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Chronicle: Worked on someone else's computer

Chacham (981) writes | more than 4 years ago

User Journal 10

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.

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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In three month cycles (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 4 years ago | (#32751548)

"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.

Re:In three month cycles (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 4 years ago | (#32751560)

Heh. :)

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

Re:In three month cycles (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#32756980)

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?

Re:In three month cycles (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 4 years ago | (#32759912)

Hmmm- that is a thought. Stop installing AVG as a rule might be a start.

Windows 7 Rocks (1)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 4 years ago | (#32751778)

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. After an initial learning period (seriously, 30 minutes or so max) you will be able to find useful commands that you never knew existed, and that will be able to save you a ton of time.

As for Outlook taking forever to import emails, that is the fault of Outlook's PST file format, which has numerous performance issues. I actually don't "Import" it, first thing I do is I just drop my old PST file into my new profile directory in Outlook, so it just keeps on using the same PST. Obviously this only works if you do it first thing after setting up a new computer. :)

If you use Win7 a bit I think you'll find that it is a LOT more responsive in general. XP has a lot of places where we all got used to it freezing up and misbehaving, to the point that people do not even consciously recognize it anymore. If you use Windows 7 for a bit and then go back to XP, you will suddenly take notice of all the annoyances that Windows 7 solves.

Re:Windows 7 Rocks (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 4 years ago | (#32751818)

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.

Re:Windows 7 Rocks (1)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 4 years ago | (#32753330)

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 it so much. :-D

The screen going dark is to draw attention to the security dialog. A pop-up dialog by itself would not be very noticable.

Re:Windows 7 Rocks (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 4 years ago | (#32755066)

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.

Re:Windows 7 Rocks (1)

Com2Kid (142006) | more than 4 years ago | (#32760754)

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 speed boost!

My computer boots in under 10 seconds (SSD drives FTW). Including beta and RTM I have had all of one crash. The entire OS looks better, and since it uses my GPU and video RAM to pull it off, hardly consumes any more system resources in the process of doing so.

Also, per-app volume control just rocks. That has to be my favorite feature. Being able to set volume per IE tab is awesomeness. "So my flash game here gets volume, everyone else, hush!"

Re:Windows 7 Rocks (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 4 years ago | (#32763884)

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 had to use that feature,

BTW, i appreciate your time here. I don't agree with you, but your probably affecting me more than i know. :)

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