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5/22/2011

VOILA! I’M BACK…THANKS TO MACKENZIE…

Filed under: prairie musings, Mackenzie, computers — Peg Britton @ 4:54 pm

Last night at the witching hour of 11:00, the ghostly likeness of my granddaughter, who lives in Richardson TX, was transported instantaneously into my computer.  It was a miracle as miracles go, a reality beyond comprehension.  Ancients would have thought so and given credit to some mystic who was seeking sainthood.  Now we are aware it was no miracle at all as there is a wonderful computer program tagged Log MeIn (which for months I thought was some Chinese dish closely related to Chow Mein) that allows us to creep into another computer and do good work.  Or bad work if you aren’t careful who holds the key. So it was that Mackenzie connected with my computer last night and restored all my data.

As you must be aware by now, my constant grumbling for almost two months about not having a computer that worked, or having one but not having all the information that made it worthwhile, kept me out of sorts.  The delightful part of this story is that my granddaughter knows how to keep me upright and slowly moving ahead by keeping a functioning computer at my fingertips.  She took the hard drive from my once perfect XPS and took all the information off it, bit by bit.  That included all my contacts, correspondence, music, documents, pictures, and other pertinent data that seems ever so important to me and downloaded it on my new replacement Dell all-in-one Inspiron 2305.  Voila!  I’m back. No starting over from scratch.

Her next move is to scrub my hard drive and send it back to Dell.  Why they want it, I don’t know.  They thought it was corrupted and worthless, but that wasn’t the problem at all.  I actually think it was total “incompetence” at the lower ranks of Dell that cost me valuable time and energy and the company the cost of sending three techies here and a semi-load of computer parts.  It could have been avoided.

I have a few clean up chores, a lot of mail to sort through and dispense with, and blogs to ponder.  It will take some time and I am inordinately slow these days which will prolong the process.  But, I’m back.

Thanks very much, Mackenzie.

And, thanks to all of you for hanging around…

5/9/2011

IT’S HERE….MY NEW INSPIRON ARRIVED TODAY…

Filed under: prairie musings, Ally Britton, Mackenzie, computers — Peg Britton @ 7:54 pm

The machine before me is foreign.  I don’t understand Win 7 at all and I’ve been using it for a long time. Or so I thought.  I couldn’t figure out why many of my friends were complaining about Win 7 being hard/awkward  to navigate and very different from Vista.  I didn’t have any problems with it until now when my new computer arrived.  That is because Mackenzie made a lot of alterations on 7 when she installed it on my XPS computer so that it worked in many ways just like Vista.

I have much to learn…and I am brain dead from exhaustive and exhausting calls to Dell today.  It’s like a bad illness…it’s bound to get better. I hope.  But…I love my Dell computers and wouldn’t buy anything else. I wish they’d improve their technical support.  It is reinforcing to know I could move to India or the Philippines and get a job with Dell as a tech support person as you don’t have to know much.  I do have to say something for them as a group: they are all exceedingly polite.

The all in one Dells are effortless to set up. You take it out of the box and put it on a table and plug it in.  Ally came by to help me because she has arm muscle that was required.  It’s only a matter of plugging it in a surge protector and synchronizing the keyboard and mouse which she did.  One cord.  No instruction booklet.  Remember long ago  the big wall posters they included with computers as references for the day-long project you had with a host of friends to get all the cables attached between the monitor and the tower in the right spots?

Mark Gwinner came by and hooked me up to the internet as eaglecom.net has changed all their access material and I can’t be expected to remember EVERYTHING.  He is always so helpful..nice, nice guy.

When I reflect on my first computer, I can’t help but remember Mackenzie.  She was five or six and her dad had just bought her first computer.  She called me to come over and see what all she could make it do.  I looked at that child, bright as a star, and thought I couldn’t let her get ahead of me and got my own computer.  Then I had to learn from her.  She’s always been way ahead of me…since those days long ago.  She went graduated from SMU with a double major in mathematics and computer science.  She works for Rockwell Collins doing remarkable things with special aircraft for a special arm of the government that she can’t talk about.  She’s a critical thinker … she thinks about thinking.

