I know nothing of the mystic ways of computers. I tried to take a quiz last week to see how much of a geek I was. It turns out that I am so ungeeky that I couldn’t even understand the questions. (Terminals? What do I look like, an airport?) All I know how to do is work my simple little bloggy software. If it gets any more complicated than that then either Ken handles it, or there is a struggle of epic proportions between the computer and I while I writhe slowly up the learning curve. It’s never pretty – or successful, for that matter.

That’s why, when Joe announced last night that he was “Upgrading” our operating system, I knew what he meant. I’m not a dummy. I’ve been around the block. I know what “Upgrade” means. “Upgrade” means Joe is going to do something to the computer which will result in there being a period of time during which the computer will choose random functions that it will no longer do. The computer will be completely crippled by the Upgrade, and Joe will deny this. Joe will maintain that things are better. Joe will think this because Joe is blinded by the actual meaning of the word “Upgrade”.

I beg Joe not to do the Upgrade. I tell him I can’t cope with the seizures that the computer has when you Upgrade it. I tell him that I really think that things are good the way they are. We’re happy, aren’t we? Do we really need bigger, better things all the time? Can’t we ever be satisfied? I ask him to walk away. He doesn’t. He has a mitt full for the CDs that have something horrible on them called “Panther”, and he looks pretty excited.

This morning, the computer has been Upgraded. Things are….a little bit different. My mail is different. There are new buttons. I don’t know what they do…but I tell you this. I don’t like them. I don’t like the look of them. When I click on an email from Norma, the screen shows me all of Norma’s emails. Did I ask for that? Did I say, Hey, you know what would be good? If every single time I asked for you to show me an email, if you would like, do this STROBE thing reshufffling all of my emails to show me what else I have, even though I don’t care, at all, and in fact even resent it in a hostile fuming way and if you would make sure that you don’t call this function anything that has a name that makes sense so I could SHUT IT OFF. Yeah. That would be good. Upgrade my ARSE you piece of plastic microchipped glowing crap.

The font on everything, even though it claims to be exactly the same, is a little bit different. (Upgrading makes the computer tell filthy smarmy lies). This gives me the rather odd feeling that I am not seeing properly, and leaves me wondering (in an abstract but very disturbing way) if I am having a stroke. Buttons and Icons are in the wrong spots, and I am clicking on the wrong things. In a 20 minute argument with my email program this morning (during which I foamed at the mouth and screamed obscene plans for those responsible for this Upgrade to be sorry for everything they had wrought on this earth) I finally discovered that the reason my email was insisting that every single word I typed was not only spelled wrong but grammatically incorrect was because my Upgraded spell-check was set to “New” Portuguese. New?

The worst, was that I was actually allowed to do some of my work this morning. I checked mail, I wrote a few, I surfed, I wrote….in short, I was lulled into a false sense of security by the Upgrade. It seemed that with the exception of everything being sort of shifted a little, I was going to be spared.

Then I clicked on Ecto. Ecto is the really cool little simple interface that I use to post to the blog. It’s blogging for dummies. I understand it’s few functions very well. Ecto brings us together. The computer tells me this:

Ecto cannot be opened because Ecto is in the trash.

What? The nausea starts. I don’t even want to know. I bellow for Joe, I get more coffee and I pace around mumbling things like, never mind what it was like. You should remember me the way I was before it all fell apart.

Joe comes downstairs. I, admittedly rather rudely, inform him that HIS UPGRADE has eaten MY BLOG THING. I advise him, again..perhaps with less tact than could be hoped for, that I want him to….find the blog thing and make it go. I tell him HIS UPGRADE had no right to touch MY BLOG THING which was working perfectly before he started fixing things, and that (further to that) I don’t think he knows what “fixing” means, and I have always thought that he did too much damn clicking on things when he is at the computer and that probably has a lot to do with the mess I’m in too.

Then I get more coffee.

When I come back, there is good news and bad news. I like bad news first, so that the good news cheers me up…don’t you?

