Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Computers - a Love/Hate relationship
Let me back up a bit. Last November I bought a new desktop computer. I have not been a fan of the operating system Windows Vista (I have it on my laptop but haven't used it much) so I paid an extra $100 to get the new machine with Windows XP installed. It also came with a program that I wasn't familiar with called Move and a cable from LapLink, a company I've heard of that I think is primarily involved in designing & selling software/hardware systems that allow a user to keep his or her desktop computer and laptop in sync with each other as far as data used by the same program on each machine. But Move was supposed to move programs and data from the old PC to the new PC. Sounds good as anyone who has gone through the problem of getting a new machine all setup with the programs & data from the old one will know. I decided to try it.
Well, it worked, sort of, but after taking about ten hours to move my "stuff" I found that it all didn't move very well. Some programs and drivers wouldn't work so I ended up having to uninstall & reinstall many of them. At least I still had the data on the old machine. But there was one thing that balked and gave me the message that it had a conflict with a program called .NET Framework. It suggested that I uninstall .NET Framework, so I did, and then my old program worked fine.
I soon discovered that every time I turned the PC off my Auto Update tried to install two updates to, you guessed it, .NET Framework! I tried to reinstall that from the XP disk that came with the new computer but by then XP had updated itself from the Internet and I got the message that I was trying to install an older version to a newer one, so it didn't work. I tried to download the newer one online from Microsoft but their newest version failed to install. This was mainly just an irritant to me, something that slowed down turning my machine off. Until last Saturday when I tried to install Premiere Elements.
So, what to do. I tried a number of things, including the rescue disk that I made that didn't work, either. I even got out an old never before installed full copy of Windows XP that I tried to install, figuring that I'd have to setup all of my programs again and wait through many updates to the OS, but nothing worked. And then finally I got the infamous "blue screen," after which nothing worked. I couldn't boot up into Windows. The machine just wouldn't do anything.
Since then I have ordered a full copy of Windows Vista that is due to arrive tomorrow and I will again, with it, try to boot the machine from a DVD drive. Then I think I'll reformat my C drive, install the operating system and have to start over setting up all of my programs. At least I do have all of the needed data on both of two hard drives in addition to the C drive that will be wiped out by reformatting. I hope I can remember all of the passwords that the machine "knew" so that I didn't have to remember them!
Am I a happy camper (computer user)? No. I paid extra money for this machine to get it with XP, whereas I could have bought it for less with Vista in the first place. And now I am paying out more money to buy a full (I can't just use an upgrade version) copy of Vista. The good news is that all the programs I use plus any new ones that I will be buying in the future should work fine on Vista. I even have a couple of old DOS programs that I wrote and compiled that work on this laptop under Vista. Both my brother who is retired now but was a computer systems manager for our State and a good friend who is a Microsoft retiree have said that the bugs and problems with Vista have been worked out and it is now a stable platform. It is a little different from XP in appearence but I've learned that from using this laptop which came with Vista. I know that I will learn it and I guess I'll be better prepared for the future by having it on my machine. Maybe by the end of this week I'll be able to install and use Adobe Premiere Elements 7.
But it still bugs me.
I'd heard a lot of negative things about Vista, but I also knew that XP was on the way out and if I have this laptop very long, all the accessories would eventually be hard to find for XP, so I went ahead and got the Vista.
I will say, I do like XP better, especially the way the file system is set up.
Also, I use Facebook and I've noticed that it's freezing up my computer a lot, even locking it up to the point where I have to take out the battery to get it to reset and reboot. I've run 2 different antivirus programs, a registry cleaner and compactor and I'm running my disk defragmenter right now, so I hope after this that I can use Facebook safely again.
Hope you get your computer woes solved soon. I'm a bit disgusted that mine is only 3 months old and already locking up.
'Course, I'm also a big Linux fan, so color me crazy ;)
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