Sunday 12 June, 2005

Computers are so bleedin' complicated. I bought a laptop recently, which arrived just the other day. My objective was to be able to do funky things like support an iPod and lots of music files, perhaps try out Skype, a sort of internet telephone voice thingy, and do various other things that my current PC could not manage. Like cope with more than two applications without getting constipated and crashing on me. It is very old, very decrepit, and can barely cope with life any longer – it's at the stage where it needs to be taken out the back, patted on the head, and shot.So I bought a snazzy, powerful and all-singing and all-dancing laptop. I also bought a wireless router, with the aim of being able to use the internet without being fixed in one place – effectively so I could be online in the next door room, or even in the garden.

All sounds simple and straightforward, you'd think. Well, there have been so many problems I do not know where to start. The router I got couldn't interact with my modem, so I had to replace them both with an all in one router-modem, and getting my internet service through my laptop took me ages. As did protecting my wireless access so not just anyone could use it. Well, more accurately, it all took my friend and computer expert Mike the best part of today to wrestle with it. It's great having friends who know about this sort of thing!

I'm now online with it, but all my software and files, such as my photos, Word documents, saved Championshop Manager games, these webpages, and the programme I use to publish online, are all still on the hard-drive of my old PC. And the old PC is too old to be able to cope with a memory stick (so I can transfer files from it to the laptop), and too old to cope with a driver that you need to be able to run the memory stick. It also can't handle a network cable so I can't "pipe" the files directly on to the laptop.

Leaving me with the rather awful job of emailing groups of my files to myself on the old PC, and then going online with the laptop, opening the emails, and saving the files onto the laptop's hard drive. I have 560MB of files on my old computer. I don't know if that is a lot or not, but my email can only cope with attachments of 10MB at a time. Meaning it looks like I will have to send myself (at least) 56 separate emails, all of which will take ages to go through because of the huge attachments, and of course the fact my computer is old, slow and generally dribbling its existence away in a rocking chair by the window.

There's got to be a better way than this. I thought computers were meant to make life easier…

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