The bad news is….Everything is different. There are whole new Ecto buttons that don’t even have names that I know and some of them (steady now) some of them TOGGLE. I can’t even think about toggling. What’s a toggle? How could that be better? It can’t. I know it. You don’t even put in images anymore. They are some kind of attachment. It’s talking about “Rich Text” and there is a button that appears to be related to something that I heard Emma (who is a professor of geekness) talk about one time called XHTML. It wants to know if I want it. I don’t. I don’t want any of it. I want my old buttons back. I don’t want change, I don’t want an upgrade. Mostly, I want to have my wee little blog file where things were good and simple and it never asked me if I wanted to do something better, like “cache” thingies or align them. I thought my alignment was pretty good.

At present. I cannot upload a picture, I’m not sure how this will look (though I am assured by a whole new toggle button that my text is rich) and I don’t really know if I saved any of it or if it was consigned to an abyss when I clicked on the new button for posting.

The good news?

I can make text look like this.


62 thoughts on “Upgraded.

  1. I have faith in you. Take a bit of time to get to know the new parts of the program. Try it! You may decide one day that it’s okay.
    I thought I hated the Macs in the computer lab at school, but we’re slowly learning to work together. I’m still weirded out by the lack of “right-click,” but I think I can function until graduation in a few year. Hey, I’m even remembering keyboard shorcuts!

  2. Sending you a hug because I know how that feels when they upgrade our network at work and nothing, NOTHING, works and just about everything crashes the new server, blah blah blah… Don’t even get me started about the time I was persuaded to upgrade my home PC so it would be compatible with my online college courses. Compatible?! I got your compatible right here, buddy…
    Sorry, a bit of anger lingers to this day.
    How about you get your own laptop and Joe keeps his own PC? Is that allowable?

  3. You made me laugh extra hard today. My husband developes software and just when I get the hang of things they way they are…he Upgrades. He always tells me things (lies really) like “it will be better, faster, able to do more…” All it does is piss me off. He says if I just play around with it for a few hours I will figure everything out. What? A few hours? Who is he kidding…I have knitting to do.

  4. You have my deepest sympathies. The company recently upgraded us all to shiny new Macs running OS X (Jaguar, I believe). The learning curve, she was steep. Nothing was where it used to be and the functionality was just…slightly different. After a few days where I was reduced to swearing sulphurously at the computer and threatening it with a hammer, we–the computer and I– have achieved detente. I get my stuff done and don’t damage it, and it doesn’t crash randomly.
    Good luck, and when in doubt, threaten the hardware.

  5. I hesitate to post today, for fear the Harlot will no longer allow me to keep her company–I also get a perverse pleasure from the stack of CDs that allows Upgrades to happen in this household. Of course, we each have our own computers (me=Mac, him=PC), so I’m only wreaking havoc on myself when I upgrade. Perhaps I need to get out more…
    Hang in there, Harlot, I’m convinced that soon you’ll be master of all!

  6. I am the IT person at my office. I **HATE** upgrades. I only do them reluctantly. And then listen to weeks and weeks of whining. Nothing you could have said to Joe would come **CLOSE** to the things I say to the computers as I upgrade them.
    Of course, the best thing to do is to do an upgrade … and then immediately take **THREE** days of unpaid holidays … unpaid so that I don’t feel guilty about not leaving my contact information!! YES! (U.S.) Thanksgiving in the States! I LOVE IT!!!! BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA
    Ooops. Sorry. I got carried away.
    Sorry ’bout the upgrade. Glad that Joe got things mostly functional for you again.
    You could relax with a bit of Latvian mitten knitting again.

  7. “Ate my blog thing” made me laugh through a migraine-thing. A little painful, but it was worth it. Nevermind what I was doing reading your blog thing with a migraine thing. 😉

  8. Aw gee, Steph, you really make my day..I am always caught laughing at work at your blog.
    Ummmmm, if you’re looking to get rid of Mr. Yarn Harlot, I’ll take him off your hands…I don’t mind my coffee cups being put either way…

  9. I always enjoy your blog, but today truly hit home. You have described my feelings to a T. My twin sons, computer programmers both, are constantly upgrading my computers (yes, two!), but the last straw was hit when one of them decided to give me a MAC!!!!!!! Don’t they know that at 55 there is just so much chanage I can take? As you so eloquently put it: UPGRADING MY ARSE!!!!!

