Friday, May 28, 2010

If it seems too good to be true ...

My new computer is very nice ... I think. I set it all up, turned off my modem and tried to install Blink only to find that the instructions didn't work. So I phoned the Blink people and spoke to a very nice man who told me that I had been sold an outdated version . No doubt that is why it cost me $20 instead of $99.99. However, he said that all was not lost and it would work just fine if I changed some of the settings. He talked me through it and I wrote down the instructions so that I could install it in my other two laptops.

That night I turned the computer on and nothing happened; nothing at all except for a pretty test pattern. I have a five-year warranty so I wasn't particularly worried but I had problems sleeping so I got out of bed and tried to fire it up. Still nothing but I noticed that there was a very quick message telling me to hit the Esc key for the start-up menu. I did this and was given the option of system restore or reload. I did reload and because I had made a boot disc, there was a backup copy on my hard drive and it reinstalled itself again.

Then I had to reinstall Blink and the instructions which I had written down were not explicit enough so I had to phone the Blink people again and another very nice man talked me through it again. Hopefully it is now stable and I won't have to go through the process again. But the first thing I did after Blink was back was to create a restore point, just in case.

I can't use Win 7 for my Family Tree Maker without downloading a patch and that would make it incompatible with what is on the other computers. I know FTM of old - it is incompatible with earlier versions ... and there is no version yet which is Win 7 friendly so I will not be able to pass minimegs on as I will need it for backup.

Himself had a try on the new one on Thursday as he only had one morning client and he pronounced it a nice computer. But I don't think that he looked at the mailbox which is different from OE.

Now for your Cyberflirt hint for the day:

All the most successful flirts know a little something about everything, and can speak charmingly and intelligently on virtually any subject that matters to his conversational partner.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Yet another computer?

After struggling with the COTA computer for yet another series of lessons for Seniors I finally bit the bullet and, since Hardly Normal is having a four-day 'big' computer sale, I decided to bite the bullet and get a new computer with Windows 7. After reading up on Windows 7 I discovered that it is very difficult to upgrade from XP to Win 7, so instead of converting minimegs I now have four computers. I have named this one minerva after my first three computers as I no longer had a minerva and it is the historic name from which almost all my online names, and the names of my other computers, originate

The one I bought is a compaq and I also bought an extended warranty, Trend Micro because I don't like Norton, and Blink so that I should be able to access the internet from COTA. Not sure how it will all work with my wireless network here at home but if all else fails I can get Techie2 or Techie1 to come in and sort out the mess if I get into too much of a muddle.

Meanwhile - having got things going I am now in the process of making backup discs so that I can go back to the original settings if all else fails. No longer do you get a disc with your computer - you have to make it yourself and this one is taking all morning and three DVD discs.

Hopefully I will be able to transfer my Digger program and FTM onto minerva because XP will not be around forever.

Your Cyberflirt hint for today:

What goes around in cyberspace comes around. Be aware of the kind of signals you are sending.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


This morning the power went off for the fourth time this year so, once again I phoned the Electricity Company to report it.

The message I got as a recorded message was as follows:

"Currently there are no faults in the area of Postcode 6***."

OK, fine, I live in that postal area and the impression which that message gives is that we are the only ones in the state of Western Australia who still had power. Western Australia is about five times the size of Texas so someone has really stuffed things up with that message. Anyway, I pressed button 1 and waited for a real person to come online, getting the same message every 30 seconds or so.

Eventually I got to talk to a real person who commented that there had been several calls from my street and that he would organise for a crew to investigate. Twenty minutes later we had power again.

I am still shaking my head about the recorded message. Why pick on a particular postal area unless there was a problem and, if this was so, why were we reassured that we had power when obviously we didn't or we wouldn't be phoning to complain? Weird are the ways of bureaucracy ...

And here is a word for Scrabble players:

Aeaeae: [a] Magic. As in aeaeae artes, the magic arts. The only all-vowel six-letter word know to the author. The derivation is from Aeaeae, which was the surname of the legendary pig-fancier Circe and the name of a small island off the coast of Italy, said to have been her place of abode. Useful for unscrupulous players of parlor word-games. If taken to task for using it in such circumstances, you say: "Well, yes, strickly speaking it is foreign, I suppose - at least in origin - but, surely, it's a word everyone knows, isn't?"

