Sunday, 26 May 2013

As one Window Closes...

The nice thing about running an eBay or Amazon shop is the facility to turn it off and on at the click of a mouse. High Street businesses would dream of being able to switch themselves and their overheads off without notice whenever they felt like it. Mary Portas would be delighted.  I well remember the trauma of salaried holidays - the ignominy of trying to book a few days off with a boss who used holidays as a power trip and the dread of returning from a break to find out what political mayhem had been engineered in your absence.

None of that in our business - I turned our shop back on as we drove home on the A14 last Tuesday and by Wednesday we had about 10 orders all ready to ship around the Globe. Marvellous.

Or it would have been had we not discovered a significant disadvantage in working the Internet economy. Our PC blew up on Wednesday.

Yes we have a laptop and can also run the sales stuff from our phones but the main business records, printing and all our photography now lay entombed in a frozen hard disk/doorstop. But then you discover that  hardware is not the real problem.

We ordered a new PC and monitor from PC World's "refurbished" department for under £300 and it arrived at the front door by 9.30am next morning preceded by a helpful text from Gav at the 'sortation facility'. Marvellous. Just need to plug in, restore a few files from back up disks and we will be rocking and rolling!

Er, not quite.

I hadn't bargained for Mr Gates at Microsoft beavering away over the last few years and turning faithful old Windows Vista into something called Windows 8. It was like a bad dream in which I walk into the local pub only to find it has been taken over and transformed overnight into an 18-22 dance club with flashing blue lights and flashing green drinks. Where are the two wizened old chaps with the duelling guitars?

I've always prided myself on being quite computer savvy having possessed most versions of Windows from 3.1 to Vista, but Windows 8 has left me completely "glazed" and struggling like the old bloke at the front of the Sainsburies self checkout shouting back at the voices. "What do you mean, 'unexpected item'? They're your bloody muffins!".

Apart from the touch screen interface (which is probably OK if you have an, er,  touch screen), the random behaviour of the email 'app' and the invisibility of basic controls (like switching off), my beloved ancient  Photoshop doesn't work on it and I've had to buy (and start learning) the latest Photoshop Elements to process the hundreds of product pictures a month we rely on.

Here's a graphical representation of me in the last few days:



At least we aren't alone in being stretched mentally - Lily and Holly started agility classes on Thursday evening.


18 comments:

Z said...

Next time I buy a new Mac, my ancient Word won't work on it. I dread the prospect and resent the expense. You'd think they'd test new versions on real people, wouldn't you?

Pat said...

I thought Windows 7 was bad enough.

Liz said...

I think I've got Windows 7, which I like now but did take a bit of getting used to. Both the temporary jobs I've had this year ran older versions of Windows and flitting between versions does get confusing.

Rog said...

Z: My old Word 2000 still does work, which was a big relief as the current version falls into the category of "bloatware".

Pat: You're probably much better prepared for 8 now!

Liz: I've been told it's good for the brain to be forced to do a lot of unneccessary mental flipping.

John Greenwood said...

I'm running Windows 7. Top drawer!

Z said...

Do Lil and Hol need to be taught more agility, by the way? Won't that just teach them how to get away with more independence of spirit?

Zig said...

so what's Mrs R learning to keep up with the rest of you?

Rog said...

John: Windows 7 one less pane!

Z: They run down tubes and jump over fences - good practise for escaping I now realise.

Zig: She's still learning to cope with the rest of us.

63mago said...

Vista? Long time no see ... didn't work properly on my pentium then. WIndows 8 is a terrible thing, they offer somewhere a little free program that brings at least the main controls back on the screen. I use windows 7 from 2009, its bomb-proof reliable.
Reminds me to make a backup btw ...

Rosie said...

Just wait until Adobe stops selling software and starts charging by the month to use photoshop. That's when it's time to take a cab out the window.

Tim said...

Mago's right, you can buy something to convert your natural gas cooker back to coal gas, or the equivalent.
I daren't think about buying a new computer, because Windows 8 sounds to me like a rotten apple.

Roses said...

I'm so grateful I've gone to the iDarkSide.

Plug and Play all the way baby!

I feel for you, I really do. You wonder who the hell decided the new version was the better? And what Class A drugs they were using....

Nota Bene said...

Oh I so sympathise. Scared of being left behind, I upgraded a very fine windows 7 laptop to windows 8...and now half of it doesn't work...including photoshop...hope you work it out (and then let me know how to use it!)

Mike and Ann said...

And all of that's before we start discussing the new Scrabble playing 'facility'!!!!!!

Rog said...

Mago: Yes, go and make a backup!!!!

Rosie: I've bought Elements 11 which is not too bad but doesn't have paths which I really need. It did save about £600 on the full version though.

Tim: It's not a rotten apple, it's a festering mussel!

Roses: Yes, I should have just gone all the way and got a rotten apple!

Nota: Here's my top 3 tips after a week (hard earned):

1. Ditch the inbuilt "Mail" app and download Mozilla Thunderbird (free) - it's absolutely brilliant.

2. Try the trial version of Photoshop Elements - if you can get by with it it saves the cost of a new laptop or two.

3. If you can keep the main desktop open, you can just about get everything to work from there without the touch screen Metro nonsense.

Mike: I've started trying - it had destroyed my previous game when I was about to give you a good trouncing ;-)

Mike and Ann said...

Opportunist!

63mago said...

You have a bigME there.





Yeah, shoot me, it had to be saied.

LL Cool Joe said...

Sounds like your stuff sells better than mine does on ebay. Mind you, mine is a pile of old tat.