  10. We just ‘upgraded’ to Panther too. I understand. Know what I lost? Just Appleworks – the programs the kids and I need for homework! But the new Portuguese is coming in handy.
    And I was so hoping for a pic of your cat today……

  11. Steph, I know you probably don’t want to hear this: Joe’s about ten months late on his upgrade and the next and finest will be out in early 2005 (i.e. three or four months), when, if he’s now up to date, you can expect another update: Tiger!
    Anyway, I’m sure you’ll be used to Panther by the end of the week and be able to post pictures again. Panther’s more stable than Jaguar and has more security features. Really, I’m not making it up! Good luck!

  12. I love Ecto. Its the only thing that makes it possible for me to blog… I can’t stand doing much typing in little tiny boxes on webpages…
    Not to mention it makes HTML for me… URL from clipboard is my friend. And, I have created a custom HTML tag that inserts the location I upload my images to…. with the cursor right where I need to add the file name for the image to show up.
    I love Ecto. (I hate its Metal texture, however. Give me the nice Aqua interface just like its old incarnation KungLog. )

  13. What Teresa said. Exactly!
    And my hubby the Silicon Valley geek not only upgraded computer #2 and 3 while I was in the hospital for ten days, as his way of dealing with the stress, but he took computer #1 that had all my files and TOSSED IT. It was old and slow, he didn’t use it, so he figured it wasn’t important! DD#2 saw what was coming and rescued the best of it one step ahead of him, bless her.
    Joe doesn’t sound so bad, now, does he?

  14. Oh Harlot, I feel your pain. My dear one “upgrades” every now and then and things never work properly after that. I still haven’t recovered completely from the last upgrade and hubby is already talking about a new one. The last upgrade was neat in a way because now hubby and I switch identities when we are at the computer so he can’t complain about my desktop being cluttered and I won’t “mess” anything up on his side of the computer. If you have panther you can do this too if you’d like. I don’t mean to scare you but if your dear one just installed Panther, I hate to let you know that Tiger is coming out soon and this hell will happen all over again. You might need more coffee – maybe with a little something extra in it. Good luck.

  15. I hear you about the upgrades. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it (hear! hear!)
    But why–panther, jaguar, TIGER…. these sound frightening. Do I want my computer to be a dangerous, man-or-woman-eating, native to the veldt, or the jungle, or the deep scary forest…… what’s wrong with a nice, friendly tulip-to-lily-to-rose Update? Makes me wonder if the technogeeks are making up for something with all the power metaphors…
    -geeky in a totally non-technical way

  16. Even worse? I “upgraded” myself to firefox, which is new AND improved now. Now every website looks like shiite, none of my shortcuts work, I can’t click a link and be taken there and the list goes on. I’m the only person in the universe who has this problem with firefox, everyone else is madly, passionately in love with it. So I uninstall and what happens? Anything that was still working while I was upgraded has been disabled. I agree with you-upgraded my ARSE!!!

  17. So I take a break from cleaning up place names in New Zealand in the museum’s specimen computer database, to read your day’s entry. Well weren’t hubby and I having a similar, ehm, discussion last evening? (Actually it extended through our whole 4-day Remembrance Day weekend.)
    As I read your gentle missive, giggling sotto-voce here in my little cubicle, I was sending electric vibes his way. Poor DH works in the deepest darkest recesses of the Federal Government, striving against all the odds to develop a method for civil servants to buy pencils on-line (or some arcane process, I’m never sure as the project changes names and intentions every few weeks.) Out of the clear-blue, he phones me. And I laugh uproariously at the sound of his voice. They don’t take that well, do they?
    God help you folks, there’s no punch line to this except to say “Harlot, honey, we feel your pain.”

