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Chacham's Journal: Chronicle: Worked on someone else's computer 10

Journal by Chacham

Worked on someone else's computer. It seems that calls like these come in bunches.

She called and asked for three things. Hook up her fax machine, copy outlook files from the old harddrive to new computer, and plug the computer through the surge protector/battery backup.

The fax machine was easy. She had already hooked it up, but it was conflicting with the answering machine. The instructions showed three modes: fax unless voice, voice unless fax, and (i think) choose. After verifying she wanted the second option, i read to her what to do, and she clicked it all on the mini screen. Tested and it worked as desired.

The line conditioner came second. The battery required plugging in on the bottom as the readme had it. It had eight outlets. Three have conditioning and backup, three have only conditioning, and i don't know about the other two. Following the good instructions, i plugged in the monitor and case into the backed-up outlets, and the speakers and printer into the others.

Then came the old files. She's running Windows 7, so i hit Start and didn't see shutdown. Luckily Alt-F4 still works. Checking inside showed SATA HD and DVD drive, which i have as well, but i never dealt with. The old HD was SATA as well and there was an open connector. I actually have no idea what the two cables are for, so i guessed one was data and one was power, the wider one was available, for the smaller one, i grabbed it from the DVD.

Windows found the HD and wanted a reboot. No thanx. Went Start, and typed cmd into the unlabeled text box, which got me a familiar prompt. Dir /s found me the pst files, and i copied them over to c:\oldhd.

Went to Outlook 2010, afte being horrified and the huge buttons on top (and the ugly icon in the taskbar) i went to the menubar and found import. Luckily, that hasn't changed. The file to be imported was over 3GB, which Outlook decided to take 5 minutes to import. After the first import, it did a second import, which imported 512 messages at a time, then started the taskbar over again. 120 minutes remaining, 60 minutes remaining, 45 minutes remaining, 2 minutes remaining, or similar nonsense. Each batch took a minute or so, and after 20,000 messages i decided to leave having absolutely no idea how long it would take.

During this time, i used xcopy to copy all the contents of the old hd to c:\oldhd. It worked fine, except the documents and setting stuff was renamed. So, what used to be c:\doc...\Owner\Documents\ was now something like c:\oldhd\123456_Owner\C\doc...\Owner\Documents. On top of that, Explorer wouldn't show the new directory, and i had to click on the address bar to type it in.

When i left, i told her that when the command window stopped scrolling and outlook finished the import, to run the newly installed Security Essentials. I uninstalled Mcafee which had 10 days left. She called me later to tell me that SE has caught a worm.

I came back in the morning, removed the hd, connected the DVD and put the cover back on. She offered to pay, i refused, so she donated some money to a local synagogue (that i had prayed in that morning).

After everything, one thing is clear to me. I dislike Vista/Windows 7. I dislike Office 2010. Not because they are bad. It's because it changes everything. I know what i want to do, and i know how to find it. But, why the big ugly toolbar? Why the big ugly icons? Why do applications seem slower on faster machines? Why hide directories? Why move around the start menu? Sure, i can probably customize it, but really, why? Eventually, i'm sure i'm going to be stuck with Windows 7 at some company. I'll probably survive, as long as i have a command window. If worse comes to worse, i can create a bunch of cmd scripts. As for Office, i avoid it as a general rules and use notepad. I can survive it at the end to format everything, if required.

At home, i'm using XP. If that ever ends, i'll probably go back to Linux. Unix command are so much easier once you learn them. And they don't change.

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Chronicle: Worked on someone else's computer

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  • "Worked on someone else's computer. It seems that calls like these come in bunches."

    To bad the period seems to be three months- and I've yet to figure out how to charge enough to live on it.

    • by Chacham (981)

      Heh. :)

      Good luck. And let me know if you do figure it out.

    • To bad the period seems to be three months- and I've yet to figure out how to charge enough to live on it.

      Do a less better job, and you'll shorten the cycle and make more money. Obviously, pride and professionalism get thrown out the window, but it's money, right?
  • Windows 7 is awesomeness. Things have changed, sure, but sometimes change is necessary. The huge start menu in XP quickly became cluttered and unwieldy with more than a couple dozen entries in it. I have no idea why the Shutdown button was not there, it should have been (and normally is).

    The new Vista/Win7 start menu is awesome for power users though. It is basically an uber-search and command launcher all in one.

    As for Office 2007 and 2010, the UI was remade because menus were getting way out of hand.

    • by Chacham (981)

      Well, who knows? :)

      I use shortcuts a lot, and i also separate my menus and have many sub-menus. The current method is perfect for that. The changing menu is very annoying. And that security makes the screen go dark. That is seriously discouraging.

      • by Com2Kid (142006)

        I use shortcuts a lot, and i also separate my menus and have many sub-menus.

        Yup, I used to do this too. Then after about my 4th or 5th computer rebuild I got sick and tired of re-re-rearranging my start menu, yet again. Or I would get lazy and install a bunch of programs and not bother to put them in their proper place.

        Now I just type the first few letters of whatever I want to run and the program I want to run is right there. In some odd way, it is like returning to the command line. No wonder I like i

        • by Chacham (981)

          I'm somewhat the same. At the office, i rearrange. At home, i hardly ever. I still like it better. I don't like when things move around. A better solutions would have been for MS to have programs use sub-menus, possibly through some arranged program.

          As for the screen going dark, i don't care if its needed to draw attention. It draws *too much* attention.

          I do hear what you are saying. I don't think i'm ready to give in yet. The more i give in, the less i care. The less i care, the worse i do my job.

          • by Com2Kid (142006)

            As for the screen going dark, i don't care if its needed to draw attention. It draws *too much* attention.

            The first time some drive by 0 day browser exploit pops up a UAC prompt (and it has happened to me before!) you will become a fan.

            programs use sub-menus, possibly through some arranged program.

            Ah, the kicker is, how do you get thousands upon thousands of ISVs to agree which category their program belongs under? :)

            I don't think i'm ready to give in yet.

            It is not giving in, it is enjoying the insane spee

            • by Chacham (981)

              The first time some drive by 0 day browser exploit pops up a UAC prompt (and it has happened to me before!) you will become a fan.

              Never happened to me. A firewall is good enough.

              how do you get thousands upon thousands of ISVs to agree which category their program belongs under?

              They don;t choose, Microsoft would choose. It shouldn't be that hard to make the rules. ebay does it quite well.

              Also, per-app volume control just rocks.

              Not bad. I believe Windows has had that since the beginning though, but the app ha

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