Mackenzie will be here the end of this month for a visit…and to add programs I’m familiar with like Outlook and Publisher, etc. She keeps me going.  Without her, I’d be a lost cause on a computer.

At the end of this day, I felt I had earned a very hot, spicy Bloody Mary…indeed.  Tall glass filled with ice… V-8 and lemon juice, Worcestershire Sauce, hot horseradish,lots and lots of tabasco, big splashes of vodka, celery salt and a huge celery stalk.  Yum.

Thanks for tuning in…

3/29/2011

BEWARE OF WEATHERBUG…

Filed under: prairie musings, Mackenzie, computers — Peg Britton @ 5:47 pm

If you don’t have Weather Bug on your computer, don’t put it on.  If you have already downloaded it thinking it was a useful tool, just try to get it off.  It carries an adware engine that will server ads on the WeatherBug interface.  They say they aren’t adware yet WeatherBug serves ads.  Ads server displaying ads=adware.

Many years ago I had WeatherBug on my computer and it was causing me grief. I didn’t know how to remove it so Tina Bruning came and did it for me.  She said it was a bad program so I knew better than to ever put it on my computer again. I remember what she said.   But I did it anyway, many years later.  I was intrigued by the weather information coming from the high school which is in my back yard.  I didn’t understand earlier why it was a bad program…and figured after all these years they had fixed the problems.  I had no knowledge at all of why it was a problem.  Now, I do.

WeatherBug modifies specific settings inside the system making it difficult or next to impossible for the average person to deal with WeatherBug.  It modifies system settings so it starts up everytime the PC is rebooted and this takes memory and is annoying.

WeatherBug adds many keys inside the Registry that the average user wouldn’t have the slightest idea how to change or remove. That happened to me and it was impossible for me to correct.

They modify the Internet Explorer browser by adding several buttons to it. One of these buttons are the My Search toolbar. Those buttons are difficult for the average user to remove.  It was a nightmare to get off my computer…and it was way beyond my ability to handle it.

Programs (My Search) installed along WeatherBug keep your web searches in files. WeatherBug clams they do not monitor searches, yet the proof is there. Cookies are also kept. Are they shared with somebody? Who knows.

WeatherBug spams its users with unwanted advertising both on the desktop and inside WeatherBug.

All of these combine to say WeatherBug is a bad program to have on your computer.  Mackenzie and Ty had to come to my rescue to get these sticky bugs out of my computer. The program doesn’t respond to the uninstall options on add/delete programs. After several attempts the dreaded blue screen appeared. My computer locked.

First, at their suggestion, I downloaded malwarebytes and that took care of a lot of the WeatherBug program and got it off my computer.  But, there were all these other little bits and pieces of the programs tacked on here and there that took two very, very experienced computer geeks to remove.  With Ty working in MD and Mackenzie in TX, they combined their talents to solve my problem. Fortunately for me, I have LogMeIn installed on my computer so Mackenzie can access it remotely and problem solve.  My thanks go to them.

And…I’ll never have WeatherBug on my computer again.  If I want to find out what the weather is doing, there are plenty of other sources to tap.

Thanks for tuning in…

4/7/2010

A LAZY DAY…

Filed under: prairie musings, political musings, Holyrood, computers — Peg Britton @ 9:43 pm

Mackenzie installed Windows 7 for me.  It’s supposed to be better than Vista, but I don’t know the ways.  I’ll let you know if I ever figure it out.

Spokeo.com will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about an individual.  Some of the data is incorrect, as you might expect.  The website is getting a lot of news coverage so it is hard to access.

Today was a miserably cold, windy day very unlike yesterday that was HOT. Yesterday the streets were busy with people going here and there and enjoying the first hot day of the season.  Today they were not venturing out unless there was a good reason that forced the outing.

The patrons of Claflin and Lorraine school districts voted overwhelmingly for consolidation.  Over 53% of the voters responded at the polls.

Time to tuck Ringo in for the night.

Thanks for tuning in…


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