  18. You need your own computer. You can justify it. Go for it. I don’t know anything about Macs, but my husband just got a great deal on a Dell laptop. Household harmony is worth it. Betsy

  19. Ah yes. the dread Upgrade. That thing which makes me go re-organize the kitchen cabinets while it is being done, because if I don’t, I’ll hit the Upgrader with a stick. The thing which makes me shake and cry and mutter under my breath and sob.
    What is it with bois and their desire to Upgrade? And why can’t they do it somewhere else?

  20. To all non technical users of computers…
    Please, have a little patience with your respective geeks. We work hard to ensure that you are able to live in technical ignorant bliss. I understand that change is scary, but you must learn to try new things. Think of the first time you tried to knit your Latvian mittens. Was that scary? Yes, but you did it. Panther is a great operating system (Operating system=thingy that makes your computer work) Macs are fantastic computers. If you want to know about problems, ask Norma about her spyware! Joe loves you and understands that unless you can translate the computer jargon into knitting jargon, things will not be easy. Have patience and all will work itself out!
    Best of Luck
    aka – Nancy’s computer geek.

  21. Rich – your text *is* rich. I’ve been saying so for months, it’s positively opulent (bookbookbookbook, btw).
    Thanks for the laugh. I used to be a geek, but I’ve reformed (I’m running Windows. Windows 2000. And I will continue to do so until someone pries the keyboard out of my cold, dead hands, or Linux can cope with my liguistic requirements, whichever comes first. I’m betting on cold, dead, myself, but there’s no doubt as to who gets to do the prying… …that’ll be my son, my son, my darling 13-year old moustache-growing boy, infant, really, who seems to be wired to a board he calls mother (I’m just Mama, which is all I’ve ever wanted to be, for him…)
    (oh, and I’ve deleted my blog – so I can’t thrum along publicly anymore, but I did complete two pairs of thrummed mittens and you’re still an inspiration…)

  22. .order wrong the in things putting be might it think I but fine is everything say they computers our upgrading keeps office My

  23. A funny post, but I feel for you to have to deal with a completely new upgrade. If you have a problem figuring something out, just drop me a line (I wrote the app…).

  24. I’m the computer geek of the household. I think Kevin still has ill will towards me since I upgraded his spare computer to Windows XP. He bought a new computer, which came with XP, and he still can’t figure out what to do. It cracks me up hysterically.
    I’m not actually allowed to touch his main computer anymore ever since I tried to type a URL into his IE and it auto-filled in a very naughty URL. I suppose I shouldn’t have laughed quite so hard, but the look of horror on his face was so precious I couldn’t help it.
    These days, I walk past him and say things like “Honey, your computer might not crash so much if you checked your computer for spyware” or “Honey, you might want to use Firefox.” or “Honey, I’m proud you learned how to burn DVDs, but are you ever going to look at any of those files again?”

  25. Deepest sympathies. The only way I will have to live through another update is if we ever buy another new computer. We have a pc and I am fine with that. I believe in sticking with what I know. In a moment of delusion I contemplated buying a Mac. Then I saw the light and decided I didn’t need any more complications in my life, thank you very much. I figure I suffered the pain of upgrades to last a lifetime in my years as administration clerk.

  26. “…find the blog thing and make it go.” I truly feel your pain (having been the victim of upgrades), but I have to say, I haven’t laughed so hard… since… well, since your last post, probably. Thanks for being so willing to share your life’s adventures with the rest of us.
    Oh, and despite what some folks say… be wary of upgrades. My dear boyfriend upgraded his computer to death (well, okay it might have had other problems), so now we use mine. Good luck! (And, if necessary, go buy yarn to help cope. Say the need for stash enhancement was Rich’s fault.)

  27. I laughed at this post so hard that I cried, Harlot! My husband works in computers, and I have found myself in your position, having eerily similar discussions about his “upgrades.” The last time my system was upgraded, not only could I not update my blog for three days, but I also could not download any songs onto my MP3 player for work!!!
    Keep your chin up! You’ll get the hang of the new & “improved” system… until he upgrades again.

