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Be Careful What You Wish For

Sunday 17th February 2013

The thing I hate most about the modern world is the obsolescence built in to almost everything you buy.

It first hit me a few years back when I called the dishwasher repair man. He peered into the machine dubiously before asking me how old it was. When I told him he took his head out of my machine and straightened up, shaking his head mournfully. 'Three years,' he echoed. 'Well - it's bound to be on its last legs.'

WHAT???

Anyway, it was my firm belief that things you have paid hundreds of pounds for should last at least ten years (if not a lifetime) that made me put off and delay buying myself a laptop.

I very much wanted one because I wanted to spend more time working on our website but I couldn't quite resign myself to the fact that neither my desktop (approx. 5 years old) nor my netbook (maybe 4) was up to the task.

But eventually, in November last year I bit the bullet and bought a Compaq CQ58. 'It comes with Windows 8' the salesman in PC World told me and I was thrilled.

I thought, you see, that I'd be stealing a march on Robin who is always ahead of me in the technology stakes, but this time I'd got there first. Ha!

I assumed Windows 8 would be a speedier, definitely superior but generally similar version of whichever Windows it was I was working on before.

How wrong can you be?

Windows 8 bears absolutely no relation to what went before. I couldn't work out how to open things up, or close them down. The screen flicked and whizzed and spun about seemingly at random and if I ever left a page I could never find my way back to it.

Well, November quickly turned into December which was so busy that I didn't really have time to sit down at a computer anyway. Then we had two weeks off in January. And then we came back and I sat down to do battle with this infernal machine.

But I couldn't work it out. Nor could Robin. Even our token young-ish person Adrian was no help.

So I went back to PC World where they all looked very shifty and nervous and admitted that yes other people had found Windows 8 difficult, and no they didn't really have much experience of it themselves so, no, they couldn't help.

The problem, one of them explained, is that Microsoft really designed Windows 8 for use on a tablet. On a laptop it just doesn't work so well.

Clearly!

Well ,by chance I found a technical wizard in the nearby Vodaphone shop who - as techno wizards always do - solved all my problems with a flick of the wrist. His name is Dean and he could not have been more charming nor more helpful, but if I blinked I missed what he did, and even if I didn't blink I certainly couldn't repeat what he'd done once I got home. Even when he wrote out a list of instructions and I followed them, the thing I was trying to do just didn't seem to happen. And anyway, packing up my laptop and driving half an hour and finding a parking space and queuing to see Dean every time I want to load a new photo onto our website just isn't practical.

And then by wonderful, glorious chance I met another wizard who has offered to remove Windows 8 from my machine and replace it with a Windows I can actually work.....

Oh frabjous, frabjous day!

Sometime soon, if you see a new photo on the website you will know it took me five minutes rather than five hours to get it there. I HOPE.

In the meantime may I leave you with a word of advice. If anyone ever suggests you try Windows 8 run away screaming Nooooooooo.

PS Having posted this blog I clicked on Google because I wanted to access our Facebook page. The machine screamed at me in large typeface:

VIOLATION YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO ACCESS THIS PAGE WITH THE CREDENTIALS YOU HAVE PROVIDED and there was some code number to make it look doubly important.

But then - highly unusually - it let me do exactly what I wanted. I rest my case.



Made on the Isle of Wight, Bullen Mead, Bullen Road, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 1QE
01983 564949
robin@madeonisleofwight.com