Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Memorandum Monday (Tuesday Edition) - The Computer Saga

Linking up with Sian and all the other Memo Monday folks!

My story for Memorandum Monday goes like this.  On February 23, after doing some work on my home computer (which was my OLD work laptop hooked up to a large monitor and full size keyboard and still running Windows XP), I went out to the grocery store.  When I came home, my screen was black. I tried rebooting -  nothing.  Jay came home and ran some utility, but was unable to "see" the hard drive.  On February 24 he took the laptop apart and ran the drive through some reader machine. Still nothing. Diagnosis - catastrophic hard drive failure.  UGH.

Now two things I should tell you right off the bat - First, this did not affect my External Hard Drive which has all of my digiscrap supplies and photos on it. That drive was still fully functional. Hallelujah. And second, I wasn't terribly worried about the rest of it as I've been running "BackBlaze" on my computer for several years - since the last time I had a hard drive fail and had to learn the hard way about the importance of a back-up service. I knew that my files were backed up and should be retrievable through the BackBlaze online service.

Thankfully, I had my current work laptop, which has most of my "stuff" on it, so I was able to stay operational, albeit not in the ways to which I was accustomed.  I had to access home email through my webmail account which had none of my email folders, archives, contacts, etc. Which meant if your comment on a blog post came through without your email attached, I had no way to reply! And trying to complete layouts on my laptop screen was .... excruciating.  Which is why I ultimately quit the LOAD challenge without finishing out the month.  On the 24th I downloaded my backed up files from Backblaze - the biggest "issue" I faced was that all the work I had done on Excel spreadsheets for The Shop was a week out of date and I had to recreate the last week worth of work, which was actually a lot, but I got it done.

On Sunday evening, February 28, Jay finally pushed the "buy" button for my new computer. And then the waiting game began.  I waited. And waited. And waited some more.

And that, my friends, is the very long back-story to all the new things I learned in the last week.

My new computer finally arrived on the evening of  March 10. Check it out - That big silver and black box next to my monitor is my new HP Envy 750.  Jay & I both thought the new box would be much smaller - so not!

On Thursday night, after Jay unboxed and booted up the computer, I installed PSE13.  Yes, PRIORITIES ladies. Or else, just that it was something I knew how to do and was comfortable with.  I tried to install LR5 but ran into a snag with serial numbers and had to email the support group to get the serial number. I learned to write the serial number ON THE BOX so you don't have to look for the paper you saved it on or the old email (to which I still did not have access) where it might have been.  On Friday March 11, having received the errant serial number, I installed LR5 and learned how to import my old LR catalog so that all my photos with all the tagging would show up. Ta Da!

At this point Jay still hadn't ordered or installed any Microsoft Office product and I was wanting my email back.  So I went online and after conferring with him, ordered Microsoft Home and Business, downloaded, and installed the program.  Having access to Word and Excel, I began moving the personal files that I had downloaded from Backblaze to my work laptop onto my new computer. Using a thumb drive and moving 2-3 gigs of data at a time.

On Saturday, having gotten tired of waiting on Jay to set up my Outlook email account, I got online and learned how to set up .pop and .smtp email accounts - all by myself. AND I learned how to import my Outlook .pst backup file into the new account.  As if by magic, all of my old email and folders were restored! Hallelujah!  Yes, I'm a bit proud of my very non-techie self on that account! I'm only missing whatever email had downloaded to my computer on the day it died.  The rest of it was safely in the .pst back-up or still on my webmail account awaiting download. And I learned to set my webmail account to hold copies for two weeks after download before deleting from the server, so I won't have any missing emails again!

I also learned that I save a lot of stuff I really don't need. Being without all that back-up email for over two weeks, I realized that there was very little of it I would likely ever refer to again. And transferring files, I found stuff I hadn't opened in years and no longer had any need for. Which meant a fair bit of purging, but I feel very good about that. A little less digital clutter in my life!

I'm slowly reloading other programs, getting screens set up the way I want, and learning my way around Windows 10, which is VERY different from the Windows XP interface. Today I learned how to move my Backblaze account to my new computer and start the back-up process all over again. That was a lot of learning for one week!

Lest you think my entire weekend was consumed by computers, it wasn't.  My mother had given Jay & I a gift certificate for Bucks County Playhouse for Christmas.  We went on Sunday (an otherwise grey and dismal day) to see (NEW to us) the final showing of "Defending the Caveman"   The only thing I knew about the show is that it's a comedic play about relationships between men and women.  I didn't realize when booking the tickets that it was a one-man show. And I'm not sure what rock I've been living under, but the show has been running for 16 years and I had never heard of it.  Turns out it was great! We had great seats in the second row. The actor for our show was Vince Valentine, a Philadelphia native, and his version incorporated references that only folks from this area would understand.  It was hilariously funny and informative and we both laughed a lot.  A totally enjoyable experience.  Thanks Mom!


Karen said...

That's a lot more learning about computer issues than I hope ever to do in one week! Glad it all worked out.

alexa said...

You have my complete admiration. I think it would have taken me months! Glad you had a nice treat at the end of it too.

debs14 said...

Wow, that is a very long list of new things to learn!

Sian said...

You have my sympathy..and my admiration! I have spent most of today without my laptop because it updated itself last night and I couldn't get it turned on. And it's only a few weeks old, so I'm still feeling the pain of all that setting up and installing. Technology can take up a lot of time before it's actually any use..

Alison said...

I am totally in awe!...it's quite amazing what we CAN do when we have to x

quiltingfool said...

Kudos on all the LEARNING! I understand your delight in yourself, as I experienced that when I taught myself (and continue to teach) how to machine embroider, and use all sorts of computer stuff I hadn't done before. It makes you feel so great to be able to figure it out without the aid of your much-more-savvy spouse (I have one of those also).

Second, so glad you had a great experience at Bucks County Playhouse, and that you used the gift certificate. Love that I came up with something fun for you. And that you found something you wanted to see. Hope you aren't being snowed under now, as Winter goes out with a roar!

Mardi said...

I had to do a similar thing not long ago when the kids put the recliner chair mechanism through the lid of my relatively new laptop. It amazes me how much we can do when we have to.
Well done.

Susanne said...

Well, Yay for your computer savvy. I'm most impressed that you got your backup Outlook mail file on your new computer, as I never figured that out on my last computer transition and in fact have kept the old computer so I can forward to few emails I need from there to my current one. Glad your efforts were rewarded with a fun night out too.