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Callunna
Revolving Grey Blob


3044 Posts
Posted -  17/12/2010  :  10:26
Over the years I've not done so bad when it comes to working with computers, and most times I can eventually fix things up when it all goes pear-shaped.

Yesterday my Mac went not just pear-shaped but a complete fruit pudding with meringue and custard. Over the past few weeks it had been getting slower and slower until it said: "You know what? I can't be bothered anymore. I quit." And it did.

Fortunately there's a thing called Time Machine which regularly backs up the OS and all files to an external drive, so I wasn't too nonplussed.

Unfortunately my Mac refused even to start up. Missing its core thingies or something.

No probs - just re-install the OS from the original discs. Almost there - the discs were a bit out of date but I could easily update the version from the internet.

Went to restore all my settings, files, programmes, etc from Time Machine. Unfortunately my finely tuned and slimmed down original system had bloated by about 20GB when reinstalled - and my drive didn't have enough space on it to complete the job.

Grrr.  

My backup drive (1TB  capacity) is also getting full so it looks like I'm going to have to buy another to dump my data into, then give it all a good clean out.

On top of that, once you start messing with reinstallations, I find much of my work software needs reactivating from the software companies - it's going to take me absolutely ages to get back to where I was a few, happy and organised days ago.

I hate computers. 
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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 10/08/2011 : 19:52
"I'd say that Norton AV and computers don't mix"

Thanks for that Pluggy, it should have gone in the Quote of the Day thread! After I'd switched to Ubuntu Linux I kept one of my old computers still running Windows so I could use some `legacy' software if necessary. I isolated it from the Internet and managed tro uninstall Norton AV - and it ran so much faster! I think Norton's approach to developing their software is like Microsoft's - you keep adding code in but never taking anything out.

On electric (and hybrid) cars it's worry about the batteries that puts me off; at least that's what I tell people, but really it's the price! (Prius is about £21,000 new).


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 11/08/2011 : 07:45
At least we're better off now than in the old days of battery operated wireless sets. You needed a Low Tension battery. usually a single cell lead-acid which you took to the shop to be recharged, when Walkt Fisher's father was engineer at Moss Shed which was still running a 110v dynamo he had a profitable sideline charging wireless batteris for the locals. For the High Tension you could buy a large battery about the size of a very big book that had multiple tapping points so you could find the right voltage. Many people used a long wooden box filled with cycle lamp batteries (I think they were 4.5v) all connected together to give the correct voltage. Management was that you bought a new battery say every week, took the end battery out, moved all the cells down the box and put a new one in at the opposite end. The old battery could be used in your cycle lamp if there was any juice left in it. I seem to remember you needed about 125v on the HT. So 30 batteries!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
pluggy
Geek


1164 Posts
Posted - 11/08/2011 : 09:30
Not strictly computers, but lithium ion batteries.  Our church has a chair lift which contains the things (those that came to the Tesco exhibition would have walked past it or even rode on it).  The power cut last Saturday, tripped the charging circuit, and yesterday it was beeping and refusing to go anywhere.  The maintainance bod says it needs a new battery pack because they have become over depleted.

He says it should have the charger reset after a power cut, or it kills the batteries.  You have to make sure the little green light is on. Not something you check very often....... 

 The old one didn't have batteries - it was fed mains to the chair from a flat cable that rolled in a track up the stairs.  It didn't care if there had been a power cut last week, this is progress for you.  Laughing


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 12/08/2011 : 06:27
The old technology still has advantages. When the power cuts were on I loved running the engine at Bancroft with all the lights blazing!  The marine engines I am making in the Shed don't need resetting after a power cut.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Callunna
Revolving Grey Blob


3044 Posts
Posted - 23/08/2011 : 17:55
Talking of Bancroft - we thought we'd try to flog a few CD singles when we play there on August 28 so I designed a jewel case insert and a label to print directly on to the CD.

I haven't printed direct to a CD for a while, and certainly not since I upgraded to the Snow Leopard (10.6) OS on my Mac. You know what's coming, don't you? Correct. My computer was having none of it.

