Monday, November 30, 2015

Out of the Bight and into the Sunshine

 Today is the first day of summer and I was out on the balcony getting my daily dose of Vitamin D and freezing in the almost gale force sea breeze which was already making its presence felt at 6.30am.

Yesterday Techie came by and collected my main computer since I have been unable to download Windows 10 and this morning he phoned to tell me that the reason I have been unable to download Windows 10 was a faulty hard drive so I am getting a new computer loaded with the latest non-subscription version of MS Word and it should be ready the day after tomorrow.

This is a nice little machine and is a good teaching tool.  I have been fiddling around with it on and off for the last couple of days but the more I use it the more I realise just how different it is to Windows 7 and the more hidden traps there are for the unwary; and most things are well hidden.  I have spent a lot of time searching through the various dots, bars and arrows for things which I know are there somewhere.

I have skeined off the first of the Rincewind/Melange yarn and it is ... um... interesting.  However, it is exactly the sort of yarn for a pattern which I want to knit when I have worked through all the other projects which I have lined up.  It might jump the queue, though, because it is a very fashionable colour for this season and which will hopefully carry over into next winter.

I opened my blog in Chrome yesterday and found that this blog has a 'G' rating so Google has been reading it and has deemed it safe for the babes and sucklings of this world.  Nice to know .

EDITED to say that I suspect that the 'G' might stand for Google as I was using Chrome when I wrote this entry.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

I Have Given up in Despair ...

Yesterday I made two more attempts to download Windows 10, eventually sitting with pencil and paper and noting the progress of the download.  It works its way through Copying Files and Installing Features and Drivers but doesn't re-start itself to Configure Settings.

I am going to have to ask Techie to take her away and have his wicked way with her and if I lose Family Tree Maker I am just going to have to wear the loss.

Himself came around yesterday evening and took me out to dinner and I have suggested that he comes here on Thursday since we, at this stage at least, have no COTA clients, have lunch and search out a Secret Santa gift valued at under $10 for him to take to the COTA Christmas Party the week afterwards.  He always takes the easy way and donates a bottle of wine but it is hard to find a decent wine for that price so I consider it to be cheating and a day exploring JB-HiFi and newsagents will be an experience for him.

I have finished spinning the fibre for my first skein of Rincewind/Melange and tomorrow, when it has settled into its twist, I will ply it and see how it looks.

Today I have put aside my desktop computer and am using my Windows 10 tablet, Aminata, in an effort to explore as many of its features as I can before lessons start again next year.  Hopefully by then Hex, the big one, will be up and running with Win 10 because I am finding this keyboard too small.  Although I suppose I will get used to it eventually; I keep hitting the Caps Lock when I type the letter 'a'.  Fortunately I have set the computer up to beep at me whenever this happens.

I will get there eventually ...

Friday, November 27, 2015

Still in the bight

Today Techie came to help me with my problems with upgrading to Windows 10 and my desire for a dongle.  I had already gathered that dongles are very last century and the latest thing is mobile hotspots so we went to the Telstra Shop down below and purchased one on a 365 day plan which, since I should only be using it for a maximum of two hours per week should only need an annual top up the way my mobile phone does.

Techie told me that there was a big upgrade for the Windows 10 on my Surface Pro 3 so that was set in train and then he started the upgrade for my desktop computer.  The message was that after the initial backup and set up the computer would turn itself on and off several times and that, as before, I should sit back and relax.  Eventually I realised that it had a blank screen and wasn't turning on again so after waiting for about 30 minutes I turned off at the switch.  The screen showed that the download had progressed to 85% but then it froze again so, once again I turned it off for 30 seconds after which It told me that it was reverting to the previous settings which it tried to do but then said that it would have to activate the 'start repair program'.  This proved successful and so I am, once again back with Windows 7.  this is the fourth try I have made to upgrade and I am not sure where to go from here.  Try again and maybe it will reach 90% next time?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

By Jove, She did it !

After two evenings sweating over adding "9 oz bread flour" to a recipe on my web page (which an observant reader noticed and pointed out to me that I had missed in my recipe for pizza) I have finally remembered how to edit my web pages and managed to insert the missing ingredient.  It is at least five years since I made any additions or alterations to the web page and it was an interesting re-learning process.  Now I need to gather strength to edit the 'most visited web pages' links on my home page to include (shudder) facebook and (smile) ravelry and remove some which I never visit any more.