  28. A little computer humor-
    There are those who are on the “Cutting Edge” meaning they buy the new stuff and do the dreaded “Upgrade” happily.
    Then there is the “Bleeding Edge” which goes with the words “Beta”, “Prototype”, “Mod”, “Not Stable”,”Takes no responsibility”,”Legal Disclaimer”, and other horrible horrible words which pretty much means your computer will crash more than you ever ever expected and take your files along with it in a blaze of glory (sometimes literally a blaze of glory). Yes, there are people who will do this without hesitation and they are called “Modders” and geeks. If Joe mentions any of those dreaded words in the Bleeding Edge section, you should give him the glare of death. Then hide the computer. With the dirty laundry (he’ll never look there, right?)

  29. Ah, but I am the one in charge of upgrades at my house. And we have LOTS of computers – probably about 15 running right now (and I am lobbying to replace mine with a newer model).
    Not only that but, do to software that I HAVE DECLARED WILL NEVER CHANGE I upgrade a motley crew of XP pro, XP Home, Win 2000 and a lone NT box (it better never die or our household will not talk to itself – that is an $800 disk there – and they don’t make it anymore).
    My husband is responsible for upgrading the unix boxes.
    You really can live with the new fonts – and you could always just reinstall your old version of ecto – it most probably will work.
    Of course, I am a lead programmer AND a mentor and an XP coach. I just go crazy when somebody screws up the network. I don’t fix networks.

  30. We use Macs at work and put off upgrading from OS9 to OS X until the first round of updates had come out… not because we were smart or anything, just because we were afraid to tackle the new system. (“What do you mean there’s no system folder? How will I ever find anything?” Shudder!) Then our old computers began crashing more and more frequently and we couldn’t get replacement software for the older system.
    So we got new Macs, with the accompanying new operating system. And, in little to no time, we-who-are-soooo-not-computer-geeks learned to use the things. Now I LOOOOOVE my Mac, which has crashed only twice in 8 months!!
    Hell, if WWASNCG-but-are-knitters-and-pattern-designers can figure out the intricacies of our crafts, we can sure kick some Panther (or any other sleek jungle cat) ass!
    And of us all, the Queen will certainly prevail. She can do no less!

  31. ok ok, I know that Upgrades suck for a while, but… if you could go back, but you had to go back TWO upgrades, would you?
    I mean, just like the last Ecto, in no time you will be totally enamoured of and dependant on its current features, or else you would look *forward* to upgrades, right? So you just need to ride it out for a *little* bit.
    If you can handle knitting lace while on benylin all in one, I have all the faith in the world that you can show a few toggle buttons that you will not be beaten down!
    Go Steph Go!
    (and what’s all this I *DON’T* hear about a book already???)

  32. My husband is a software engineer by training and my chief IT guy. It’s an important role in a house where there is a 3:1 computer to human ratio. He doesn’t upgrade lightly, but he does get into modes where he simply seems to like fighting computer problems. He gets frustrated when his normally computer literate and tech-geeky wife gets insistant about “just wanting things to work” and doesn’t see the value in change for change sake.
    I like new stuff, but it makes me crazy when I have to relearn how to do the same things over and over again because some software developer got tired of maintaining the old stuff.
    Good luck with the transition!

  33. Stephanie: I am also just recently upgrading from OS9 to OSX. Very slowly, I might add. On one computer. The one I don’t use very much. The one that is a backup in case the “good” one goes on the fritz.
    So far, I like the name of the OS–Panther, and I like the browser–Safari. (See, there’s a jungle theme at Apple.)I really don’t like that all my menus have shifted over one spot. And Ryan’s favorite command, “specialshutdown,” all one word in our house, is now “appleshutdown” which really doesn’t roll off the tongue quite the same. And I want my tiny icons back. I liked my tiny icons. I’ve been looking at tiny icons since 1985. Everything is so BIG on the screen now.
    And, alas, not two days after I finally upgraded one Mac to OSX Panther, I, too, discovered that Tiger is now available in beta form. Aaaargh!!!!!
    The difference between us–I’m a Mac geek. 😉
    OS9–may it rest in peace.