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Brickwalls and forebears

For years, ever since I started researching my family, I have been trying to track the family of my maternal great-grandfather with absolutely no success. The really frustrating thing is that the family settled in Victoria, Australia, and there should have been some records in the Births, Marriages and Deaths for the state. The trouble is that he had a very common Welsh name and the only fact which I knew was that my great-great-grandfather had the same name as my grandmother's father and that he was a tanner. That should have been enough - but it wasn't.

Now suddenly there is information coming in from all sides and I am trying to sort out what is relevant and what pertains to other men with the same name. It is very confusing but better than a blank wall and eventually I might finally find out who everyone was. I don't even know my great-grandfather's mother's name, or his siblings.

Genealogy is a funny thing: information seems to come in fits and starts and suddenly you can move forward a step or two before finding another brick wall which might take years to crumble. I could put some guestimates onto my family tree but I prefer to verify everything. There is one slightly shady area and I have inserted a caveat there, as the tree which I took the information from had a very muddled part to it and only the fact that cousins had married enabled me to sort out the relationships.

And now a word which I was sure must exist but had never heard of and which I needed to know:

"Ante-jentacular [a] Pre-breakfast. Goes nicely with post-prandial (after dinner)." I have an ante-jentacular cup of coffee every morning and needed the right word to describe it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

hopefully the last mention of my hip

I had an ultrasound to my hip last week and yesterday went back to the rheumatologist. the outcome is that I have ruptured the gluteus minimus tendon and the inflammation has caused a large bursa. All things considered, it has not been so very painful but I have had a cortisone injection into it and hopefully it will become painless. I will, of course, continue exercising and stretching it; stretching is my only hope of maintaining full range of movement.

For Mothers' Day D1 gave me a dictionary of obscure words and instead of giving you cyberhints I thought that I would slip in an occasional interesting word. The one I am giving you today is not all that obscure but the commentary which goes with it appeals to me. [Taken from 'The Completely Superior Person's Book of Words by Peter Bowler].

"Antipodes [n] Diametrically opposite. The term has hitherto been used quite incorrectly to mean Australia. The author is glad of this opportunity to set the record straight by explaining that the antipodes are in fact the British Isles - a place on the very underside of the earth where wiry little pale-faced men and large plump rubicund men hang upside down, wearing cloth caps and bowler hats respectively. The preference for tight-fitting headgear derives from an obvious necessity."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Down with Mercury

Well, my TV well and truly died. It was the LCD control and that part is no longer available. The TV was not quite four years old.

So I went out and bought another one; bigger and better with an extended warranty and a surge control. It doesn't need a set top box so I have offered the one I have on FreeCycle and so far have had about 20 responses. How does one choose from a list of people whom one doesn't know from Adam. Certainly, a couple were rather abrupt and assumed that I would let them have it just because they wanted it. Those people are on my never never list. I have offered it to someone who is coming to collect it on Saturday morning. If that arrangement falls through there are plenty more to choose from. I've emailed everyone and said that it has been promised. The moderators on FreeCycle don't like people posting a "taken" until it has actually been collected.

And Yahoo has never been so slow ... it took ages to send out the emails because, other than harvesting the addresses, each had to be done separately although I pasted the message.

I turned up for the MRI scan of my hip on Sunday evening but when I filled in the questionnaire I realised that the tiny piece of stainless steel wire in my right ear made me ineligible as the MRI is, of course, a huge magnet and it could rip my right ear right open. So no MRI. I will be seeing the rheumatologist again in about a week and I guess that we go from there. I had a CT scan of my sinuses done ten years ago and will take the plates with me for her to see. However, even if the wire doesn't show I know it is there and can't risk upsetting my balance; the consequences are too dire. If I have to put up with a painful hip that would be preferable. At least my pinky finger is much better and the capsule seems to be unthickening. The alternative is to see if the ENT specialist still has my original 40-year old notes. He probably has since he had to do some surgery on the left ear ten years ago and I last saw him in 2006 - archived probably, but still available. They would almost certainly document exactly what was done and with what. Probably ...

I did my WII with the new TV this morning (the TV was only delivered yesterday) and couldn't believe the brightness of the colours compared with the dead set. Watching the news doesn't give the contrast but seeing something which I have been looking at since before Christmas I could see the difference. It is startling!!

Your cyberhint for today:

Many men are just as put off by women who leer, insinuate, curse, post lurid messages and photos and indulge in other forms of vulgarity, as women are by crude men.