I only had one client at COTA today  -  a special request from a client I had seen before because he thought that I might be able to help him with some rather basic but different aspects of Windows 8.1, such as resizing and moving tiles and how to search out and download apps from the Store and how to pin apps to the start menu and remove them again.  I also introduced him to restore points  -  something I have needed to use myself after Visability's guest internet connection prevented me from connecting my Pro 3 to my own home connection.  And, of course, 'find' and the use of the Microsoft key on the keyboard.  All really basic stuff but different to Windows 7 and earlier.  Anyway, we both enjoyed ourselves enormously and I was rewarded with a hug afterwards so he obviously felt happy about what we had achieved.

That was our last lesson for this year.  Next Thursday we have a break and the Thursday after is the COTA Christmas party which is the only time I get to see the volunteers who work the other days of the week and which is usually great fun.

I have spun my first bobbin of the Rincewind colorway and am halfway through the first bobbin of Melange which is a sort of burnt orange. I notice, from all the dress shops down below my apartment, that orange is the new black this season so I need to spin and knit rapidly to stay with the fashion for the summer.  Sadly orange is definitely NOT my colour  but nevertheless I bought the fibre so I will probably wear it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Why do I love computers so much?

They are giving me nothing but grief at the moment.  I have now had three tries at upgrading to Windows 10 to my desktop computer with no success and I even bought an external drive to preserve its integrity in case things go wrong;  but I noticed today that Microsoft now very visibly sets a restore point at the beginning of the download.  But Techie is going to come and sort things out for me soon and then I can get on with other things.

Some of the problems may lie with my Internet Provider.  A couple of weeks ago it was bouncing back any emails which I sent to Hotmail and since I was given a recorded message when I phoned them I assume that it was happening to more than just me. 

And now I am trying to edit something on my web page.  It may be simply that it is so long since I edited anything that I have forgotten how but when I first tried to get to my FTP page I was told that it wasn't available.  I can now get into it and I can edit the page but it will not save so I will probably have to phone up and ask for help.  My internet provider has recently been bought out by one of its rivals (I can't complain about that because I made a killing on the stock market with the takeover) but there have been glitches since then and I am wondering if there are problems with integrating the two companies.

Summer has sort of arrived and we have had a couple of hot days but we are back to cold again with a howling sea breeze which is whistling through the air conditioning towers and is very noisy.  Never buy a top floor apartment if you want to lead a quiet life.

Parsifal has been indulging in quite a lot of attention seeking behaviour which was really getting my attention so I have started to ignore him when he jumps onto my bedroom table and rattles my jewelry and after a couple of tries  with "look what I am doing now" noises he has stopped doing it and become a very cuddly lap-cat which is a win/win situation for both of us.  I wish that he could go hunting and catch me some rats but that is out of the question.  I think that he is bored ...

Friday, November 20, 2015

Season of fur and mellow furfulness

The molting season is almost over and although the cats are regularly brushed morning and night the apartment has been awash with black fur which drifts into the corners and onto the skirting boards.

A man was sent around to all the apartments this week to clean the air-conditioning filters which are up in the roof space and need a 10 foot ladder to reach.  I have been living here in this apartment for over four years and this is the first time that the filters have been cleaned.  We were all given a time when we had to be home or dire penalties would be levied.  I had to email the owner of Apartment 702 because he lives in Switzerland and only comes back to Australia for a couple of weeks per year.  He has given me the contact details of the only person with a key so I organised for him to be here but a couple of people were not at home so my filters were cleaned the day before the due date as I happened to be home.

He showed me the filter to the main room.  It had grown about 2 cm of black fluff.  Maybe I should dress the cats in body suits; I am sure that Zoo, the petshop without pets, would be able to find something suitable in lycra  -  they stock doggy garments after all.

The warm weather has finally started to arrive and today I have all the doors open but since my apartment faces south I catch the sea breeze which can be unpleasantly cold and strong and I only get the sun in the early morning in summer.  I have been researching shade-loving plants which are not poisonous to cats since Parsifal is partial to the odd snack and gets bored with catgrass and catmint.  I have narrowed it down to three  -  aspidistra, spider plant and ponytail palm so am about to go shopping although Himself says that he has aspidistras from my garden in Cottesloe and also has spider plants so at this stage I will be looking for a ponytail palm.

