Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Utter Frustration of Computers

Lest you think I'm a luddite, I am actually quite tech/computer savvy.  And I love a good gadget.  We were early subscribers to AOL, way back in the dark ages of 1989/1990 (or thereabouts.  Don't quote me on it--it was a long time ago.)  I even has a personal webpage back in the day--probably by '96/'97.  It advertised and sold slings to hold your baby in.  The 'baby' who was featured on the front page is now entering high school.

I also fiddle with html and visual basic for various projects.  So I'm no shrinking violet when it comes to troubleshooting computers.  When my workhorse of a laptop refused to play in the sandbox with my old reliable palm zire 71 (my 3rd or 4th palm device), I didn't panic.  I can be systematic.

I did all the usual stuff.  Tried a system restore back to the date just before the last successful sync.  No luck.

I did a repair reinstall of the desktop software.  No luck.

I uninstalled the program and reinstalled.  No luck.

I did a clean uninstall and took out all the relevant registry keys and reinstalled.  No luck.

I did it all again.

And again.

In between all these attempts, my fingers were furiously googling, reading newsgroups and blogposts about similar problems.

The major issue is orphaned software and increasingly complex systems.  It used to be, you have a few programs installed on your basic computer.  There weren't a lot of options, so there were few conflicts.

Then we got Windows and endless problems with memory hogging and space chewing.  And programs that didn't always get along.

After much coffee and frustration, I did get everything working again, but I know this palm's days are numbered.

It is a perfectly wonderful piece of computer hardware with the right software that does what it says it will do.  I love it.  I have no desire for a smart phone or an itouch or ipad.  The last thing I need is more access to the internet.

But I do need a simple to use, convenient electronic day planner. 

I have no idea what to do when the Zire 71 is no more.

Some days, I think clay tablets would be just the thing. . .

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