Monday, October 17, 2011

My Best Enemy and My Worst Friend, My Computer

CABS for Reflections From the Fence

I spent just about the entire day Sunday working on computer issues.  By the end of the day I had a slight headache, however, between Man and I we had managed to solve some of the issues.

Issue one:  one of the word processors I don't particularly care for, but the one that does some of the chores I need and want to do had never been installed on the new Toshiba.  First we tried to install Open Office.  HUGE mistake, HUGE!  I guess it is really supposed to run on 32 bit machines, and Man tells me I have a 64 bit machine.  I am not sure why we did this, but we decided to install it anyway.  Well, the download and install took up a large hunk of one evening, and it was downhill from there.  It was slow, it slowed down the entire computer operation from start up, kept running slow and it froze up on one of the test drives I took it on.  Wasn't long and I told Man, take this OFF my computer!  And, it was gone!

After going back to a prior restore point (several days back) and a defrag of the hard drive, Sunday morning we installed the really old version of the word processor, and now all is well with that situation.

Issue two:  fixing OneNote.  When I got the computer, back in mid-May, we installed OneNote and tried to restore the files.  It did not go well, NOT WELL at all.  Somehow, one click and I was in another huge mess. It took Man several days to figure out how to fix/unfix the mess I had made, and believe me, it was not pretty nor fun to be around either of us for those few days.  At that point we got real busy with Yellowstone and the rest of THE Trip, and OneNote and all those problems just kept getting shoved aside.  I could not access the files, do the work, mess with stuff, productivity was hindered.  Life and stuff kept getting in the way. OneNote was put way back on a back burner.

During the last month or so, I did ask some questions of other bloggers and friends on Facebook and Google +.   Friend and blogger Linda of Documenting the Details explained to me how she uses Dropbox to back up her OneNote data base.  We discussed the process and I signed up for my very own Dropbox account.  Today was the day I decided it was time to try this.  It worked. It was not especially smooth, I was in the middle of the process when the air card went down.  To fix, I recopied some of the individual files.  I moved the  files to the main file, and then opened up OneNote to see what I had.

I had - - NOTHING!!!  OneNote did not recognize the files.  Hmmm, now what??  Gotta say I was a bit leery of trying that 'click on the file' stuff that got me into so much trouble back in May.  But, after discussing this with Man, we decided to GO FOR IT!  CLICK!  Seems to have worked.  Turn everything off and reboot the computer, will it still work, will the data still be there?  IT IS!!  Happy dancing OneNote style. I don't know why it worked this time, but, so far, so good, fingers crossed.  And, the capture button works right too.  Again, no idea why, but, this gal is NOT looking a gift horse in the mouth.

Issue three:  getting the calendar on the Iconia (Android tablet) to sync to Google calendars online.  I had been fussing with settings for some time.  Today was the time to see what we could find, down and dirty as they say.  Can we make it work?  Man did a lot of net surfing/searching.  We downloaded some software for the Toshiba, but, held off installing same.  After several hours we were glad we did not install it, as there are some issues there.  Whew!  Sometimes it does not pay to jump into something.

After a bunch more surfing/searching/snooping, Man went back to basics, he toggled a choice on and off on the Iconia, buried somewhere deep in the software.  And, then he turned off the Iconia and did a reboot.  Between the toggle on and off and the cold boot we managed to get the Google calendar online to talk to the Iconia.  Wahhoooo, half way there.  And, there it stopped.  Several more surfing/searching minutes on the net resulted in finding that indeed what I wanted to do is only half possible.  The Iconia calendar simply will NOT chat to the cloud, to Google Calendar.  RATS!!  AND DOUBLE  RATS!!

And, that is how my Sunday went.  Please note that this post was written with the assistance of two wonderful glasses of white zifandel, thank you very much.  Seems there was one more issue, only right now, I cannot remember what it was, and, snicker, nor do I care much!  No more work tonight, no more surfing, no more searching for fixes, no input, no research, just chillin' - -

Really, I love my computer, it is my best enemy and my worst friend, really, just saying - - -

* Graphic found somewhere on the internet several years ago, source data long lost.

** The standard disclaimer, OneNote, Iconia, Android, Google, Open Office, Dropbox, Toshiba and any other name of product or web site mentioned in this post belong to the owner, copyright holder, company, manufacturer, etc., etc., etc.  I claim no right, I get no income from them for mentioning their services.  I use or don't use their products, depending on how they work for me and with my current computer configuration.



Apple said...

My husband is anxious to get me a new computer as mine was out of date when he bought it. But since it still does (mostly) all of the things I ask it to do I keep putting him off. I both love & hate my tablet, it will only do half of what I want.

Sorry you had such a frustrating day and hoping it will behave from now on!

Lori E said...

There seems to be a lot of confusion between what you are trying to do and what the programs are doing.
I am not even sure what it is that you are wanting.
I find One Note to be confusing and controlling.
I can't get a decent calendar program since I no longer have Outlook. The frustration levels get very high.
I don't know how you do it with your intermittent internet. I can barely get things loaded here at times and my internet is high speed and non stop. Good luck with all of it and keep the Zin nice and cold in case of emergency.