We only have a couple more weeks of COTA for this year and if I continue next year I am going to have to get a dongle.  The COTA computers have XP, Windows 7, Windows 8.  Since most of our clients have either 8.1 or 10 this gets difficult.  I have been taking my own 8.1 and 10 tablets there but I have to connect them to a 'guest' connection with a new username and password every day.  that would be fine if they actually worked but so far I have not been able to connect using Visability's codes and this week it really stuffed up my Windows 10 tablet  -  so much so that I had to, after following many help links which didn't help at all, resort to using 'System Restore' to get a connection here at home as it only gave me a very weak connection which was no use at all.

I emailed Techie a week or so ago with a cry for help but so far I have not heard from him so he is probably away.  I'll try again after the New Year if I haven't heard from him before that time.  I need him to download Windows 10 to my main desktop computer because the second time I tried I was informed that there were still incompatible programs and I think that the problem may be Family Tree Maker which I do not want to lose even though has a new format and seems to do all that FTM does  -  at a cost (of course).  Genealogy is big business these days and has taken over all the good programs and seems to be the only player left.   So sad ...

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Long Lost Rellies

Yesterday I was contacted by a distant cousin who had, some time ago, found me on my family tree most of which is online  -  but that is another story.

My cousin and I share a common great-great grandfather but we are descended from different wives and interestingly we are both descended through the male lines and both retained the common surname.  She is a half third cousin.

Anyway, she lives quite close and she and her husband were in the shopping centre to buy something from Zoo  (the ultimate petless pet shop) so she phoned me and we met there  -  more sensible than trying to recognise strangers in the main shopping arcade.  Like me she is interested in craftwork and  we have both worked at the same hospital. 

She is also interested in genealogy and I was able to furnish her with the descendant line from 1608 which encompasses both our families but my tree mostly has information from a different branch of her line.  Women commonly died during childbirth so many families had a common father but two or more mothers/stepmothers.  Because I had a contact from a descendant of her great grandfather's first wife and she is descended from the second I had less knowledge of her line.  Hopefully that can now be rectified because I don't have the BMD records from any state but South Australia and her family are here in Western Australia.

And here is where I do a grizzle about Family Tree Maker.  I have version 2014 on this computer and it refuses to sync with  Searching my CDs I find that I have the CD for FTM 2016 but that flatly refuses to load itself, citing 'errors'.  Looking online for some assistance I have found that this seems to be a common problem and I suspect that it is the reason I am unable to download Windows 10 since its excuse is incompatible programs installed on this computer.  I'll have one more try at downloading it now that I have backed everything up and if that fails I will contact Techie.  I want to be able to preserve FTM, the hard copy of my web page (which I can save to a flash drive) and my family history file which I have already saved to a flash drive.  The rest I can rebuild if necessary and maybe a cleanout will be a good thing.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Bighting the Bullet (look it up in the dictionary)

I have finally decided that I need to upgrade my main computer to Windows 10 as this little tablet, although a lot of fun to use, is not the computer which I turn on first thing in the morning when my coffee is brewing.

In view of the disaster when I last tried to upgrade I thought that it would be wise to do a backup onto an external drive so off I went to JB-HiFi and bought a one-TB drive which, hopefully, has now stored all my vital information in case I lose it and want it back again.  If my computer crashes the way that it did last time I attempted to upgrade I will contact Techie and ask him to fix the problem which might mean a new computer.  If that is the case then so be it  -  I have been down that road before and my recent experience at COTA has made me realise that I need to become familiar with Windows 10 ASAP.

Because Himself was still not available I had to do another triple session today except that my 12.00 o'clock client once again did not turn up. -  I think that he has missed the last three classes now.  One of my clients is now feeling brave enough to give in to her family's urgings and tackle Facebook so she has booked an extra class in a couple of weeks and hopefully I can get her up and running.  The problem with Facebook is that one only ever needs to do it once so I do not have a lot of experience but I am sure that, between the two of us, we will work it out and set it up with high security but probably no pictures until she decides how she wants to decorate it.

I have started knitting another vest, having decided that they are more useful than sweaters, but I am making this one a bit longer than the last one.  I am using my Ankh-Morpork/Cardamom yarn and it is knitting up very prettily.  Meanwhile I am on the last stretch of spinning the Noble Dragon colorway and plying it with one called Night Sky which picks up the colours very nicely.

My next spinning project will be the Rincewind colorway which I will be plying with a semi-solid called Melange, a sort of burnt orange. -  and I will be putting some glitter into it to keep with the Rincewind spirit of garish and unnecessary bling.  I should be well set up by next winter.  I already have a few too many scarves although I knitted one for my niece in America so that one doesn't count.  I will be posting it off to her in the nearer future so that it will arrive before Christmas ... or her birthday which actually comes first.