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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fun With Computers

I bought a new laptop this week--the price was just too good to resist--but I forgot how much work it is setting up a computer. When I bought my iMac desktop replacement (the old laptop was like a fossil it was so old), all I did was plug it in and load a little software and it was good to go. It's not so easy with a Windows-based system and to make it even more challenging, this laptop has Vista on it.

The first "fun" task was burning the restore disks. You only get one crack at it. I'm not sure why. Are they afraid someone will pass the disks out to friends? Sell them on eBay? My challenges started immediately. First, the system took forever--and I do mean forever--to prepare itself to write the disks. Second, each disk took forever to burn--more than an hour apiece. Say what? I've never had restore disks take that long before. Third, the first disk didn't verify. The laptop told me to put in another disk. I thought it was going to reburn it, but instead it verified the blank disk! So I have no clue if I have this emergency backup or not. I've never needed to use them on my other laptops, so I guess I have to hope my luck holds out on this new one.

Now it was time to update Windows. Oh, the joy of 35 critical and important updates. Even with high speed, this took a long time to download. I also registered my new product and hooked into my wireless network.

Then there was Vista. Every time I tried to do anything that damn pop up window would appear asking me if I was sure I wanted to do it. Yes! A million times, yes! The one nice thing about Vista is that the search function was actually pretty decent and I found the instructions on how to turn that annoying thing off immediately. Then I started getting the red security warning on the task bar because the damn alerts were off. ::head banging on desk:: I found instructions on how to turn the security alerts off as well.

That's all I managed to accomplish last night. Amazing. Tonight, I finally managed to get rid of the trial software I don't want, turn off the Welcome Center, and load software I do want--like Firefox and iTunes and a word processing program so I can actually write on the laptop. I wanted to do more setup, but I had another project that needed my attention tonight, so I stopped with the critical stuff. But as I did my other project, I connected the new laptop to my desktop's iTunes collection and I've been playing music. Saves me from having to dig the iPod out of my tote bag. :-)

Anyway, to sum up, it's been 4 years since my last new Windows-based computer and I forgot what a hassle it is to get everything the way I like it. Why do the darn Mac Books have to be so expensive? As I wasted hours setting this thing up, I kept thinking about how simple Apple makes everything. I ♥ Mac.