Carol said...

Confusion! HAHA. Isn't that the duty of our computers, keep us confused. Ya, I thought so too! LOL

OneNote is great, as long as you don't try to move it from one computer to another. I am not sure I will keep adding to it. But, I had a bunch of stuff on there that I really did not want to loose, therefore the extra effort to move it to the new computer.

Google Calendar, probably not perfect, but, reasonably easy to use, and you can set it up to email you all appointments for the day. I am very very disappointed that the Iconia does not talk back to the cloud(Google calendar). There is a work around, but, you have to be ON the internet, and that doesn't do me a lot of good when I am in the doctor's office and want to make note of the appt right then and I have no wifi connection. I cannot afford to have the Iconia have it's own monthly service, sighhh. Sure, the work arounds work, but, it is not smooth or seemless, therefore it is frustrating.

As far as the intermittent internet, Man set me up a switch near the computer that does a reset on the router. It works. It is all in the lifestyle choices?? We live out in the boonies, choices for internet are limited. We choose the one that is the most flexible, meaning we can hook up Tana and move out fast and still have internet. Maybe not the fastest or the bestest, but, I am online. Compromises in life, this is one we have made.

I keep saying it will be wonderful when they get this internet thing to work. Until then, I continue to stumble, pick myself up, try something else, and stumble again.

Keeping that Zin cold and close to the floor.

Janice said...

Oh you poor thing!! I know EXACTLY how you feel. I had the same problems a few years ago. Still use Outlook 2003 for my calendar and have One Note but haven't had too many problems. I do use a gadget called "Click Free" for my backups. Really great, simple to use, inexpensive and can be used on multiple computers. Allows you to select which file extensions you want backed up. The first backup is the longest and then it only adds changes. You can backup from one computer and restore everything on another computer. You just plug it in and it starts on its own. Great little life saver!

Hope you have your problems worked out soon. Love the graphic! It's a hoot...

Ginger Smith said...

I loved using OneNote for a while there too but kept having trouble going between the work and home computers. Even using dropbox only helped a little bit. I get confused because it actually creates a folder and I don't know that it's a OneNote file, so I delete it thinking it's a stupid useless folder.

And I can never remember where I put things...

Sounds like you've got the internet at least mostly under control. Now you've just got to train the pc and tablet beasts! Good luck!

Lucie LeBlanc Consentino said...

LOL Carol.. I hate when there are computer problems but it is good to be able to laugh at it all once you get past the horrors of it all..

When I got my 64 bit laptop (totally unknown to me before I got it), I could not use my Family Tree Maker software and there is not fix that would allow me to. My old PowerPoint was not working correctly and I need that dear piece of software when I make genealogy presentations so I had to purchase the latest version of MS Office ..

So I understand your frustrations to a certain extent.. a couple of glasses of Zin always help! LOL LOL

Barbara Poole said...

I don't use any of your programs, so I am useless when it comes to help or suggestions. I even use an old fashioned calendar, and hand write things down! Sorry you had such miserable day yesterday.

Debbie Blanton McCoy said...

Gosh, sorry you are having so many computer problems. Most 32 bit programs will run in the Windows 7 64 bit program. They just install in the Program Files (x86) folder. I wish I knew something to help you. I am using Open Office and have not had any problems. I don't use One Note but when I got my new computer, I tried to install my old copy of MS Office on my laptop and it never would install and it was a copy that I had bought, not one that came on the computer. Who knows why such things happen? LOL.

Carol said...

Janice, Thanks for the name of Click Free, I will be looking at it. Problems in part were that we were just toooooo busy to address the issues, they had been outstanding for months. Man and I finally were both in the house long enough at the same time and not tired, so we went for it! All in all, it turned out to be a pretty good and productive day.

Ginger, OneNote can be confusing, I probably would have not bothered except for all those goodies I had copied into it that I need to take care of. Training the beasts, yep, that is a ongoing issue! LOL

Lucie, we ALL can relate to software issues with new computers, I have had to buy a lot each time. And, then there is that learning curve for each new piece of software, yes, you hear me groan.

Barbara, Thanks so much. Really it was not as miserable as it sounds. Even tho I had a headache at the end of the day, I was so relieved to finally have things that worked the way I SAY they should! LOL This morning things were much brighter. And, I did some work in One Note and cleaned up several pieces of paper, a HUGE accomplishment for ole Carol! LOL

Debbie, These things happen so the software companies can sell us new copies of software, with a bunch of stuff on there that many of us will never use! LOL Maybe I got a corrupt copy of Open Office when we downloaded, actually, would not surprise me, no matter, I am happy now with the word processor that we installed. And, now, I can work, IF I want to work! LOL

Karen said...

Computers... can't live with 'em, can't shoot 'em!

Michelle Goodrum said...

It just occurred to me that OneNote is one of the few programs I use for genealogy that is not in Dropbox. Thinking something needs to be done about that...

I feel your pain in dealing with computer problems. Certainly is a love, hate relationship. Glad the Zin helped. It usually does...