Sunday, July 13, 2014

Just when did everything get so difficult #237, or, why I get so cranky...

It's another disgustingly beautiful morning here in the southern part of Vermont.

It could have easily been an enjoyable morning, but.... I made the mistake of checking Facebook. Specifically, I made the mistake of checking our Community Radio Station's Facebook page. (I'm one of the moderators.) It had been updated to a newer improved version. Which means that it is broken and isn't working.

Weeds in the garden

I check in on Geo's page, and decide to leave a comment.
Nope, won't do it.

I was using the browser everyone raves about. It was recently improved. Since the last update, I can't stop videos from automatically streaming. Videos that are stopped start by themselves. Videos that are stopped (and the few which never started) leak sound a few annoying bits at a time. I keep several pages open at once. Which page has the problem? I also have the page set so that it is magnified and easier to read. Since the update, that doesn't work properly either. The browser that is so much better doesn't have magnification ability - it is possible thanks to an add-on. Which doesn't work with the latest updated browser.

I thought I had 'joined' Geo's train ride - but that must have been on another browser, the one everyone says I shouldn't use, you know, the one I use most of the time. Simple matter, I'll just join his page. Except the browser won't do it. I receive instruction from the program. Cookies. Yeah, I like cookies. Oh, those. I check - the kind to which the instructions refer are enabled. Still no go. Check 'Privacy' settings - nope that wasn't it either. Maybe it isn't the browser, maybe it's a setting with the anti-virus anti-invasive threat anti-what-have-you-got program. Nope, not that one either. What about the program from the cable company that provides my high speed internet connection for a hefty fee? No, not that one. How about a setting in the Googlesphere?

bug on a Shasta daisy bud
After awhile I finally give up, and go to the browser I usually use. I don't see myself listed as a member of Geo's page on that browser either. So I join up. All I have to do is put in my password. I remember it, everything works fine. Until I see my old avatar and decide to update it. I upload a new one. It is rejected. I browse for a particular file folder with a picture I think might be fun to use. The "browse" function shows a file folder arrangement that was changed two years ago. That function used to work fine - until it was improved in an update.

the bindweed gets a visitor
A memory crosses my now grumpy brain. I bought an out of the box computer back around, oh, was it 2,000 or 2,001? It came with a lovely little program called EZ CD Creator. I could make a CD with such little effort. I could make CD covers and inserts that automatically listed all of the contents on the disc I'd just made. It had a great little graphics program that allowed text or other images to be superimposed over pictures. There were lots of fonts for the text, which could be tilted, placed in circular form, oh, there were all kinds of things that could be done. It was all so, so, well - - - so EZ. But then my Internet and Phone Service Provider made dsl available and I was sorely tempted by the newer, the faster, the improved. Which wouldn't work. The computer software refused to load the proper drivers. After months of frustrations, after months of paying for a service I couldn't use, I found the cause in an online forum. It was a peculiarity of the version of Windows which came loaded on the computer. I purchased the newer (expensive) Windows XP, and spent a portion of eternity in purgatory while the update took place. The dsl worked without my doing anything. I entered high speed Nirvana. I lived in a heightened state of awareness, a state of exultation, a state of delightenment. Until I tired to burn a CD. My great little free with the computer EZ CD Creator wouldn't work with the upgraded Windows XP. Okay.... I bought the new updated (pricey) EZ CD Creator. Except all it would do was burn the CD. It would no longer automatically list the contents of my newly burned CD. When I went to type it all out, I discovered that there was only one font I could use, an ugly one at that. The graphics part of the program was gone. It turned out that EZ CD Creator had been purchased by another company, and I had bought a "basic" version of the new improved EZ CD creator. The functions I loved were still available - if I purchased their expensive CD cover creation program. And their separate easy to use font pack. And for those to work I should probably purchase an upgraded version of their basic program. The only improvement I could detect was to the manufacturer's bottom line. Somewhere, Steve Jobs must have been smiling.

One of my old computers, cobbled together from spare parts in what a friend called "open architecture". 
I remember renting a run down little studio apartment in Greenwich Village in 1975. When I first saw it, I was happy enough - it was better than all the other average run down little hovels I had seen. The previous tenant had lived there for a very long, long time. The place was a mess and was being fixed up. It was basically a studio of about 11 feet in width, except that there was a squared archway between the main part of the room and a 9 feet in width section for the kitchen area and bathroom. Two large French doors hung in the archway; every single pane of glass broken. I went right back to the realtor and said I wanted to take it. She called the landlord. Another relator on the phone with the landlord also wanted the place. My realtor held up two fingers. I nodded. "Well, my client will put up two moths security." I got the place. I could have it as soon as they finished fixing it up. I asked that the French Doors be kept, offering to pay for the replacement of the glass sections myself. I waited and waited. They never seemed to finish fixing up the place. Weeks went by. Finally, all that remained was sweeping up from the fixing up. There was another week of waiting. I requested a change in my already paid rent due date, and said that I'd be happy to sweep the place out. I was given the go ahead to move in, which I did one night after work. The French Doors were gone. The old ceramic sink was gone, replaced with a cut down aluminum fish monger's sink barely propped up with a wooden structure of some sort. There was a new gas stove, and a new refrigerator. The place had been painted, and - what was the landlord's word?- "improved". I plugged everything in, and went to the nearby grocery store to get provisions. The store was in its last day of a really good sale on meat. I bought a fair amount of it, putting what I wasn't going to use for dinner into the freezer. Next morning I trooped off to work. When I got home after my 8 (+ lunchtime) hours of toiling in the fields of Mammon, I sat down and turned on the tv to watch the news. It blew up. I turned on the radio. It didn't work either. I opened the fridge - it wasn't working. Everything in it was spoiled. I pondered the situation. The lights worked, but nothing else would. The Village was one of the first areas in New York City to be wired for electricity. In those days, there was only direct current. Lights would work on direct current....  Sure enough, the place hadn't been updated to alternating current. It had, you see, been "improved".

'Japanese' beetles have arrived to destroy the roses.
One can almost hear the munching...
Post Script - There are a lot of graphic files on my computer, ordered in an arcane manner of my preference. I used to be able to just tell blogger the file name I wanted to upload. Older files had underlines or dashes so no blank spaces existed in the name, as that would confuse the programs. That got fixed. Except now if there is a dash or an underline in a file name, the upload programs can't seem to find the file - I have to go to the appropriate folder and click on the image. Blogger itself misbehaves; I added a caption to the above photo and it suddenly moved ahead of the previous picture and changed to a very large size. Because I have the page magnified, the options for managing the size and placement of the photo become hidden behind another button and are inaccessible until I go back to the size blogger seems to think is more appropriate. I "preview" the page so I can see how it will look when published. A banner appears to warn me that programs are in use which may be unsafe, so the program has thoughtfully blocked them for me. It has to be clicked off. It's been this way ever since they made a number of "improvements".


Delores said...

Murphy's Law...if anything CAN go wrong it WILL go wrong. I feel for you brother...truly I do.

Mildred Ratched said...

First, I'm a fellow New Englander. (Hi) Second, what beautiful photos. (Thank you for sharing them) Third and last, technology is great when it works and when it doesn't... (we don't know each well enough yet for me to say what words came into my mind)

sdt (a.k.a. stevil) said...

Well, a big belated "Hi" to Delores, and a "Welcome" to The Nurse. Either the email notification of a response thingy isn't working, or I somehow turned it off, or the ones and zeroes didn't align that day, or I forgot to sacrifice to the great God Gooble gobble one of us stop me before I free associate again with another run on sentence....