TECHNOLOGY: Learn as You Go

Had I known that the software side of the new pc was going to go so well, I would not have put off this building of the main pc for so long.  I’ve never had a problem with the hardware end before, and this time I did.  What I’ve learned from that is that even in two years things change mightily and it was my own fault for not realizing that the SATA drives are the new hot setup and I would have ordered accordingly. However, I must say that I was a bit disappointed in Tiger Direct’s failure to include at least one SATA drive–the h/d or the CD/DVD player–in the barebones system as offered.  That one glitch caused many problems in the maneuvering of hardware as well as software in the building of the system.

But what fun to work these problems out!  I held my breath as I put the Win XP back in–knowing that it wouldn’t recognize the hardware and then balk at activation (since the old hard drive with all the data already on it would do the same thing, plus the fact that I couldn’t connect it because of the single EIDE cable that the new drive and the CD were already on and needed to be on).  Everything went smooth as silk.  I waited a day to activate the program, armed again with the phone number of Microsoft support, but it accepted activation and registration online with no problems.  Odd, but a tremendous help not to hit a snag in the system.

Little by little I’m installing the other programs. Office was a problem to reckon with–having upgrades and having long ago formatted the 28-disk Win 3.1 version.  Last time all I had to do was insert disk #1 in the floppy and point the installation to that and it went through nicely.  Wish I’d have remembered this when I finally decided they were useless except as blank disks.  But I managed to fiddle with things and now have all the Office programs cleanly on there.  I’ve already copied and pasted most of my Word documents from the laptop files via a flash drive into the main pc.  Network’s great, but a duplicate system is much better as it serves as a backup and I do have an external drive that’s big enough to handle larger transfers.

Next comes the Adobe Suite, Quicken, and Flash.  Then I’ll feel secure enough to wipe the old 60-gig hard drive clean and stick it in either the shop pc or in Jim’s pc. 

I’m really enjoying this and always did–should’ve majored in computer science rather than English perhaps, but if nothing else, I’m making sense of the poorly translated installation manuals (hey, there’s a job for me!). Life is good.

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