Sunday, July 31, 2011

Well I am up and running

After my various computer woes, I now have a brand new hard drive (to which I have been re-installing all the software) and so far so good. However, a bizarre thing happened when I was loading some new photos. As is usual with Windows 7 (or maybe not, but usual in my experience), photos that were taken in the vertical (portrait) format must be rotated manually. I have done this many, many times and the application says "saving" and then it appears in my pictures folder as a vertical photo. Well, after doing this a couple of times I started to realize that the pictures were disappearing! Yikes! However, when I would do a search under the file name, it would say it was saved in the folder. Huh?? After various futile attempts at understanding this and doing tests I decided to ask Microsoft for help. They indicated via their website that I would need to contact the computer manufacturer. On no! Not again!

I plaintively cried out loud "I just want my system back to the way it was...".

Then I saw they had a site where kind souls help others with their problems and I keyed in "rotating pictures" and astonishingly, several people were writing in to say that every time they would rotate a picture it would disappear! One poor woman was distraught because she had taken pictures of her daughter saying good-bye to her father (the woman's husband) for some unknown destination (possibly Afganistan?!) and now her pictures were gone.

Well, thanks to some really smart people, they figured it out that the latest version of McAfee virus protection (which I guess I now have) is responsible. How discernible is that?! I would never have thought of it.

And two solutions were proposed: return to an earlier version of the virus protection until the company corrects it or unhide files. (For some reason, the virus protection program labels a rotated file as a file to be hidden.)

I chose the second option and so far, all is well. This of course, took until 1:00 am this morning to do! I am rather stubborn sometimes and stick with things to the bitter end.

Anyway, I am now in a position to share a couple of new photos with you so here they are:


Viceroy butterfly (a mimic of the Monarch butterfly)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Computer woes

Warning! This is going to be a post to vent!

I have been without a computer for four weeks now. ..

Actually, now that my defective power supply and motherboard have been replaced, I can access the Internet to write this blog but now that my hard drive seems to be defective also (which, of course, only became evident a day after the other parts were replaced), I have no data left on it and therefore I cannot upload any photos into this post - but probably that is just as well as the only thing appropriate would be pictures of me pulling my hair out.

On top of all the failing hardware, there has been a comedy of errors throughout this ordeal. When a three hour phone session with Technical Support brought no resolution, it was determined that the company (who will remain nameless) would need to send me CDs in order for me to re-install the operating system but ... the CDs were being held by Purolator since, it seems, my apartment number was not indicated in the address - even though I distinctly remember telling the company to add it.

Then to complicate things, while I was waiting for various (futile) processes to run during the aforementioned three hour phone call, I received a sales pitch for a second hard drive. I was quoted a good price ($65) so I said "OK", then the tech guy came back with a final price of $86 ("because you are in Canada"), I said "OK" again, and he processed it. But then he came back to inform me that I need a special cable and that was another $25 and then after that he said he made a mistake and he ordered two (other) cables and it should have only been one. Well by this time I was getting frustrated and asked to cancel the order, but no, it was too late that evening and I would have to call the next day.

I did that first thing the next morning but the order had already been shipped. Then I was told they would contact Purolator to have the package returned but ... it can't be that simple of course. Purolator was now handling both the CDs (which I wanted) and the hard drive order (which I didn't want). Both were due to be delivered the same day. Then Purolator called me directly about the address kerfuffel and said they had two packages - what did I want them to do? Is one package flat like it could have CDs in it I asked? Yes. OK then, please send me the flat package and send back the other, heavier one. Sure they said. Great I thought. But ... the flat package contained the two small cables! The CDs were somewhere else. Now, I had to repackage the cables and go to the Purolator store to ship them back. Who knows how my refund will be processed.

OK, so now lo and behold, the CDs arrived! Yay!

I just spent half an hour with a Tech guy trying to use them to re-install Windows, etc. but it turns out that it can't be done! Something about being unable to delete partitions. Then I am told that they will therefore send me a new hard drive with everything installed at the factory (sort of like when I bought this *&^$# computer just one year ago!) but wait - no - since I LIVE IN CANADA they can't send me this type of hard drive - they can only send me a blank one with CDs and I will have to install it all myself (with help on the phone).

So, again I will have to take time off work to receive the technician and then spend hours on the phone trying to re-install everything. Probably by the time all this is done, the computer will break down again (with an expired warranty) or be obsolete!!

I feel guilty complaining about my computer problems when there are real, terrible issues that people are dealing with in the world but venting makes me feel better.