I spent more or less the whole afternoon troubleshooting and finally resorted to thumping the printer very, very hard and swearing loudly.

This had absolutely no effect on the printer, but it must have dislodged something in my brain because I decided to make one more enquiry via Google ... and voila! 

Although I had updated my printer drivers umpteen times, apparently if it was showing up with "Gutenprint" after the driver name, then this is a driver that has crept in unnoticed in the past and prevents the correct driver functioning. Who'd have known that? 
The official Epson website certainly didn't - and its response to my enquiries was that if what they suggested hadn't worked (and it hadn't) then sorry but your printer model doesn't work under the new OS and you'll have to buy a new one.
 
All I really had to do was delete the offending driver, unplug then plug in my printer's USB cable and restart the CD printing program.
 
Oh, and if anyone happens to want one of the new James & Mary Jane CDs, just let me know... Wink



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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 24/08/2011 : 07:42
Whart struck me in Winster yesterday was that their internet connection is very bad. The Winster Village Shop has a WiFi connection and if you buy a coffee and a buttered scone they will give you the password for the connection! Sounds like a good deal to me, tables outside on the street.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 04/09/2011 : 11:18
I had an email this morning from Vic asking for advice because his email account is giving serious problems. It's tricky for him because, as many of you know, he is deaf and can't just phone his broadband provider, and his eyesight makes it difficult to read messages if he uses email. I'm 200 miles away (he lives in Dukinfield) and I don't use Outlook Express or BT, so I can't help him with this. I'm also concerned in case there is anything malicious going on, e.g. is it really BT that has shut his connection? Any ideas from those of you using Outlook and/or BT would be welcome. The message read as follows...

"I wondered if you could advise me on a problem I am having with my e mails? I had this notice that my e-mail provider had unexpectedly severed my e-mail service. I did go to Tools then Accounts and filled in the boxes to do with which incoming and outgoing providers i used but I was unsure which of IMAP. HTPF, POP3 etc to enter yet after adding my password I was told I had succeeded. Yet I still could not use my e-mails and I then had a message from BT helpline to say they had detected a fault and did I wish for them to 'FIX' it for me. Of course I was grateful for their help and i went through a procedure that had me closing outlook express till they had cleared the problem.  They checked my e-mail accounts and asked me to enter my password and they confirmed they had solved the problem but I was shocked when more than 80 emails in my name flooded the outlook express which I had to delete. Since then BT have again repeated they had detected a fault and asked if they could fix it again. Once more, over 80 e-mails arrived on outlook and my e-mail programme again was so fractuous and messages I sent were blocked. I did manage two e mails but it is all touch and go, then my password was rejected. I don't know if you will get this message but i wondered if you knew which are the correct incoming and outgoing servers I should enter that may be the key to the whole affair?"


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 05/09/2011 : 07:00
Poor Vic! Whatever the problem he needs a Pluggy. I can remember problems like this in the old Windows days, so many possible reasons....

If it was me I'd seriously consider closing the account and starting again with another provider. Once an account is corrupted it can be a bugger!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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pluggy
Geek


1164 Posts
Posted - 05/09/2011 : 10:51
Most service providers these days point their new customers to their Webmail system, it generates a lot less service calls. Its also a useful method of checking some of the basics of the email account. 

BT uses this link for their webmail :

https://login.yahoo.com/config/login?.intl=uk&.partner=bt-1&.done=http%3A%2F%2Fhome.bt.yahoo.com


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 05/09/2011 : 11:53
Thanks Pluggy. Are you saying that what Vic is experiencing is BT putting him on to their Webmail? Does his description fit this? He keeps referring to Outlook Express but wouldn't webmail be viewed in his browser? Or is it to do with this IMAP thingy that I know nowt about? Sorry for all the questions!

This might explain why my father-in-law had a terrible time with NTL a while back when his email `broke'. I couldn't understand what he was telling me at the time but it seemed suspiciously like he was being bumped onto Webmail, now you mention it. What a way to treat customers, especially elderly ones with little understanding of computers and physical disabilities that make it even worse.