  34. In the minority again. I’ve been begging for an operating system upgrade from the DH. I wanted to play with the voice and handwriting recognition thingies in XP. P.S. to someone who posted before me – you can attach a two button mouse to a Mac and then they suddenly make sense.
    Ride it out Harlot! You’ll find features you won’t know how you lived without. Till I read your blog I thought all yarn was acrylic! Now my sad little scarves have been “upgraded” to lushy merino.

  35. I feel your pain — hopefully it will go away and you will find ways to make the computer work to your liking. Although my best friend’s husband is a programmer and she still wants to go back to the first computer she used because it was so simple with no choices to make.

  36. My ex husband was an engineer…you know the kind who would say: trust me-I know what I’m doing? Well, he built the first 3 computers we had. Then proceeded to play with them day in and day out…his office was filled with beta testers, so as soon as they proclaimed something ready…the whole computer would be wiped clean and every computer game known to man-kind was reinstalled. It would take days for the whole process to be completed, only to have things replaced..mother boards? OY! When friends heard he had a clue about computers, he would spend 24 hours cycles over at their houses ‘working’ on their computers. We quit sending him into the computer stores for their freepapers-it would cost us $300 for those ‘free’ papers. And to think he hated my yarn. He was more addicted to his computer than I could ever be. I never had my own stuff on the computers. Even the one that was purchased for me to write my portfolios for college. During the divorce, he got our oldest daughter a pager and was ‘working’ on the computer to figure out how to send a text message to her pager. The computer was never the same again. From there on out for 2 years I couldn’t even defrag the computer. Like I needed more reasons to hate him. ulg. One good trip to a good friend’s new computer fixit business…and I’m loving the new life all over again. The cam and the scanner are incompatable with the operating system, but thanks to walmart, I can have my film (yes, film) put onto CD so I can email it back home. Life is good….with Win98SE. Sometimes us old ones are still the best to use. (and the ones he took with him after the divorce have all crashed horrible deaths and have been replaced several times over- it’s justice I think)

  37. My “better” half is a computer guy too. After I started giggling and yelling “That’s so true” at the computer screen he demanded to know what’s so funny. He didn’t get it. I think it’s a boy thing.

  38. My sympathies! My husband has mortally wounded one computer and severely damaged another! Add to this his vocation as a mechanic (he’s sure he can fix it given enough time… weeks, months..) and you have a combination that works my last nerve!! Bless him – otherwise he’s a gem!

  39. Ohmygawd! – Steph, I swear you channel the fear of geekyness fear of everything connected electrically to anything else that is buried deep inside my soul – I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard in my life – have fun trying to unupgrade your computer – and don’t be tempted to upgrade Joe – he’s fine inspite of his geeky abilities

  40. My husband, who is also named Joe, doesn’t do the upgrade thing, but does go through the computer regularly to try to clean it up and get rid of what we don’t need. He cleams it will have more space and run better if he does this. It always scares me to death when he does that. If I, heaven forbid, am home when this is happening, I’m living in fear that I won’t be able to e-mail or blog once he is done. So I had to laugh when reading this entry, as I could SO identify!

  41. Nice rant! Did you even take a breath while you were laying it down? DH only messes with my computer when it has had a hiccup. So, when he sneakily suggests something, I’m usually desparate, and therefore inclined to say, “Well, OK…” So far, it’s been incremental and OK.
    Regarding Monday’s variegated stitch quandry:
    Is there a difference between these: Pooling, flashing and puddling? In knitting, I mean?
    I think the lace scarf is lovely..
    I hope you feel better. Surely you weren’t as stoned as Anna Nicole Smith on that odd awards show. Sheesh. I’m amazed the drug police didn’t pick her up… though she did LOOK svelte. Smashed. but svelte.

