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Life Goes On








There's always a way out, unless incarcerated by the law or lawless, detained at Her Majesty's pleasure, kidnapped and held by some unscrupulous miscreant with intent of doing unspeakable things to one's person; besieged by a fire, trapped in a building collapse, handcuffed to the bed by a scorned lover, pinned in a car wreck, engulfed by an earthquake, submerged in a flood or typhoon, perhaps lucky to be standing on the roof until the water recedes. Otherwise. there's the front or rear door from whence you entered. Walk back the way you came. Don't forget to take your hat and watch the door don't smack you in the ass.

My laptop finally died, leaving me with using inferior machines long retired and sent to the storage closet amongst all the other fossils of the personal-computing age. With the stuff found inside, I can open a PC museum, featuring old critters like the Radio Shack TRS 80, 64-K color computer; various semi-smartphones, predating the present Android and iPhone models—some looked similar to the Blackberry—an Apple IIe desktop, a 33-Mhz Intel processor with a whopping 1-gigabyte hard drive. How about laptops running Windows 95, XP, and Vista respectively? The latter was the one that died, leaving me with XP to manage my work temporarily, but not with enough oomph to power all my devices.

I fired up the one using 95 for the hell of it, a marvel in its day, but a dinosaur in 2013; for which I've just bought, extremely impulsively, a brand-new notebook with a 2.5-Ghz, Intel-Core i5 microprocessor with an 8-GB ROM; and an 800-GB hard drive, combined with an external drive, boosting the total memory to over 1 TB.

Impressed with the initial findings with regards to computer specifications verses cost, I figured this device had enough balls to drive my resource-eating programs and not crash repeatedly like the prior one did before meeting its demise. Amazon.com had the best price anywhere. After my ordering it, they sent it out that night. This mysterious-looking drone delivered it a day and a half later, placing it onto the roof of my flat. Fortunately I saw it landing up there while I took out the trash.

In the early twenty-first century, CD-ROM drives replaced floppy discs completely, remember them? My 33- 75-, 133-Mhz 'puters, and the 95 laptop all had floppy-disc drives. So did the TRS 80 and Apple IIe, but they used the 5.25 floppies as opposed to the 3.5s like the Window's machines. All my present graphic and video software, utility programs and such have their installation files on CD-ROMS, which is great until finding out the new notebook came equipped without one. No serial VGA receptacle either was available, into which my secondary monitor needs to be plugged to operate. Here I sat with a fast computer with no software to run, sort of like being all dressed up with nowhere to go. I suppose the wave of the future knocked out the CDROM drive as well. Next time around I'll have to remember to put in a little more research as to what I'm impulsively buying.

There's always a way out, thank goodness, although a bit labor-intensive. I copied all my software discs onto a USB flash drive to install all the miscellaneous programs onto the new laptop. When USB ports become obsolete, as seems to have happened already with the tablets now manufactured, I'll have to figure out a way to compensate for that scenario. As far as the secondary monitor, I found an adapter that fits the VGA plug from the screen and converts it to an HDMI plug, which fits nicely into a port provided in the notebook for new-style monitoring, thus setting up the machine perfectly, except for having Windows 8 loaded on it.

Why do they have to always change stuff that worked perfectly well ahead of rolling out a new OS version? Simple things like logging off and shutting down the system were hidden in a well isolated spot, deep within the bowels of the settings menu. Buying Malwarebytes for protection and running a scan, I found thirty-one instances of "PUP" viruses and three "Trojans" lurking about, making me wonder if they were preloaded with the manufacturer's software. Wanting to perform the scan again and remove the malicious bugs while in safe mode, I went nuts attempting to find out how to get there. No more mashing "F8" at start-up. It's like Microsoft doesn't want you in safe mode anymore; but due to the brilliance of the Net, I Googled the method finally and purged the nasty varmints out. Never did I have so much trouble with setting up a new computer before. Progress should make things easier, not the reversal.

Lastly, I must apologize for neglecting my social-media compatriots during all of this fiasco, having been away from Twitter and Facebook for a few weeks, overlooking my contributions in this journal as well, a writer's misdemeanor. However, I've finished my third novel during the dry spell; and now with a new computer, I'm ready to rock and roll again. Thanks, as always, for your continued support.

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