people online. I began sharing my writing and my poems with people across the country and even met people “in my own backyard” so to speak. That’s what kept me going during the lonely times.

Now, I cannot imagine my life without some kind of access to the internet. I need to be able to blog. And I need to be able to stay in touch with friends around the world. It’s my internet friends that keep me company and that I can “talk” to when I need to.

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Oy vey!

I love technology and learning about all things new, yet sometimes I wish things would stay the same.  Recently, the laptop that I thought I would make do with for another year or so, gave out.  I had to get a new one.  I shopped.  I took my son shopping with me (well, because he looks at some things that I don’t and because he knows some things that I don’t).  We found one two weeks ago and I bought it.  For the past two weeks, I have been getting my Vista OS working the way I want it to work and getting my software patched/fixed for this operating system.  Then about five days ago it started to overheat and shut itself off.  Oops!  I thought it was a fluke until it did it again.  And again.  And again.  Yesterday, my son was here and I showed him.  We went to Best Buy so he could spend his gift cards from Easter and while we were there, we looked to see what they had in the same price range.  I had given up on the Gateway.  Luckily, they had a Dell and I was within the 14 day return period.  Last night, after my son went home, I backed up my stuff and deleted things and my passwords from the browser on the Gateway and off I went to exchange it.

Luckily, everything went smoothly and I was in and out of there withing 20 minutes.  It was closing time so they were pretty efficient so they could get out of there!  I brought the Dell home and plugged it in.  I turned it on.  It powered up but the monitor didn’t come on at all.  I was baffled.  I thought there must be some setting I was missing.  Of course, I couldn’t call Best Buy because they had closed about five minutes after I walked out of there.  My daughter arrived home just then and I showed her.  She tried it.  Nothing.  We figured the monitor was dead.  So I put everything back in the boxes and brooded.  I had been offline for a couple of days and I still had not caught up on all the time I was either without a laptop or without my functionality on the new OS.  I was upset.  I couldn’t sleep all night.

This morning, we took it back.  Luckily, the technician looked at it and said, “Oh, Dell’s do that.  You have to “power cycle” it.  So he took out the battery and put it back in again and my monitor worked!  Yay!  I brought it home after my daughter’s part of the trip (breakfast and Target).  I am finally setting it up!  I think this one is a winner.  I like it.

However, in the process, I’ve lost all my bookmarks and all the blogs I read.  So I have to go through and search and get those back.  It will take some time.  So if I am not reading your blog and I normally do, I’ll get to it.  Or you can leave me a comment here and I will be able to follow your comment to your blog and bookmark it.  That would actually be faster!

By the way, I am setting up a Firefox extension called Foxmarks.  It allows you to synchronize your bookmarks so you can access them from any computer.  When you add bookmarks, you synchronize and keep it up to date.  If I have to switch out a computer or am using someone else’s computer, I can still log in to foxmarks and get my bookmarks.  Pretty nifty, huh?  Too bad I didn’t find it last night before taking the Gateway back!

Okay, I’m off to see if I can load some of my software and the patches for it.  Wish me luck!

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