  42. Just play with expose (buttons F9, F10, and F11) and you will feel much better about Panther. It is more stable and easier to use than Jaguar so I know you will settle in soon with it. Just a warning, Tiger is on the horizon 😉 Of course, I think that is just awesome, but I like that sort of thing.
    I guess I should introduce myself, but then you have a lot of readers…anyways, I’m Anita, and I have been reading your blog for quite awhile being totally enamored by your prose and knitting. If you venture over to my blog, excuse it, I am really working out a lot of kinks, but one day, one day it will be right! If you need any Mac help, just send drop me a line, I would be thrilled to help!

  43. i know you are a busy woman but i hope you publish your writing soem day… you make me laugh almsot every time i read you!!! you ahve a wonderful style of expressing yourself! i would love a book of your writing… i would read it every day!!!
    thank you for sharing YOU!

  44. OMG, I’m so having a flashback to the days when I didn’t work at home. {{{Just me and my computer}}}.
    IMO, when men say “it will work faster, you can do a lot more”, they need to be given more non computer stuff to fill their time.

  45. You have to look (hard) for the good things. Even Word can be a mystery to me (formatting) but I have discovered that I can make print with little ants crawling around the letters. Also, spellcheck consistently tried to get me to correct the name of a really pompous opposing counsel to “Stinkpot”. It’s a good thing.

  46. Blog thing in the trash….. *light bulb*
    Harlot, you have a Mac?!?! I love you! I love my Powerbook, and I knew you were cool, but I had no idea how cool you truly are.
    (Reading through the comments, I just realized I must be the only person this side of the asteroid belt that didn’t already know you have a Mac. Forgive me, for I am slow.)

  47. Bought my first Mac in ’84, when you could buy a 128k Mac…or a 128k Mac. In ’94, the writing was on the wall when I was laid off from my cush job. Obsolescence forced my (3rd and 4th) Macs into retirement in ’98 and I was dragged, kickin’ & cussin’ to harelip all of Congress into the world of Windows, where I remained, in that state of semi-panic until last month, when I finally managed to get all the bits and pieces together to install Linux.
    Three weeks have passed since the first Linux bootup…and not one single system crash. From “Happiness is a warm Macintosh” through the purgatory of Windows (I thought it was Hell, but Linus Torvalds gave me a full pardon), I have finally achieved a state of cybergrace in Linux. Programs boot when they’re supposed to, printers print on command, and there’s not a blue screen to be seen.

  48. If your question: “What’s a toggle?” wasn’t rhetorically, albeit hysterically, written …
    a toggle is like a light switch – it’s either on or off.
    Unlike your language choices of your upgraded spellcheck: new portugese, old portugese, english, etc., etc.
    I sooo wanted to start a new knitting pattern tonight. But your post, and the preceding 58 comments, held me captive. But better to laugh than not at all I guess.

  49. depending on how star trek geek you are, the only thing I thought while reading this was: we look for things. things that make us go. will you make us go? since ecto was a no go for you for awhile I would inform Jow that he is also a no-go. I’ll admit, I’m a user, not a programmer. that was what my dad was for (rest his soul), that is what sue is for. when the computer no longer goes, it goes to her. she gets all firey and mad at it, but never at me. thank goodness. gotta keep someone who can make us go and not get mad at us.

  50. This is posted so far “after the fact” that you’ll probably never see it, but I’m catching up on your entire blog for November (yes, life has been getting in the way) and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to vent (perhaps this entry and its accompanying comments should be required reading for IT training courses?). I just got a “new” work laptop (fresh from the factory, but quotation marks because it’s replacing the new laptop I got in March…that died in August), and the program I use for Cyrillic has decided it doesn’t like Explorer. Worked fine on New Laptop #1. Won’t work on New Laptop #2 (which is apparently identical, both hardware- and software-wise, to NL#1). Either the Cyrillic I type goes in as question marks…or the content of the webpage disappears (as in, gets erased entirely). It’s almost certainly an encoding problem, but our IT guys are stumped. But hey, I only teach Russian…it’s not like I need Cyrillic on a daily basis or anything. Argh!

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