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pluggy
Geek


1164 Posts
Posted - 05/09/2011 : 12:50
Webmail is an either/or solution alongside the classic SMTP/POP3/IMAP aka 'Outlook Express' email.  Old accounts would be pointed at the 'classic solution' when they signed up, newer accounts are pointed at the webmail solution and they play down / don't mention the classic because theres more to go wrong.  You can usually use either for your email.  I suppose its only a matter of time before they 'lose' the classic email.  Its perceived as an 'old' form of communication in the iPad/Facebook/Twitter age. 

I find the webmail a useful check to see if you're using the right credentials for the email. 

Outlook Express itself has been replaced / forgotton about in later versions of Windows. Vista renamed it 'Windows Mail' and there isn't one at all in Windows 7.  Theres always Mozilla Thunderbird.....


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pluggy
Geek


1164 Posts
Posted - 05/09/2011 : 13:08
Just upgrading an old computer for a customer, Windows XP has now got to over a hundred updates on top of the latest service pack. I suspect Microsoft won't bother with another service pack, but they are commited to keeping it updated until at least 2014. 

It has to be said that XP 'flies' when you give it modern hardware to play in. Until they get it cluttered up with the dross it accumulates over time that is......  

One of my 'speedup' options.  Cheap end, put Ubuntu on it, pricier end, tear the gizzards out of their desktop nad put new kit in.  Cheaper than a new computer and they don't have a whole new learning curve with a different operating system.  Windows 7 can be a culture shock to an older person (probably more so than Ubuntu in many cases).   


Need computer work ?
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Callunna
Revolving Grey Blob


3044 Posts
Posted - 05/09/2011 : 14:28
quote:
pluggy wrote:
Windows 7 can be a culture shock to an older person (probably more so than Ubuntu in many cases).   

... and in any case, Windows 8 is shipping soon so things will change once again.

I have to confess there is now a Windows machine in our household. It hasn't been called upon to do anything other than email and surf the web so far, but soon it will have to justify its place.

I did install a program on it t'other day but I wore Marigolds so I didn't sully my hands too much.

Wondering whether to install Ubuntu ... or will that cause problems to anyone who is used to Windows?


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www.bernulfsplace.co.uk
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pluggy
Geek


1164 Posts
Posted - 05/09/2011 : 15:25
Download it, burn it to CD and boot the machine (may need some BIOS jiggling) from it.  It will run, albeit slowly directly from CD without touching the Windows installation.  It gives you a chance to evaluate it without committing yourself.  Shut it down, remove the CD and next time it boots back into Windows again.

The present version of Ubuntu (11.04) is highly controversial because it doesn't look anything like Windows.  It has followed the latest Mac OSX 'Lion' and incorperated some of the interface from smart phones and tablet computers. (Windows 8 is likely to be doing the same thing when it comes out). If you want it to resemble Windows of old, download Ubuntu 10.04 LTS instead.


Need computer work ?
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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 05/09/2011 : 15:29
I assume that when Webmail is used, all your received messages and copies of sent messages remain on the ISP's server? If so, what happens about a backup of these and who is responsible for backing them up? This is even more important if you run a small business from home and are keeping messages from customers which could have personal data including credit card details. I'm not sure what Revenue & Customs demand these days in terms of keeping archives but they require businesses to keep the paper archives for X years in case they want to see them. So much passes through email messages these days that you might need the old emails to fight of a legal issue or a tax issue, or to back up your claims in due diligence if you were selling your business.

Heather, when I started on Linux about 7 years ago it was a big shock, so different then from Windows...I struggled along but then Ubuntu appeared on the scene and made it all much easier. Obviously it isn't the same as Windows but it just needs the new user to be open-minded and accept that there are different ways of doing the same thing. You can get a `Live CD' of Ubuntu so you can try it without it touching your hard disk. Pluggy probably has a copy!


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