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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sweet Computer Success (or How to Conquer the Vista Demon)

I've had a few struggles with that Vista Demon--or so I thought it was Vista. My early troubles were actually caused by a slipping hard drive of some sort. That led to a mysterious electrical burning smell and exchanging it for another one. It turns out that not everything is compatible, but I have decided to just plain work around my troubles. Life is like that. Here I tell you what I did.

HP Printer
When I switched computers I didn't know exactly where my old program was or if it would be compatible, so I just went to http://www.hp.com/ where they have software and driver downloads. This gave me some updates I probably missed anyway. I was supposed to get a new printer as part of a rebate twice, but I always forget to send in rebates and paperwork. Oops! So now I still have the same printer and it works great. (If you have a tablet PC, there is an additional driver you must download to use the scanner. This has nothing to do with Vista and everything to do with the programming of the tablet PC.)

Sony Digital Voice Editor
I thought my case was hopeless, as I didn't know if I would be able to ever switch out of using two computers. The program was on my computer and I couldn't remember where I got it--a disk? A download? A vistit to Sony.com for my nifty handheld awesome voice recorder ICD-ST10 revealed that there is a Vista compatible update. Bonus to me, Version 3.08 also saves anything I do as an MP3 file for nifty uploading to myspace, saving an extra step in my process. You want great recording capability and transferability to your computer, go with a Sony Digital Voice Reocorder. I have used it to record voice lessons, jam sessions, practice sessions, lectures, recording the choir and I could guarantee you that the guys on Ghost Hunters use these same little recorders.

Microsoft Word
I lost the key that allows you to load the program once it has been tranferred to a new computer. But the more I thought about it, I really didn't enjoy alot of the updates to the new MS Word, anyway. I have two options:
Use Microsoft Works. It was operational without a key. I can compose a document and if I have to send it or download the free Open Office.

The reality is that people will also send documents to you. You can get MS Word Viewer, but you will not be able to make any changes to the document someone has sent you. The newest big thing is Open Office, a free office suite. It is totally compatible with WORD Documents. I have provided a link for you below.

Transfer Cable?
Just say no. It turns out that you don't need one. All you need is a jump drive, Cruzer or whatever you want to call it that plugs into the USB port. The key is to make sure you organize your files in a filing system that is meaningful to you. You must think ahead to the day that you will have to transfer to another computer. Then it is easy because you can copy whole files to your jump drive and then to the new computer. I was able to return my cable since I didn't really need the thing.

Using Yahoo Mail
This is my trickiest mess. This is the real reason why we hate Vista. We want the authority to use the program WE WANT TO USE not Micromanage--I mean Microsoft email progams. I got my nerd on today and finally finished the setup.
1. Download the Yahoo toolbar
2. Get to Internet Options either from Tools in Internet Explorer or through your Control Panel.
3. Click Programs
4. Click Set Program Acess and computer defaults.
5. Click Non-Microsoft to disable access to Microsoft Mail/Outlook
6. Save
7. Back in the Default Programs menu, click Set Yout Default Programs.
8. Yahoo Mail should be there, if it isn't, you'll have to start again.
9. You may have to select both of the options there and see what happens, that's part of the adventure of Vista. "Set As Default" and "Choose Defaults for This Program" are both places worth checking if things don't work.
10. After you have done all of this, try opening an email link in Internet Explorer and see if it works. Try restarting the program if it doesn't. Go through all the steps again and see if it works. If it still doesn't work, restart your computer and go through the steps again.
11. Helpful advice: Vista will ask your permission before opening Yahoo mail and it won't tell you what program. Try allowing it and see what program it actually opens.

It seems like a "lather, rinse, repeat" cycle. If you are persistent, you will feel like you have conquered a demon.

After all my computerized adventures, I came out on top. OK, sure it took me hours to finally get all of this stuff done. But if I think back, It took a long time to aquire all of the stuff I had on my old computer.

Don't let those dumb mac commercials fool you.
You can always find someone to help you out, change your files from one computer to the other, etc. The beauty of the Mac is that all of that extra help everyone loves is rolled into the very price--and that's even if you don't use it. That's the real reason why you pay more for anything that is a Mac. Maybe it took me hours, but I'm proud of myself and I'm passing it all on to you!!

Use OpenOffice.org

Others debunk the myth that Vista sucks.


chrissy said...

OR buy a new computer that also comes with XP downgrade and use it like I just did!!! Vista was killing me!!!!!!

SavvyD said...

Since I am now a self-proclaimed expert in conquering the Vista demon, I wonder what, pray tell the problem was? I'm all configured now. I'm just taking the op for the bragging rights.

I got my nerd on REAL good!!

single/certain said...

The beauty of the Mac is that all of that extra help everyone loves is rolled into the very price--and that's even if you don't use it. That's the real reason why you pay more for anything that is a Mac.

No, the real reason is they're just better; better to look at and easier to use ;)

SavvyD said...

My sweet SC, a computer that SMILES at me when it starts up is clearly plotting something!! I don't trust those macs!

single/certain said...

they don't smile at you anymore :) that was old school.